(Minghui.org) Four Muleng City, Heilongjiang Province residents were sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong. Three of them appealed the verdicts, but were 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.

The four Falun Gong practitioners were among five locals arrested on the same day.

Mr. Sun Shiwei, a 68-year-old former art teacher, and Mr. Gao Pengguang helped a local practitioner, Ms. Cao Shufang, to install window glass on April 24, 2020. Mr. Gao’s sister, Ms. Gao Yongli, happened to be at Ms. Cao’s home when they came. After the new window was installed, the Gao siblings and Mr. Sun left Ms. Cao’s home. As the trio was exiting the gate of Ms. Cao’s apartment complex, several police officers suddenly showed up out of nowhere. They arrested Mr. Sun, Mr. Gao, and Ms. Gao. Ms. Cao was later arrested too, along with practitioner Ms. Shi Ying.

The five practitioners’ homes were all ransacked.

Mr. Sun, Mr. Gao, Ms. Gao, and Ms. Shi were put under criminal detention. Ms. Cao was denied admission due to high blood pressure and released at around 2 a.m. on April 25. The Hailin City Procuratorate approved their arrests on May 27 and moved their cases to the Hailin City Court.

Except for Ms. Cao, the other four practitioners appeared in court on July 16, 2021. Ms. Shi was represented by a court-appointed lawyer, while the other three practitioners had their own lawyers, who all entered not guilty pleas for them. The practitioners also pleaded not guilty themselves. It’s not clear whether Ms. Cao is facing prosecution.

The lawyers refuted the charge of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” arguing that no evidence was demonstrated to show what law enforcement had been allegedly undermined to victimize who. They added that no law has criminalized Falun Gong in China and that it’s the practitioners’ freedom of religion to practice their faith.

The presiding judge Jiang Xinkun allowed only two family members of each practitioner to attend the hearing. Mr. Gao’s wife and Ms. Gao’s two daughters were deceived by the police into signing a document prior to the hearing and then made prosecution witnesses without their knowledge. Judge Jiang next barred Mr. Gao’s wife and Ms. Gao’s daughters from attending the hearing on the grounds that they were prosecution witnesses. Mr. Gao’s wife submitted a request to remove her from the witness list, but judge Jiang refused to accept it.

The police also questioned Ms. Shi’s neighbors about her practicing Falun Gong. Her neighbors weren’t aware of her practice at all, but the police still forced them to testify against her. In addition, the Chinese New Year’s painting with the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good” on her door also became evidence against her. Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are the three main principles of Falun Gong.

The judge sentenced the four practitioners to prison on July 20. Ms. Gao was sentenced to six years and ten months; Mr. Gao and Mr. Sun were each given six and a half years and fined 10,000 yuan, and Ms. Shi was sentenced to one year and three months, with a 3,000-yuan fine. Ms. Shi was also fired by the China Mobile company, where she had worked at for 17 years.

Ms. Gao, Mr. Gao and Mr. Sun appealed with the Mudanjiang Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold their original verdicts on September 8.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Wei Ming (魏明), presiding judge of Mudanjiang Intermediate Court: +86-453-6377066
Jiang Xinkun (姜新昆), judge of Hailin City Court: +86-13045340737, +86-13904834266, +86-453-7117271Yan Ming (闫明), president of Hailin City Procuratorate: +86-13904531973, +86-453-7103902Zang Dianxu (臧殿旭), head of Muleng City Domestic Security Office: +86-18946333388Zhao Xiangjun (赵祥军), deputy head of Muleng City 610 Office: +86-15245351989

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

Related reports:

Muleng City, Heilongjiang Province: Four Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith

Former Art Teacher Sentenced to 6.5 Years for His Faith

Five Heilongjiang Residents Face Trial for Their Faith

Teaching and Research Staff Member from Muling City Teacher's Training College Brutally Beaten in Prison