(Minghui.org) A 53-year-old Changsha City, Hunan Province resident was recently sentenced to four years with a 15,000-yuan fine for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
This is the fourth time that Ms. Zhang Lingge has been incarcerated for her faith, following a 6-year prison term in 2002, a 1.5-year labor camp term in 2009, and a 3.5-year term in 2014.
Ms. Zhang’s latest arrest was at her mother’s home at 11 p.m. on October 27, 2020. Another 22 local Falun Gong practitioners were also arrested in the police sweep.
The police handcuffed Ms. Zhang and held her mother as soon as they broke in. They then confiscated their cell phones and ransacked the place. Ms. Zhang’s Falun Gong books were confiscated.
At around 2 a.m., the police brought Ms. Zhang to her own residence, without allowing her to change her slippers. Her mother chased after the police car with her socks and shoes, but the police didn’t stop to take them.
The police submitted the cases of 15 of the arrested practitioners, including Ms. Zhang, to the Liuyang Procuratorate, which returned the cases for insufficient evidence between March and April 2021, before finally indicting the practitioners.
Different from past group arrests, the prosecutor submitted the practitioners’ cases to the court separately, instead of a joint case. A person familiar with the cases revealed to some practitioners’ families that the court hearings were only a formality and some of their prison terms have already been determined by the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extrajudicial agency tasked with overseeing the persecution.
When Ms. Zhang appeared at the Liuyang City Court on May 8, 2021, the authorities dispatched nearly 70 police officers to patrol outside of the courthouse. The prosecutor in charge of Ms. Zhang’s case told a colleague that throughout his career, he has never seen so many officers being dispatched during a hearing.