(Minghui.org) Two sisters in Tianjin were recently sentenced to heavy terms and fines for their faith in Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. Both of them have appealed the verdicts.

Ms. Cheng Guiying and Ms. Cheng Guijing were arrested on May 17, 2018, and sent to Nankai District Detention Center. Their Falun Gong books and related materials were confiscated.

After the police submitted their cases to the Nankai Procuratorate, the prosecutor returned their cases twice for insufficient evidence before indicting them and moving their cases to the court. 

The two sisters appeared in court twice, first on February 13 and then on October 18, 2019. The judge announced the verdicts on January 13, 2020, with Ms. Cheng Guiying given eight years and fined 40,000 yuan and Ms. Cheng Guijing nine years with a 50,000 yuan fine.

The heavy terms were based on accusations that the sisters made phone calls to the public to spread information about the persecution of Falun Gong, and that they were “repeat offenders” due to their previous labor camp terms for practicing Falun Gong. 

Ms. Cheng Guijing’s arrest left her parents-in-law, in their 80s, in deep distress and fear. They couldn’t sleep and experienced high blood pressure and heart problems.