(Minghui.org) The Maoming City Intermediate Court in Guangdong Province on April 30, 2021, ruled to uphold a three-year prison sentence against Ms. Luo Ji for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Presiding judge Zhang Chi and two other judges, Lin Jingbu and Zou Huiqiu, announced the decision through a video conference.

Days before the higher court’s ruling, Ms. Luo’s son received a call from the Maoming City No.1 Detention Center and was told that his 73-year-old mother was having a medical condition and couldn’t get up. While the detention center has been blocking Ms. Luo’s family from visiting her, they made an exception and allowed her son to visit her. Her son urged the detention center to allow Ms. Luo to do the Falun Gong exercises, which has helped her stay fit in the past two decades.

Although Ms. Luo’s condition improved after her son’s visit, her family still worries about her situation after her prison term was upheld.

Arrest and Sentence

Ms. Luo was first arrested in mid-June 2020 after being reported for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. Officers of the Gongguan Police Station searched her bag and found one copy of a Falun Gong booklet.

Zhou Wen, head of the local 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong, also went to the police station to interrogate Ms. Luo. As soon as Zhou saw her, he said, “It’s you again.” After the interrogation, the police ransacked Ms. Luo’s home but didn’t find any Falun Gong-related materials. She was released around midnight.

Ms. Luo was arrested again on August 10, 2020, for giving out informational materials about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market. She was released the next day and placed under house arrest.

The police submitted her case to the Maonan District Procuratorate on October 27. Prosecutor, Luo Guangsen indicted her and moved her case to the Maonan District Court on November 11. Luo accused her of being a repeat offender, citing a ten-day detention given to her in June 2020.

Ms. Luo argued that she was indeed arrested and had her home ransacked in June, but she was released that same day and wasn’t detained.

Ms. Luo was tried by the Maonan District Court on November 24, 2020. Although the judge gave orders for her to be taken back into custody afterwards, local detention center officials refused to admit her due to her high blood pressure (218/140 mmHg) and coronary artery disease. The judge gave her another six months of house arrest on December 8.

One month after her second court hearing on January 8, the bailiffs brought Ms. Luo to the court on February 5 and sentenced her to three years with a 10,000-yuan fine, citing the June 2020 detention that did not actually occur. The judges involved were Tan Wei, Zhou Jinfeng, and Wu Bijie. Prosecutors Luo and Lu Miaoling were present.

Her family hired another lawyer to represent her in the appeal case. The lawyer said in the appeal submitted to the Maoming City Intermediate Court that the ten-day administrative detention against his client in June 2020 was never executed, so it shouldn’t have been used as the basis for sentencing in her latest prosecution. He added that there is no legal basis either to accuse Ms. Luo of obstructing epidemic prevention and control (because of the materials she distributed). Given the severe violation of legal procedure, he said it is imperative for the higher court to order a re-trial of the case and acquit Ms. Luo.

Despite her medical condition, Ms. Luo was taken into custody at the Maoming City No.1 Detention Center after being convicted. It’s not clear whether she has been transferred to the prison at the time of writing.

Perpetrators’ Contact Information:
Zhou Wen (周文), head of Maonan District 610 Office and Domestic Security Office: +86-13702867772
Zhou Liangyun (周良云), deputy head of Hedong Police Station: +86-13702868678Li Zhihong (黎志宏), officer of Hedong Police Station: +86-13828699020Wu Zhenhua (吴振华), officer of Gongguan Police Station: +86-13727812211Chen Yunlong (陈云龙), officer of Gongguan Police Station: +86-13580022192Luo Guangsen (罗广森), prosecutor of Maonan District Procuratorate: +86-13509929038Lu Miaoling (吕妙玲), prosecutor of Maonan District Procuratorate: +86-15820170109Zhou Jinfeng (周晋锋), judge of Maonan District Court: +86-18806697375Wu Bijie (吴碧洁), judge of Maonan District Court: +86-13790935071Zhang Chi (张弛), judge of Maoming City Intermediate Court: +86-13929726997

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

Related reports:

Guangdong Woman Appeals Wrongful Sentence, Experiencing Medical Condition in Custody

72-year-old Woman Stands Trial for Her Faith in Falun Gong

Two Senior Women Arrested as Police Break into their Homes in Maoming City, Guandong Province

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution