(Minghui.org) A Yanji City, Jilin Province resident serving 1.5 years for practicing Falun Gong has been denied family visits as she refused to renounce her faith.

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

Ms. Cui Qunying, 59, was arrested on April 3, 2021, while going through security at the local train station. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her cellphone, Falun Gong books, informational materials, some cash and other belongings. She was put in criminal detention on the same day and her arrest was approved by the Railroad Transportation Procuratorate on April 15.

The Railroad Transportation Court accepted her case on June 15, 2021. Her first hearing, which was conducted through a video conference, on July 21 was suspended ten minutes into the session, due to a technical issue. Her husband, son and sister weren’t allowed to attend the session.

During her second virtual hearing on July 30, her niece, Ms. Tang Yao, who served as a non-lawyer defender, entered a not guilty plea for her. The presiding judge, Li Dapeng, and his assistant judge, Han Yanchun, constantly interrupted Ms. Tang when she read her defense argument against the allegations made by prosecutors Shi Xiaosong and Li Luantong. The judges also stopped Ms. Cui from time to time as she testified in her own defense.

Ms. Cui was sentenced to 1.5 years with 2,000 yuan fine on August 10. She was taken to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison on September 17 and hasn’t been allowed to see her family once, as she refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Prior to her latest sentencing, Ms. Cui was given one year and thirty days of forced labor for going to Beijing on January 1, 2001 to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong.