(Minghui.org) A prosecutor in Jining City, Shandong Province promised not to seek prison sentences against two local residents, Ms. Li Guirong and Ms. Song Chengkui, due to their advanced age, she nevertheless recommended prison sentences for them of 3 and 1.5 years, respectively. Both Ms. Li, 72, and Ms. Song, 80, were later given the recommended sentences.

The two elderly women were targeted for their faith in Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. 

They were first arrested in June 2020 while sitting near the Rencheng District Court. The police accused them of “besieging the court.” Their homes were ransacked and they were released on bail. 

Ms. Li was arrested and had her home ransacked again after she was reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials on April 10, 2021. The police kept harassing her family and extorted a 2,000-yuan gift card from her daughter, claiming that by giving it to the judge, she would get a lighter sentence. 

After the police submitted Ms. Li and Ms. Song’s cases to the Rencheng District Procuratorate in May 2021, prosecutor Li Na assured their families that they didn’t have to hire lawyers as the judge would most likely give the two practitioners probation terms due to their advanced age. She said that she would not seek prison sentences.

The two practitioners’ families believed the prosecutor, only to find out later that she recommended 3-year and 1.5-year prison sentences for Ms. Li and Ms. Song respectively. 

When Ms. Li and Ms. Song appeared in Rencheng District Court on July 22, 2021, judge Xu Xinguo frequently interrupted them and didn’t allow them to finish reading their defense statements.

Ms. Li was sentenced to three years with a 10,000-yuan fine and Ms. Song to one year and a half with a 5,000-yuan fine on August 13, 2021. After they appealed with the Jining City Intermediate Court, their families hired lawyers to represent them. The lawyers repeatedly requested a hearing of their appeal case, but judge Yu Jiansong of the higher court upheld their original verdicts without a hearing. 

When the police went to Ms. Song’s home on November 9, 2021 to take her to the prison, she said that her blind husband relied on her for care and she couldn’t leave him alone. Officer Yu Yongbo ordered a few others to forcibly carry Ms. Song downstairs and to the police car. She failed the physical examination and was released later that day. Ms. Li, on the other hand, was taken to a quarantine facility on the next day in preparation for the imprisonment. 

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Yu Yongbo (于勇波), officer of the Rencheng District Police Department: +86-18653768806
Li Na (李娜), prosecutor of Rencheng District Procuratorate: +86-537-3011878, +86-537-3011810Xu Xinguo (绪新国), presiding judge of Rencheng District Court: +86-537-6772053Wang Bin (王斌), judge assistant: +86-1986118216Yu Jiansong (于建淞), presiding judge of Jining City Intermediate Court: +86-537-5175501