(Minghui.org) Two Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province residents were sentenced to prison for hanging up banners about their faith in Falun Gong. One of them appealed the verdict, but it was rejected by the higher court.

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

Ms. Yang Haixia, 62, Ms. Li Shuchun, and her nephew Mr. Li Helong were arrested on February 5, 2020, after the police saw them putting up banners about Falun Gong through a surveillance camera. Ms. Yang and Ms. Li are Falun Gong practitioners, and Mr. Li is not.

Although they were soon released on bail, Ms. Yang and Ms. Li were taken back into custody on January 11, 2021, and Mr. Li in April.

The three of them were tried by the Ranghulu District Court in Daqing City Detention Center on May 19, 2021. The judge sentenced Ms. Yang to seven years and Ms. Li to five years on July 23, 2021. It’s not clear whether Mr. Li was convicted.

Ms. Yang appealed to Daqing City Intermediate Court. The judge ruled to uphold her original sentence in mid-September 2021. Both women are still held at the Daqing City Detention Center at the time of writing.

Ms. Yang used to have breast cancer, and after a double mastectomy, her incision wounds didn’t heal for years. Unable to afford medical treatment, she endured tremendous pain and relied on her family to take care of her.

Shortly after she began to practice Falun Gong in 1997, she fully recovered and took on the responsibility of caring for her bedridden father.

After the persecution started, Ms. Yang was arrested on May 10, 2000, and detained for 15 days for doing Falun Gong exercises in a park. Days after she was released, she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong, only to be arrested and detained for another four months.

She was arrested again on January 23, 2001, and detained for a month.

Related report:

Three Heilongjiang Residents Tried for Hanging Up Falun Gong Banners, a Fourth One Faces Indictment