(Minghui.org) An 85-year-old man in Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was recently sentenced for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Zhang Wanxin was arrested on April 29, 2019, after being reported for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong at a farmers' market in Luannan County. Due to his advanced age of 83, the police didn’t detain him and released him in the evening.

Mr. Zhang was arrested again on August 19, 2019, for talking to people about Falun Gong at another local market. After hours of interrogation and intimidation at the local police station, he was released on bail at around 8 p.m.

The authorities subsequently harassed him at home frequently and pressured him to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong, causing him and his family tremendous distress.

The police submitted his case to the Luannan County Procuratorate, which summoned him on December 13, 2019. The prosecutor threatened him to not go out of town and ordered him to report to the Procuratorate whenever summoned again.

Mr. Zhang was taken to the village office on August 20, 2021, where the Luannan County Court judge announced that he would be tried there. Village chief Zhang Zhanli and director of the women’s federation Zhang Shuying were also present.

The officials told Mr. Zhang that they were just going through formalities and that if he signed a document to renounce Falun Gong, they would leave him alone and he could freely practice at home. Deceived by the officials, Mr. Zhang signed the document.

At around 11 a.m., Mr. Zhang’s daughter, who had not been informed of any “trial,” went to the village office to look for him.

After realizing what was happening, she told officials that the trial was illegal and she asked for their names. None of the officers was willing to tell her. One of them replied that they were handling the case according to the law.

Mr. Zhang’s daughter disagreed and she criticized the officials for trying her 85-year-old father in secret.

One person then identified himself as Mr. Zhang’s lawyer. Mr. Zhang’s daughter said that they’d never hired a lawyer for him and asked for his name. He refused to answer.

Mr. Zhang was informed on September 3, 2021 that he was sentenced to a year and a half with a probation of two years, and a 1,000 yuan fine.

Related Report:

85-year-old Man Tried in Village Office, Forced to Sign Statement to Renounce His Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution