(Minghui.org) After one and a half years of detention, fourteen Changchun City, Jilin Province residents were sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Seven of the sentenced practitioners came from one extended family. Among them, Mr. Meng Xiangqi, 37, and his mother-in-law, Ms. Fu Guihua, 55, were both sentenced to 7.5 years.

Mr. Meng’s father, Mr. Meng Fanjun, 59; his sister-in-law Ms. Yu Jianli, 30; Ms. Yu’s husband Mr. Wang Dongji, 40; and Mr. Wang’s parents, Mr. Wang Kemin, 69, and Ms. Wang Fengzhi, 69, were all sentenced to 7 years.

The other seven practitioners also received heavy terms. Mr. Jiang Tao, 46, was sentenced to 9 years. Mr. Hou Hongqing, 49; Mr. Han Jianping, 58; Mr. Tan Qiucheng, 44; Ms. Zhang Shaoping, 51; Ms. Cui Guixian, 56; Ms. Liu Dongying (who is the mother of Ms. Cui’s son-in-law), 55, were all sentenced to 7 years.

All of the fourteen practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on August 15, 2019. They were tried by the Lishu County Court on September 28, 2020. The judge barred their lawyers and family members from defending them in court, and frequently interrupted the practitioners as they testified in their own defense.

Ms. Fu and Mr. Han were removed from the courtroom for recounting how practicing Falun Gong has improved their health and elevated their character. Ms. Zhang urged all officials involved in the case to think about why Falun Gong practitioners persist in upholding their faith despite the persecution. The judge ordered the bailiff to take her out of the courtroom.

The judge announced their verdicts on February 26, 2021.

Agencies involved in the case:

Detention Centers: Siping City Detention Center, Lishu County Detention Center

Law enforcement: Lishu County Domestic Security Office, Lishu County Police Department, Siping City Police Department, Jilin Province Public Security Bureau, and Ministry of Public Security

Procuratorate: Lishu County Procuratorate, Siping City Procuratorate

Courts: Lishu County Court, Jilin Provincial Higher People's Court

Others: Lishu County Political and Legal Affairs Committee, Jilin Province Political and Legal Affairs Committee, Siping City Justice Bureau, Jilin Provincial Department of Justice

Related reports:

Seven in an Extended Family Detained for 1.5 Years for Their Faith, Still Awaiting Verdicts in Custody

Two Detention Centers in Jilin Province Subject Falun Gong Practitioners to Brainwashing to Make Them Renounce Their Faith

Sixteen Changchun City, Jilin Province Residents Still Await Verdicts Three Months After Court Hearing

After Ten Years of Displacement and Three Years of Incarceration, Jilin Woman Faces Prison Time for Her Faith Again

Sixteen Jilin Residents Tried for Their Faith, Lawyers Barred From Representing Them in Court

Man Incarcerated and Tortured at 16 Again Faces Prosecution for His Belief

Sixteen Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted in a Group Arrest Face Trial for Their Faith

Families Targeted in Mass Arrest in Jilin Province

Siping City, Jilin Province: 34 Arrested in One Day; 15, Including 7 from One Family, Still in Custody

Fifteen Jilin Residents Remain in Detention After Prosecutor Returns Their Cases

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution