(Minghui.org) A Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province resident is appealing a six-year sentence for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Li Kai, a 56-year-old former employee of the Huaguang Power Group, was arrested on December 16, 2020, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The police ransacked his home and put him in a detention center, but never provided a confiscation list or detention notice.

Two weeks after the police submitted Mr. Li’s case to the Linghai City Procuratorate, prosecutor Zhou Lili indicted him on March 5, ignoring his lawyer’s repeated request to discuss the case with her. She charged Mr. Li with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used by the authorities to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Mr. Li was tried by the Linghai City Court on April 14. Although the judge claimed it was an open hearing, he didn’t allow Mr. Li’s family or friends to attend. Mr. Li pleaded not guilty and his lawyer also entered a not guilty plea for him. They argued that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China and that it’s his freedom of religion to practice his faith and spread information about it.

The judge sentenced Mr. Li to six years with a 10,000 yuan fine on May 24. When the court clerk went to the detention center the next day to deliver Mr. Li’s verdict, Mr. Li refused to sign the document and vowed to appeal the case.

Mr. Li’s lawyer visited him on May 31 and submitted his appeal to the first-instance court on the next day, so the lower court could deliver it to the Jinzhou City Intermediate Court as required by law.

Mr. Li asked his lawyer to relay to his family that he was taking care of himself and they didn’t have to worry for him. He said that despite the heavy term, he remains firm in his faith.

This wasn’t the first time that Mr. Li has been persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, which he credits for curing his hepatitis and helping him quit gambling. Since 1999, he has been arrested several times and given two labor camp terms, for a total of three years, and then sentenced to four years following another arrest in April 2015.

Related report:

Once Incarcerated for Seven Years, Liaoning Man to Stand Trial Again for His Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution