(Minghui.org) A 53-year-old woman was recently sentenced to seven years for practicing Falun Gong.

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

Ms. Wang Yuhong is the accountant at a seeds shop in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province. She was arrested in a police sweep on July 9, 2020. Another five practitioners, including Ms. Xue Liwei, Ms. Dong Na, Mr. Zhang Wansheng, Ms. Lu Chaobo, and Ms. Chen Weibo, were also arrested. All of them had their homes ransacked and were interrogated.

The six practitioners were tried through a video conference by the Ranghulu District Court on December 15, 2020. Ms.Chen and Ms. Dong weren’t represented by a lawyer.

Ms. Wang’s lawyer argued that the prosecutor lacked evidence to charge his client with “attending Falun Gong practitioners’ gathering and printing promotional materials about Falun Gong” solely based on a clip of surveillance video of Ms. Wang entering Ms. Chen’s home empty-handed.

The indictment also stated that Ms. Wang rode in Ms. Chen's car and went to Lindian County to distribute Falun Gong materials at a certain time on May 21, 2020. But in the supporting evidence, a video supplied by a witness, one couldn’t see the people’s faces clearly, much less what they were holding in their hands. The video's timestamp also showed a two-hour difference from the alleged distributing time as indicated in the indictment. The lawyer concluded that the video was inadmissible and demanded its removal from the prosecution evidence, but the prosecutor didn’t respond.

Ms. Wang testified in her own defense. She insisted that she was innocent and didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Lu and Mr. Zhang’s lawyers also entered not guilty pleas for them and testified against the police and the prosecutor for violating legal procedures. The lawyers said that the prosecutor forwarded the cases to the local court without a required document. 

It was recently confirmed that Ms. Wang has been sentenced to seven years with a 70,000-yuan fine. It’s not clear whether other practitioners have been sentenced or what their verdicts were.

The appeal case filed by Ms. Wang’s family on her behalf has been accepted by the Daqing City Intermediate Court on March 26, 2021. Judge Zhang Peng has been assigned to the case.

Past Persecution

Prior to her latest sentencing, Ms. Wang has been targeted multiple times in the past 22 years for practicing her faith.

She was first arrested and detained for 12 days in December 1999 for signing a banner that said “Falun Dafa is good.” Her workplace was forced to pay 5,000 yuan to the police as a “reserve fund,” which would be used to cover the police’s travel expenses to Beijing should Ms. Wang go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong.

Since then, the police often talked to Ms. Wang and told her to give up practicing Falun Gong. The police also constantly summoned her to the police station and demanded that she report to them and turn in her Falun Gong materials when traveling out of town.

In late 2000, the police tried to pressure her to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong again. When she refused, she was arrested on the last day of 2000 and detained for six months and five days. At the same time, both she and her husband Mr. Ma Xiquan were fired by their workplaces.

When she was released in July 2001, the police forced her to pay a 3,000-yuan bail bond and 1,850 yuan for the food during her detention. 

Ms. Wang and her husband were arrested and detained again while talking to other practitioners on the street on June 20, 2012. 

Because of filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Wang was arrested again on May 3, 2017. She held a hunger strike for four days and was then released.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution