(Minghui.org) Two Rizhao City, Shandong Province residents were sentenced to 1.5 years and fined 5,000 yuan each on October 13, 2021 for practicing Falun Gong.

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

Ms. Han Gongying, in her 70s, and Ms. Yang Jie, in her 40s, were arrested on April 9, 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong. They were released on bail in the evening. The police extended their bail term when it expired a year later.

In June 2021, both women were notified that the police had submitted their case to the Wulian County Procuratorate.

During their hearing on September 17, 2021 at the Wulian County Court, both practitioners acted as their own lawyers and entered not guilty pleas. The presiding judge, Yang Jie, constantly interrupted them.

Ms. Yang testified against the police for beating her during the interrogation. Judge Yang claimed that it’s impossible for the police to have beaten her. When Ms. Yang mentioned the name of the officer who beat her, the judge said that it was too late for her to bring up the issue and that she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. 

The judge later played the video recording of Ms. Han being interrogated. Officer Yu Jingtao could be heard shouting at Ms. Yang.

When Ms. Yang asked to read out loud the content of the Falun Gong informational materials confiscated from her and Ms. Han, the judge denied her request. 

Ms. Yang argued in her final statement that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China and that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence to support the charge of “undermining law enforcement.” The judge responded that such evidence would become available in the future, before adjourning the hearing. 

Ms. Yang was taken to the Rizhao City Detention Center on September 28, and she attended a virtual sentencing session there when the judge convicted her on October 13. Ms. Han was allowed to serve time at home as she was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2017.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Yang Jie (杨杰), presiding judge, Wulian County Court: +86-633-5338001, +86-633-5338171
Zheng Lei (郑雷), judge, Wulian County Court: +86-633-5338181, +86-18706335696Liu Guoqing (刘国庆), judge assistant: +86-633-5338162, +86-15263330750Yang Sisi (杨思思), prosecutor, Wulian County ProcuratorateWu Zhaoqiang (吴兆强), prosecutor assistant: +86-633-3011521, +86-17806338037