(Minghui.org) After Mr. Fan Wei was arrested in July 2021 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999, he had trouble sleeping and eating while in custody.

A native of Benxi City, Liaoning Province, he was recently sentenced to three years and fined 5,000 yuan after the judge forced him to plead guilty.

Mr. Fan, 63, began to practice Falun Gong in December 2018 and credits it for resolving his stroke. With his health restored, he took care of his incapacitated wife, who also struggles with the aftereffects of a stroke.

Caibei Police Station officers broke into Mr. Fan’s home in July 2021. He wasn’t there, but they searched his place and confiscated his Falun Gong books.

When Mr. Fan found his books missing, he went to the police station on July 20 to clarify the facts to the officers and get his books back. They arrested him and kept his family in the dark as to his whereabouts.

Mr. Fan’s family later learned that he was first held at the Hengren Detention Center and then transferred to the Benxi City Detention Center, where the guards tried to get him to renounce Falun Gong. His arrest was approved by the Nanfen District Procuratorate on August 3.

Mr. Fan’s family was informed by the Nanfen District Court in mid-November that he was scheduled to appear in court on November 29. His son applied to represent him during the proceedings.

The authorities allowed Mr. Fan’s son to visit him on the morning of November 29, only hours before the hearing. Mr. Fan told his son that he’d been starved in the detention center and had trouble falling asleep at night. He was often confused and his memory had gotten really bad.

At the hearing, which started at 1 p.m., presiding judge Yang Chunjiu didn’t let Mr. Fan’s son finish reading his prepared defense statement. “Do you know the law?” the judge asked him.

“My father didn’t violate any law. He is innocent,” the son replied.

The judge didn’t allow the son to continue. The bailiff then yelled at Mr. Fan, who was handcuffed behind his back and half-conscious, to plead guilty. The son requested a recess to allow Mr. Fan to rest, but the judge refused to grant his request.

After forcing Mr. Fan to plead guilty, the judge sentenced him to three years and fined him 5,000 yuan.

Mr. Fan’s son said the trial was completely illegal and he is now appealing the sentence.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Yang Chunjiu (杨春久), presiding judge: +86-18641467921, +86-24-42885921
Su Zhan (苏展), court clerk: +86-24-42885930