(Minghui.org) Six Falun Gong practitioners in Xichang City, Sichuan Province, and one of their spouses arrested between July and August 2019 were sentenced by the Xichang City Court on December 9, 2020.

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

Mr. Huang Biao was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan.Ms. Luo Mingchun was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan.Ms. Zhao Jun was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan.Ms. Zhou Xianrong was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 8,000 yuan.Ms. Yu Hongying was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 6,000 yuan.Ms. Xu Shaoqiong was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined 5,000 yuan.Ms. Zhou’s husband, Mr. Pan Jianrong, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was sentenced to six months in prison and fined 3,000 yuan.

After receiving the verdicts, Mr. Huang, Ms. Luo, Ms. Zhao, Ms. Yu, and Ms. Xu appealed to the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate Court.

The lawyers representing Mr. Huang, Ms. Yu, and Ms. Luo in their respective appeal cases demanded that the intermediate court hold public hearings. Ms. Zhao’s lawyer asked for a re-trial of her case because he discovered that the court had failed to appoint a lawyer to represent her at the trial as requested.

The guards at Xichang City Detention Center initially refused to mail Ms. Luo’s appeal for her. After her lawyer obtained a copy of her appeal and submitted it to the intermediate court, the chief judge, Yang Hongwu, refused to accept it or the lawyer’s Power of Attorney.

The lawyer went to the intermediate court again on February 25 and tried to submit his defense script and other materials related to Ms. Luo’s appeal, only to be rejected again with the excuse that Ms. Luo didn’t file the appeal herself. The lawyer filed a complaint against judge Yang, accusing him of refusing to accept the lawyer’s legal opinions and investigating the detention center’s withholding of Ms. Luo’s appeal. The complaint also demanded that Yang be recused from the appeal case. Yang then decided to accept the appeal.

On March 2, 2021, without informing the lawyer, judge Yang, along with judges Zhang Ju and Zhang Xuetian, ruled to uphold Ms. Luo’s original verdict.

The intermediate court also turned down Ms. Zhao’s lawyer’s request for a retrial and upheld her verdict without informing her lawyer. The lawyer later noted in the ruling fabricated defense statements that were allegedly written by him when he had never made those statements.

Ms. Zhao’s lawyer filed a complaint, citing the intermediate court’s blatant violation of legal procedure, with the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture Procuratorate and Yuan Junpeng, the new president of the intermediate court. He has yet to hear back from either of them.

Relatives of Ms. Zhao, Ms. Luo, Mr. Huang, and Ms. Yu also filed motions with the intermediate court to have the practitioners’ cases reconsidered.

On May 17, Ms. Luo’s family also appealed her wrongful sentence with the disciplinary inspectors and intermediate procuratorate.

While awaiting results of the appeal cases, Mr. Huang was taken to Jiazhou Prison in late April 2021. Ms. Zhou is still in the Liangshan Prefecture Detention Center. Ms. Zhao and Ms. Luo are in the Xichang City Detention Center. Ms. Xu, Ms. Yu and Mr. Pan have been released after serving their terms.

Related reports:

Sichuan Woman Not Allowed to Appeal Wrongful Sentence Against Her Faith

Elementary School Teacher Appeals Wrongful Sentence Against Her Faith

Sichuan Woman Sentenced to Four Years, Suffers Hanging Torture in Detention Center

Seven Sichuan Residents Sentenced to Prison, Families in Distress

Six Falun Gong Practitioners and One Spouse Stand Trial

Four Sichuan Residents Indicted for Their Faith, File Appeals to Have Cases Dropped

Six Falun Gong Practitioners and One Husband Face Trial

Sixty-four Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in Two Weeks in Sichuan Province

Ms. Luo Mingchun Arrested and Facing Prosecution

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution