(Minghui.org) A Weifang City, Shandong Province resident was sentenced to one year and six months for his faith in Falun Gong on December 10, 2020.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Gao Guangcheng was arrested on April 27, 2020 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. The police ransacked his home and confiscated his Falun Gong books, related materials, media players, computers and some DVDs.

After the local detention center rejected his admission due to the pandemic, the police called his daughter and attempted to extort 30,000 yuan in exchange for his release. The police threatened to send Mr. Gao to prison if his daughter didn’t pay the money. After some negotiation, she agreed to pay 8,000 yuan as his bail bond.

On July 18, 2020, the police submitted Mr. Gao’s case to the Changle Procuratorate, which then forwarded it to the Qingzhou Procuratorate. He was later charged with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners.

Mr. Gao appeared in the Qingzhou Court on November 14. He acted as his own lawyer and argued that no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China, and that it’s his constitutional right to practice Falun Gong and raise awareness about it.

He also refuted the charge of “undermining law enforcement” and asked the prosecutor which law’s enforcement was undermined by him. The prosecutor Ma Jiali remained silent.

As Mr. Gao was talking, the presiding judge Zheng Xuejun frequently interrupted him. When Mr. Gao requested to record the lack of legal basis in the court proceedings, Zheng said to him, “Do you think that by writing that down, we wouldn’t be able to sentence you?”

On December 10, three weeks after the hearing, judge Zheng sentenced Mr. Gao to one year and six months in prison, with a 10,000 yuan fine.

Prior to his latest sentence, Mr. Gao was given ten years in October 2009, also for practicing Falun Gong.