(Minghui.org) A 58-year-old Chongqing resident was sentenced to 3.5 years for telling people about the health benefits of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice also known as Falun Dafa that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999 due to its popularity and independence.
Ms. Zhang Xiaoqin was arrested on June 30, 2020. Her computer, printer and Falun Gong books were confiscated. The authorities approved her arrest on July 24.
Shortly after the police submitted Ms. Zhang’s case to the procuratorate in late September, she was indicted and had her case moved to the Nanchuan District Court. Meanwhile, she was transferred from the Fuling Detention Center to the Nanchuan District Detention Center.
Ms. Zhang stood trial on December 22, 2020. Except her daughter who attended the hearing as her family defender, no other family members were allowed at the hearing.
Ms. Zhang testified that she didn’t violate any laws in telling people about Falun Gong and how she had benefitted from it. She also gave a few examples of her friends and family members receiving blessings from reciting the auspicious phrases “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good.”
Ms. Zhang’s daughter added in her defense statement that her mother used to suffer from many ailments in her 30s, but she completely recovered after taking up Falun Gong. Despite her age, she can still climb the stairs quickly and sleeps soundly. She was also known for her work ethic and honesty. The judge didn’t allow Ms. Zhang’s daughter to read her defense in court but asked her to submit hard copies.
Prior to her June 2020 arrest, Ms. Zhang was arrested on February 10, 2020, also for talking to people about Falun Gong. Although she wasn’t detained due to the pandemic, the judge used her earlier arrest as an excuse to increase her prison term.