(Minghui.org) A woman in Hengyang City, Hunan Province, was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

Ms. Bian Xuemei was arrested on September 23, 2020, after being reported for raising awareness about the persecution. The police confiscated her Falun Gong books, informational materials, and 4,000 yuan in banknotes printed with messages about Falun Gong.

Due to strict censorship in China, many Falun Gong practitioners are using creative ways to spread information about the persecution, including printing messages on paper currency.

The Hengyang County Procuratorate returned Ms. Bian’s case to the police due to insufficient evidence around December 2020. But the police refused to release her.

Ms. Bian’s family hired a lawyer for her, who found around January 23, 2021, that she was scheduled to appear in court six days later, although the police had repeatedly denied that she was facing prosecution.

The judge at Hengshan County Court demanded that Ms. Bian renounce Falun Gong during her hearing on January 29. He threatened to sentence her if she didn’t comply. Ms. Bian maintained that she didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Gong and trying to be a better person through her faith.

Ms. Bian was sentenced to five years on March 11, 2021. One judge revealed that her case was supervised by the provincial court and she was sentenced for not “pleading guilty” or “cooperating [with the authorities].”

Guards at Hengyang City No.1 Detention Center and court staff members are still trying to force Ms. Bian to renounce Falun Gong.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution