(Minghui.org) Minghui.org confirmed in March 2021 that another 100 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced for their faith, including 25 in 2020, 5 in February 2021, and 70 in March 2021.

The newly confirmed cases brought the total number of practitioners confirmed sentenced in 2020 to 839, in January to 53, and in February to 125.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice centered on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since the Chinese communist regime started to persecute the practice in July 1999, many practitioners have been arrested, imprisoned, tortured, sent to forced labor camps, and even had their organ harvested against their will.

The practitioners reported sentenced in March 2021 came from 46 cities in 20 provinces and centrally-controlled municipalities. The province of Jilin registered the most cases (18), followed by Henan (15), Liaoning (11), and Shandong (10).

The practitioners were given prison sentences ranging from two months to nine years, with an average of 3.91 years. One practitioner's term was unknown.

A total of 28 practitioners were each fined between 1,000 and 80,000 yuan by the courts for a total of 284,000 yuan, averaging 10,143 yuan per person.

The 100 practitioners were between 37 and 81 years old. Seventeen of them were 65 or older at the time of their sentencing, and their terms ranged from 2 months to 9 years.

The oldest practitioner, Ms. Yu Shufeng, 81, of Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province, was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Ms. He Ximei, 70, a former business manager at Nanyang City Marsh Gas Utility Company in Henan Province, received many awards for her work. She was sentenced to 9 years and fined 30,000 yuan. Her husband, Mr. Tie Linfeng, was given 4 years and fined 10,000 yuan.

Below are snapshots of similar cases reported in March 2021. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here.

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Group Arrests and Sentencing

14 Falun Gong Practitioners, Including 7 from an Extended Family, Sentenced to 7 to 9 Years

After a year and a half in detention, 14 Changchun City, Jilin Province, residents were sentenced to prison.

Seven of them came from one extended family. Mr. Meng Xiangqi, 37, and his mother-in-law Ms. Fu Guihua, 55, were each 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 each.

The other seven practitioners were also handed 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 each.

All 14 practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on August 15, 2019. They were tried in the Lishu County Court on September 28, 2020. During the proceedings, the authorities kept their lawyers from representing them. When the lawyers tried to seek justice for their clients, judge Cui Ren said, “If you think I have violated the law, feel free to file a complaint against me anywhere you want.”

The judge announced their verdicts on February 26, 2021.

Related report:Once Imprisoned for Over a Decade, Jilin Man Sentenced to Another Seven Years for His Faith

14 Practitioners Targeted in Mass Arrest Sentenced to 2-9 Years

Fourteen residents of Nanyang City, Henan Province, were sentenced to prison after being detained for a year and a half.

Ms. He Ximei was sentenced to 9 years and fined 30,000 yuan.Ms. Cao Ailan was sentenced to 8 years and fined 30,000 yuan.Mr. Wang Tiezhuang was sentenced to 7 years and fined 20,000 yuan.Mr. Tie Linfeng (Ms. He’s husband) was sentenced to 4 years and fined 10,000 yuan.Ms. Han Lanying, nearly 80, was sentenced to 4 years and fined 5,000 yuan.Ms. Li Meiyu was sentenced to 4 years and fined 5,000 yuan.Ms. Zhang Yulian was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months and fined 5,000 yuan.Ms. Yuan Xifeng was sentenced to 3 years and fined 5,000 yuan.Mr. Kui Yingxiang, in his 80s, was sentenced to 3 years and fined 5,000 yuan.Mr. Zhang Xibin, 80, was sentenced to 3 years and fined 5,000 yuan.

Additionally, Ms. Yuan Daling, Mr. Jia Jing’an, and Ms. Liu Furong were sentenced to 3-year suspended terms and fined 5,000 yuan. Mr. Wei Jie was sentenced to a 2-year suspended term and fined 5,000 yuan.

Mr. Wang was the Director of Nanyang City Administration for Industry and Commerce before he retired. For speaking up for Falun Gong, he served three years in Henan Province No.3 Forced Labor Camp between 2001 and 2004. The camp guards tortured him by tying him up and brushing his anus with a toothbrush.

Ms. Cao, 68, was arrested four times and sentenced twice for practicing Falun Gong, for a total of 8 years.

Ms. He, 70, a former business manager at Nanyang City Marsh Gas Utility Company, took up Falun Gong in 1997. Many of her ailments, including a neck problem, stomach issues, and low blood pressure, were soon healed. Now in good health, she did a better job at work and earned many awards. Ms. He and her husband Mr. Tie were repeatedly persecuted for their faith.

All of the practitioners were seized between August 30 and 31, 2019, during a mass arrest of over 160 practitioners. It’s reported that the police and Political and Legal Affairs Committee had been monitoring the practitioners since April 2019. In July 2019, police officers and residential committee staffers visited the practitioners at home to collect information about their IDs and household registration. Most practitioners also had their photos taken.

At around 4 p.m. on August 29, 2019, all officers participating in the arrests gathered in one place and were ordered to turn off their cellphones. At around 10 that night, they started to arrest the practitioners and ransack their homes. The arrests continued into the night and expanded into the suburban areas of Nanyang.

Heavy Terms and Repeated Persecution

Hebei Man Sentenced to Eight Years, Family Appeals

Mr. Yang Jianlu’s family is appealing his eight-year prison sentence for practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Yang and his wife Ms. Wang Huijun of Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, were talking to people about Falun Gong on December 3, 2019, when they were arrested by police officers who had been following them. Although Ms. Wang was released two days later, Mr. Yang has remained in Xuanhua Detention Center ever since.

Mr. Yang stood trial in the Xuanhua District Court on September 4, 2020. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him and read an affidavit signed by 415 local villagers in support of Mr. Yang. His daughter also defended his innocence.

The judge recently announced that Mr. Yang had been sentenced to eight years with a 10,000-yuan fine. His family is appealing the verdict.

Disabled from Torture, Jiangxi Woman Sentenced Again to 8 Years

It was confirmed by Minghui.org in March 2021 that a 56-year-old woman has been incarcerated to serve an eight-year term.

Ms. Li Meilian, 56, of Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province, was arrested on March 25, 2020, and her arrest was approved on April 22. She was taken to Yingtan City Hospital on May 6, 2020, for health reasons.

On October 30, 2020, Ms. Li and other practitioners were tried via video link and she was sentenced to 8 years.

Prior to the latest arrest, Ms. Li was twice held in forced labor camps for a total of more than three years and once sentenced to five years in prison.

In 2000, Ms. Li was beaten, handcuffed to a death bed, and force-fed while in Jiangxi Women's Forced Labor Camp. She was sent to Jiangxi Women's Prison in 2002 after her sentence. She was kicked and suspended, and her hamstring was severed.

While she was imprisoned, her husband and one of her parents passed away, so her son was left on his own. Her flourishing business was also forced to close down.

Ms. Li was secretly admitted to Jiangxi Women's Forced Labor Camp for two years on March 30, 2012, although no legal procedures were followed. During her second forced labor term, she was tied to a tiger bench, beaten, and injected with unknown drugs.

Elderly Targeted

81-year-old Woman Sentenced to Four Years for Hanging Up a Banner

It was confirmed by Minghui.org in March 2021 that an 81-year-old woman has been incarcerated to serve a four-year term for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Yu Shufeng of Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province, was arrested in January 2020 after a surveillance camera recorded her hanging up a banner that said, “Falun Dafa is good.” Despite her disabled legs and impaired hearing, the authorities still sentenced her and took her to the Lanzhou Women’s Prison to serve time.

This is the second time that Ms. Yu has been sentenced for her faith. She was previously arrested on March 25, 2006, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. After being detained for over eight months, she was secretly sentenced to three years in Lanzhou Women’s Prison.

While she was in the detention center, the guards tortured her to try to force her to renounce Falun Gong, but she remained firm in her faith.

68-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to 7.5 Years

Ms. Zhang Suying, a 68-year-old Huaian City, Anhui Province resident, was sentenced to 7.5 years in March 2021.

She was arrested around June 19, 2020, and appeared in the Qingjiangpu District Court on December 9, 2020. Her lawyer pled not guilty plea for her.

In recent years, the authorities in Huainan City appointed the Qingjiangpu District Procuratorate and court to handle most of the Falun Gong cases as a way to speed up the sentencing process.

Prior to her latest sentencing, Ms. Zhang was arrested in 2000 for making informational materials about Falun Gong. She was interrogated for five days, deprived of sleep and exposed to extremely bright light. The police later gave her three years of forced labor.

Ms. Zhang was arrested again on May 13, 2012, while studying the Falun Gong teachings with other practitioners. The police also seized her five-year-old granddaughter. While her granddaughter was soon returned, Ms. Zhang was transferred to a brainwashing center.

Ms. Zhang was arrested once again and had her home ransacked on June 12, 2014. She was released on bail the next day.

77-year-old Woman Sentenced to Four Years

After a year and a half of detention, Ms. Wang Xuezhen, 77, lost the ability to walk on her own due to the abuses in custody. She is now facing a dire situation after being sentenced to four years in prison on March 17, 2021.

Ms. Wang Xuezhen

Ms. Wang from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, was arrested on July 9, 2019, for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong. The Guangzhou City Procuratorate approved her arrest on August 16, 2019. After receiving her case in early October, the Guangzhou City Procuratorate transferred her to the Haizhu District Procuratorate, which indicted her in early November and moved her case to the Haizhu District Court.

In recent years, the Haizhu District Procuratorate and Haizhu District Court have been assigned to handle most of the Falun Gong cases in the Guangzhou region as a way to prosecute practitioners more quickly.

Ms. Wang was tried in the Haizhu District Court on January 3, 2020. Her family wasn’t notified of the hearing. Ms. Wang refused to accept the court-appointed lawyer, who was instructed to enter a guilty plea for her. She acted as her own lawyer and defended her innocence.

Ms. Wang argued that no law in China deems Falun Gong a crime and that there is no legal basis for the persecution. She said she didn’t do anything wrong. She also testified against the police for ransacking her home without her or her family’s presence and accusing her of committing a “crime” for trying to be a good person.

Ms. Wang’s hearing occurred one day after the hearing for her son, Mr. Ma Minqing, also a Falun Gong practitioner, was held. Although they were arrested for their faith on the same day, Ms. Wang didn’t know about his arrest until she happened to see him in the detention center.

When the lawyer hired by Ms. Wang’s family visited her in early August, she told the lawyer that she was having excruciating back pain and was sometimes unable to walk, so she had to crawl. She’d asked to see a doctor, but the guards ignored her.

Someone familiar with Ms. Wang’s situation told her family in late October that she was subjected to the stretching torture in the Haizhu District Detention Center. She was so badly injured that she was unable to stand up straight or walk. She was in a wheelchair when her lawyer visited her again on November 3.

The Haizhu District Court judge sentenced Ms. Wang to four years with a 5,000-yuan fine in a video conference on March 17, 2021. It’s not clear whether her son has been sentenced.

71-year-old Woman Sentenced to 3.5 Years for Raising Awareness about the Persecution of Her Faith

Ms. Chen Dechun, 71, in Pengzhou City, Sichuan Province, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan on March 9, 2021.

Ms. Chen, a retired machinery plant employee, was arrested along with another practitioner, Ms. Tang Yongxian, on April 12, 2019, after plainclothes officers videotaped them distributing informational materials about Falun Gong and talking to people about it.

Both women were taken to Guangming Police Station. The police took their photos and collected their fingerprints against their will. Ms. Tang was released at around 1:30 a.m. and Ms. Chen, around 4:00 a.m.

Two police officers and a residential committee director harassed Ms. Chen at home on July 9, 2019. They took her photos and asked if she still practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Chen replied, “How can I not practice something so good?”

While taking care of her bedridden husband in the hospital, Ms. Chen received a call from the Pengzhou City Procuratorate on June 29, 2020. The caller said they were going to sentence her to three years and told her to report to the Procuratorate on July 2.

Ms. Chen went to the Procuratorate as asked. One prosecutor said, “Because you distributed Falun Gong materials and asked people to quit the Chinese Communist Party, the three-year sentence we are giving you is already the lightest.”

The prosecutor forced Ms. Chen to sign some paperwork and fined her 2,000 yuan. He also told her to be on the lookout for the hearing notice in the mail.

Because the procuratorates in China are not authorized to directly sentence citizens or impose fines, Ms. Chen's local procuratorate was probably threatening her with a sentence that they had recommended to the local court.

Three officers arrested Ms. Chen again on January 19, 2021, and took her to a hospital for a physical exam. After the detention center refused to accept her due to her high blood pressure, she was released at around 10:00 p.m.

Ms. Chen was tried in the Pengzhou City Court on March 9, 2021. She denied any wrongdoing and said there was no legal basis for the persecution.

The judge sentenced her to 3.5 years with a 5,000-yuan fine at the end of the hour-long hearing.

Related reports:

120 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in February 2021

186 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in January 2021

622 Falun Gong Practitioners in China Sentenced for Their Faith in 2020

15,235 Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted for Their Faith in 2020

Chinese version available

Category: Overview of persecution