(Minghui.org) A 60-year-old man targeted in a group arrest in Changchun City, Jilin Province, in 2019 was sentenced for his faith Falun Gong to seven years on February 26, 2021, by the Lishu County Court.

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

Mr. Han Jianping and his wife, Ms. Sun Yanxia, were arrested and had their home ransacked on August 15, 2019. Another 32 practitioners were arrested on the same day, and 14 of them, including Mr. Han, were wrongly convicted after being detained for a year and a half.

Many of the couple's family members, including their daughters Ms. Han Xue and Ms. Han Shuang, Ms. Han Xue’s husband and her 9-year-old daughter, Ms. Han Shuang’s two-year-old son, as well as the couple’s niece Ms. Gao Hongyu, her husband, and 8-year-old son were brutalized and terrified by the police during the couple’s arrests.

While in detention, Ms. Sun was interrogated with torture. One person stabbed her in the armpit, causing bruises. Others surrounded her and grabbed her hands to fingerprint the interrogation records. They also took photos of her against her will. Someone punched her on the back. An official said, “We must be cruel to political prisoners!”

Ms. Sun was released on September 10, 2019, after she had dangerously high blood pressure, liver cirrhosis, and a low platelet count. She was later cleared of charges. Mr. Han was put in criminal detention and held at Siping City Detention Center.

Prosecutor Wang Zhe of the Lishu County Court indicted Mr. Han and 13 other practitioners.

On September 16, 2020, Mr. Han’s family submitted their application to represent him in court. Judge Cui Ren of Lishu County Court turned them down and ordered them to get permission from the local Justice Bureau or the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency tasked with persecuting Falun Gong.

A week later, on September 24, Mr. Han’s lawyer was called to Cui’s office to review case documents. Cui also handed the lawyer an official notification of the hearing to be held on September 28. But early in the morning on September 28, Cui called the lawyer again and verbally withdrew permission for the lawyer to represent Mr. Han in court, saying that the lawyer wasn’t qualified.

Prior to the hearing, Cui asked every one of Mr. Han’s family members who’d come to observe the session if they practiced Falun Gong. “If you are in the same organization as Han Jianping, just get out!” Cui said to his family.

By law, the court must deliver notification of an upcoming hearing to the defendant's family at least three days before the court date, but Cui and another judge, Li Nan, never issued any advance notice.

During the hearing, judge Li Nan ignored the practitioners' request to have her, Cui, and prosecutor Wang Zhe recused because the practitioners deemed them unfit to prosecute a case concerning spiritual belief. She also frequently interrupted each practitioner’s self-defense statement. She didn’t let the practitioners argue about the lack of legal basis of the charges against them or ask her or the prosecutor questions about the evidence or charges.

Five months after the hearing, the judge sentenced Mr. Han and 13 other practitioners to from 7 to 9 years.

Taking Up Falun Gong

Mr. Han was accidentally hit by a falling wall in 2007 and broke his leg. He’d witnessed his wife’s health improve after she took up Falun Gong in 1998, so he learned Falun Gong and his leg soon recovered.

Practicing Falun Gong also helped Mr. Han to quit drinking, which he was addicted to in the past. He had to have a drink with each meal and he sometimes drank late at night. After he got drunk, he fought with Ms. Sun. She tried many ways to help him quit drinking, but to no avail. It was Falun Gong that enabled him to quit drinking without difficulty.

In his spare time, Mr. Han helps take care of his older daughter Ms. Han Xue’s two children and sometimes helps out at Ms. Han’s family-owned factory. His lengthy term was a heavy blow for his family.

Related reports:

Mr. Han Jianping Brutally Beaten While Locked to the “Iron Chair

Ms. Sun Yanxia in Critical Condition after Interrogation and Torture

Changchun City, Jilin Province: 14 Falun Gong Practitioners, Including 7 from an Extended Family, Sentenced to 7 to 9 Years

Families Targeted in Mass Arrest in Jilin Province

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

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

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

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