(Minghui.org) As of August 2021, another 91 Falun Gong practitioners were confirmed to have been sentenced for their faith, bringing the year-to-date confirmed cases of sentencing to 827.

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

The 91 newly reported cases include 4 that took place in 2020, 8 in the first half of 2021, 39 in July 2021 and 40 in August 2021. 

The 91 practitioners hailed from 16 provinces and municipalities. Jilin had the most cases at 25, followed by Liaoning (12), Heilongjiang (12), Shandong (10) and Hebei (9). The remaining 11 regions had cases between 1 and 4. 

Minghui was able to confirm the age of 41 practitioners, with the youngest being a 19-year-old college student. Five practitioners were in their 30s, nine in their 50s, thirteen in their 60s, ten in their 70s, and three in their 80s, with the oldest being 88.

The sentenced practitioners are from all walks of life and include teachers, an operations manager, and a retired engineer.

The practitioners were given prison terms ranging from six months to ten years, with an average term of three years and nine months. 

Thirty-two practitioners were fined a total of 466,000 yuan, including 20 fined between 2,000 and 6,000 yuan and 12 fined between 10,000 and 120,000 yuan, averaging 14,562 yuan per person. 

Below are snapshots of the cases reported in August 2021. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).

Elderly and the Bedridden Not Spared

88-year-old Man Sentenced to One Year, Whereabouts Unknown

Mr. Xin, an 88-year-old resident of Jilin City, Jilin Province living on his own, was arrested in 2020 when he went out with three other practitioners to hang up banners with information about Falun Gong. After he was released on bail, the police submitted his case to the Chuanying District Procuratorate, which then indicted him and moved his case to the Chuanying District Court. 

Mr. Xin was tried in August 2021 and sentenced to one year by Judge Li Zhongcheng. The bailiff first took Mr. Xin to the Jilin City Detention Center, which rejected his admission due to his physical condition. He returned home later in the day, only to be taken to another hospital for a physical exam a week later. He didn’t return home after the second exam and it’s not clear where he is now detained.

79-year-old Man in Serious Condition Sentenced to Five Years

Mr. Zeng Jiageng, a 79-year-old former engineer, was sentenced to five years on July 28, 2021, despite dangerously high blood pressure and a heart condition, as well as impaired vision and hearing.

Mr. Zeng Jiageng

Mr. Zeng, of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, was arrested on July 10, 2019, after the police accused him of using his phone as a hot spot to spread information about Falun Gong.

Mr. Zeng began to experience life-threatening high blood pressure and a heart condition two months after his arrest. Tan Junhua, a guard at the Guangzhou City First Detention Center, informed the Guangzhou City Police Department on September 10 of Mr. Zeng’s condition and urged the police to speed up the processing of his case. Mr. Zeng’s family and lawyer applied to have him released on bail but were turned down.

The Haizhu District Procuratorate indicted Mr. Zeng in November 2019 and moved his case to the Haizhu District Court. 

While examining the video of Mr. Zeng being interrogated on the day of his arrest, his lawyer noticed that the interrogation record did not match the video. The video showed the police asking Mr. Zeng what device he carried when he was arrested, where he got the Wifi hot spot, how he used the hot spot, if he’d spread information about Falun Gong with it, and if the police had found Falun Gong books and materials or a computer in his home.

Mr. Zeng remained silent throughout the interrogation. The police produced an interrogation record, however, that had answers to all the questions asked in the video, with Mr. Zeng “admitting:” “I had a white Wifi hot spot when I was arrested. The device was given to me by someone at a local market. I only used it to promote Falun Gong. I turned on the device when I went out. The police confiscated Falun Gong books and materials from me.”

Mr. Zeng’s lawyer also discovered that the authorities kept a different copy of his case document, but neither the prosecutor nor the judge has ever allowed him to see it.

Mr. Zeng was tried through a video conference on August 17, 2020. Due to his severe hearing loss, the presiding judge, Zhou Zhengyuan, asked his lawyer to write down questions he intended to ask Mr. Zeng. When the hearing resumed in the afternoon, the lawyer realized that Judge Zhou had removed some questions regarding the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong, even though he’d promised to send over all questions submitted.

The prosecutor added a piece of prosecution evidence, which was a lawyer’s opinion that Mr. Zeng had forwarded to the authorities when he tried to rescue his son, Mr. Zeng Hao, who’d been arrested and sentenced earlier for their shared faith in Falun Gong. The lawyer’s opinion was written by a different lawyer, who emphasized the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong and that Mr. Zeng was using it to defend his son’s innocence.

The judge held another hearing on September 23. Prosecutor Xu Weiguo smacked the desk and claimed that he was representing the country when the lawyer challenged the lack of legal basis for the persecution. Xu suggested that Mr. Zeng be sentenced to eight years in prison.

While awaiting the verdict, Mr. Zeng’s health deteriorated. His blood pressure kept rising, and his hearing and vision declined further. He often suffered from insomnia and he couldn’t keep his balance while walking.

His family and lawyer’s repeated requests to have him released on bail were ignored, and judge Jia Cunjin stopped answering the lawyer’s phone calls.

On July 28, 2021, the judge announced that Mr. Zeng had been sentenced to five years with a 10,000-yuan fine.

Having Been Incarcerated for a Total of 8 Years, 72-year-old Woman Sentenced to 8 More Years

Ms. Gu Xiaohua, a 72-year-old Beijing resident, was recently sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 15,000 yuan for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Gu was arrested on April 17, 2019. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books and a dozen cellphones. 

The Chaoyang District Detention Center refused to allow Ms. Gu’s lawyer to visit her for more than a year. The lawyer applied with the court several times for Ms. Gu’s release on bail, but was refused each time.

Ms. Gu stated that she hadn’t violated any law by practicing Falun Gong, and she refused to wear shackles or handcuffs.

The Chaoyang District Court held a hearing at the detention center on April 19, 2021. Her lawyer wasn’t allowed to attend the hearing. She was sentenced around August.

Ms. Gu has been repeatedly targeted for her faith since the onset of the persecution. She was given 1.5 years of forced labor in January 2002, sentenced to 4 years in November 2005 and given another 2.5 years of forced labor in February 2009.

74-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to Nearly Five Years

Ms. Ma Yan, a 74-year-old resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was arrested at home in July 2020. As one of her family members was suffering from a severe medical condition and relied on her to provide care, the police released her on bail.

Ms. Ma Yan

The police submitted Ms. Ma’s case to the Ganjingzi District Procuratorate on January 26, 2021. The prosecutor then summoned her and asked her some questions. After the prosecutor indicted Ms. Ma on March 1, 2021, she found out that the prosecutor didn’t record the meeting with her in her case document.

Ms. Ma received a call on March 23 from a lawyer surnamed Jiang, who claimed that he was appointed by Judge Duan Li to represent her. Ms. Ma refused to accept him and insisted on acting as her own lawyer.

A day later, the police deceived Ms. Ma into going to the police station to sign a document, only to arrest her as soon as she arrived. She was taken to the Yaojia Detention Center on March 25 and has been held there since.

Ms. Ma’s family hired an out-of-town lawyer to represent her, as the authorities in Dalian don't allow local lawyers to enter not guilty pleas for Falun Gong practitioners. The lawyer rushed to Dalian, only to be refused visitation with his client by the detention center.

Upon hearing that Judge Duan had scheduled a hearing, Ms. Ma’s family contacted the judge and demanded that she postpone the hearing. Duan rejected the request and said, “Why don’t you use the lawyer I appointed for you? Haven’t you found a lawyer yourself?”

The lawyer made several requests to visit Ms. Ma, but was denied each time. The judge held a hearing on April 7, as soon as her 15-day quarantine period ended.

Ms. Ma was sentenced to four years and ten months in prison on June 7, 2021. 

Bedridden Woman Sentenced to 6.5 Years

At 6 a.m. on August 10, 2021, six officers from the Huanggezhuang Town Police Station showed up at Ms. Wang Huilin’s home in Tangshan City, Hebei Province to take her to the police station to be tried by the Luannan County Court.

After Ms. Wang, who was bedridden, refused to go with them, eleven people from the court went to her home at 9 a.m. The village secretary and doctor were also summoned by the police.

Ms. Wang’s daughter protested to the officials who filled her home, and said, “What are you doing here? My mom is almost 70, and she is now bedridden due to the persecution. What law has she violated? Why do you treat her like this?”

A court official replied, “This is our job. Please cooperate with us.”

Ms. Wang’s daughter continued, “Cooperate? If anything happens to my mom, can you be responsible for it? If you can’t explain clearly what law she has violated, you can’t have the hearing.”

The prosecutor went ahead and read the evidence against Ms. Wang, including how she made Falun Gong books at home. Her daughter argued that all the evidence was false. She said they didn’t have any of the machines needed to print books and that her mother, who had only finished the second grade in school, didn’t know how to use a computer. And even if she did print the books, she didn’t violate any laws, as she would be exercising her constitutional rights to freedom of belief and expression, her daughter argued.

In the end, the judge sentenced Ms. Wang to 6.5 years on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Ms. Wang, who was very weak and confined to her bed at all times, asked the judge which law’s enforcement she had allegedly undermined, but he refused to answer. They left at around 11 a.m. It’s not clear whether Ms. Wang has been taken into custody at the time of writing.

Ms. Wang was targeted in a group arrest on August 12, 2020. She and twelve other practitioners, including her husband, were first tried on July 20, 2021. Because she developed illness symptoms midway through the hearing, the judge didn’t sentence her that day, but convicted all the other practitioners.

Among the twelve practitioners arrested with Ms. Wang, Mr. Liu Weili was sentenced to ten years, Ms. Zhang Zhilan was given seven years, Ms. Tong Xiulan three years, Mr. Zuo Desheng (Ms. Wang’s husband) two years and six months, Mr. Hou Jianguang one year, Mr. Wang Baozhu eleven months, and both Mr. Lu Lifa and Ms. Bi Guanqin were sentenced to six-month terms. Ms. Li Yuying and Ms. Hu Yincang were given two years with three years’ probation. Ms. Cui Shuyu was given one year with two years’ probation. Ms. Liu Jinying’s term isn’t clear.

Group Sentencing

Nong’an County, Jilin Province: Ten Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced from Two to Ten Years in Prison

Ten Nong’an County, Jilin Province residents were given up to ten years in prison on July 26, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhang Xiuzhi, 64, was sentenced to 10 years.Ms. Gao Xiaoqi, 56, was sentenced to 9 years.Ms. Cai Yuying, 66, was sentenced to 9 years.Ms. Wu Dongmei, 50, was sentenced to 7 years.Ms. Yu Jiaoru (Ms. Cai’s daughter), 34, was sentenced to 6 years.Mr. Shan Weihe was sentenced to 6 years.Ms. Zhao Xiulan, 67, was sentenced to 5 years.Ms. Sun Xiuying, 68, was sentenced to 4 years.Mr. Zhang Jingyuan was sentenced to 2 years.Ms. Sun Fengxian, 65, was sentenced to 2 years.

Three more practitioners, Mr. Feng Liqi, Mr. Lu Xiangfu, and Ms. Dong Xiuhui, are still awaiting verdicts.

The 13 practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on July 15, 2020, days before the 21st anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20 and Party leader Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to the region on July 23. Two other practitioners were also arrested on the same day, including Mr. Jiang Quande (Ms. Sun Xiuying’s husband), who passed away one month after being released in early August 2020, and Ms. Ren Yongping (Mr. Zhang’s wife), who was released on March 4, 2021, after being cleared of prosecution.

Eight of the practitioners, including Mr. Zhang, Ms. Gao, Ms. Zhao, Ms. Sun Fengxian, Ms. Cai, Ms. Yu, Ms. Sun Xiuying, and Mr. Shan, stood trial at the Dehui City Court on April 9, 2021. Among them, only Mr. Zhang’s father attended the hearing after he showed a letter from the local police station that he didn’t practice Falun Gong himself. All other practitioners’ family members and lawyers were blocked outside of the courtroom. The presiding judge, Wang Rongfu, still claimed that he was having an open hearing.

During the hearing, the eight practitioners refused to accept court-appointed lawyers, who were instructed to enter guilty pleas for them. After their requests to be represented by their own lawyers were rejected by Judge Wang, who ridiculed them and said that the practitioners didn’t have such rights, the practitioners acted as their own lawyers and they all pleaded not guilty.

Another four practitioners, including Ms. Zhang, Mr. Lu, Mr. Feng, and Ms. Dong, were tried online on April 20, 2021. It’s not clear when Ms. Wu was tried.

Four Falun Gong Practitioners in Muleng City, Heilongjiang Province Sentenced

Four residents of Muleng City, Heilongjiang Province were sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong. One of them filed an appeal, but the judge in charge of the case refused to accept the paperwork.

Mr. Sun Shiwei, a 68-year-old former art teacher, Ms. Shi Ying, Ms. Gao Yongli, and her brother Mr. Gao Pengguang were arrested and had their homes ransacked on April 24, 2020.

Mr. Sun Shiwei

Ms. Shi was represented by a court-appointed lawyer, while the other three practitioners had their own lawyers, who all entered not guilty pleas for them during the hearing on July 16. The practitioners also pleaded not guilty themselves.

The judge allowed only two family members for each practitioner to attend the hearing. Mr. Gao’s wife and Ms. Gao’s daughter were deceived by the police into signing a document prior to the hearing and then made prosecution witnesses without their knowledge. Judge Jiang Xinkun next barred Mr. Gao’s wife and Ms. Gao’s daughter from attending the hearing on the grounds that they were prosecution witnesses. Mr. Gao’s wife submitted a request to remove her from the witness list, but Judge Jiang refused to accept it.

Judge Jiang announced the verdicts against the practitioners on July 20: Ms. Gao was sentenced to six years and ten months; Mr. Gao and Mr. Sun were each given six and a half years and fined 10,000 yuan, and Ms. Shi was sentenced to one year and three months, with a 3,000-yuan fine. Ms. Shi was released afterward, as she had finished serving time. Judge Jiang only informed the practitioners of their verdicts, but didn’t inform their lawyers or families.

When the practitioners’ lawyers were notified of their sentencing on July 27, there were only three days left before the deadline to submit an appeal.

Mr. Gao’s family went to the court on July 29 to submit his appeal, only to be told that Judge Jiang was out of the office [in China, trial courts accept appeals and then pass them on to appeals courts]. They called Jiang and asked if they could leave the verdict with the clerk. Jiang rejected it and claimed that he would go to the detention center to get the appeal from Mr. Gao himself. Mr. Gao’s family replied, “You won’t even accept it when we came here to submit it ourselves, how can we expect you to go and get it yourself?”

As no court staff members agreed to accept the appeal, Mr. Gao’s family decided to mail the document to Jiang through express mail. When the mail was delivered the next day, Jiang still refused to accept it. 

Repeated Persecution

After Losing Her Son Due to Being Imprisoned, Widowed Woman Secretly Sentenced Again

Having served three labor camp terms, a prison term and the loss of her son in the persecution of Falun Gong, a woman in her late 60s was recently sentenced to another prison term of 6.5 years.

Ms. Wang Pengying, of Shulan City, Jilin Province, was arrested on September 28, 2020, and detained at the Jilin City Detention Center. Her family recently learned about her prison sentence, but is still being kept in the dark about the details. 

Ms. Wang’s husband, a coal mine worker, died due to a workplace accident many years ago. She raised their son, Fan Guang, by herself with her meager income and often wondered why her life was so miserable. She, however, found joy in life again after she was introduced to Falun Gong.

When the persecution suddenly started on July 20, 1999, Ms. Wang was repeatedly arrested and detained for speaking up. Unable to afford the train ticket to Beijing, she rode a bike and traveled over 700 miles to appeal for Falun Gong, only to be arrested and given a one-year labor camp term in 2001. 

Ms. Wang was arrested again in November 2002 and given another one-year labor camp term. As she was incarcerated, the authorities deprived her son, who had just graduated from college, of the workers’ compensation he and his mother had been entitled to due to his father’s fatal workplace injury. The young man fell ill even before he was able to find a job. Lack of income drove him to live a destitute life, which further worsened his condition. 

By the time Ms. Wang was released after being forced to serve one extra month in the labor camp, her son had become critically ill and was emaciated. Ms. Wang took him to the hospital, but it was too late. He died on April 10, 2004. 

Thirteen days later, while still mourning the death of her son, Ms. Wang was arrested again on April 23, 2004, and given a third one-year term at Changchun Women’s Forced Labor Camp. 

The torture caused Ms. Wang to suffer a heart condition. She became emaciated and extremely weak. Yet the guards still forced her to get up in the early morning and stand for long hours during the day. She almost collapsed several times. As she still refused to renounce Falun Gong, Ms. Wang’s term was extended for five days. 

Ms. Wang was arrested one more time, on October 12, 2016, for distributing informational materials about the persecution. She stood trial at the Shulan City Court on May 19, 2017, and was later sentenced to 2.5 years with 3 years of probation, as well as a 30,000-yuan fine. 

After Ms. Wang was released on August 16, 2017, the local Justice Bureau continued to monitor her daily activities. She lived under tremendous pressure. No matter where she went, she felt she was followed by the police.

Having Served Seven Years in Prison, Shanxi Man Gets Another Nine Years

Mr. Fu Changsheng’s family was dealt a heavy blow when he was sentenced to nine years in April 2021 for practicing Falun Gong. This is the third time that the Changzhi City, Shanxi Province resident has been sentenced for his faith.

Prior to his latest prison term, Mr. Fu, a 63-year-old coal mine worker, had been given three years in 2006 and another four years in 2016. He served both terms in the Jinzhong Prison, where he was subjected to various tortures and forced to do intensive unpaid labor.

On June 18, 2020, only five months after he was released from his second term, Mr. Fu was arrested again after being reported for raising awareness about the persecution. 

While Mr. Fu is being imprisoned, the authorities suspended his pension and ordered his family to pay back the pension benefits he received during previous terms, citing a new policy that no Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their faith are entitled to any pension payments. 

Mr. Fu’s wife struggles with poor health and doesn’t have any income herself. The authorities, however, threatened to suspend the couple’s children’s jobs, if they didn’t pay back the pension. Mr. Fu’s oldest daughter said she is considering selling their house now.

Meanwhile, the authorities also ordered Mr. Fu’s wife and daughter to sign statements to denounce Falun Gong, as part of the “Zero-out” harassment campaign (a concerted effort to force every Falun Gong practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce Falun Gong). It’s not clear whether Mr. Fu’s wife and daughter actually practice Falun Gong.

Professionals and Business Owner Sentenced

Operations Manager Sentenced to Two Years

Mr. Ling Jianmin, a 45-year-old operations manager at Haizhu Power Supply Bureau in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, drove to a residential area and left some informational materials about Falun Gong on car windshields in July 2019. A driver reported him.

Mr. Ling Jianmin

Through videos taken by surveillance cameras, the police identified his license plate number and put him on a wanted list.

When Mr. Ling returned from a trip to Hong Kong on August 1, 2019, he was arrested at customs in Shenzhen City. The police ransacked his home at around 4 a.m.

Mr. Ling was tried by the Haizhu District Court on November 13, 2020. His family and colleagues attended the hearing. He entered a not guilty plea for himself. He recounted how practicing Falun Gong enabled him to gain inner peace and gave him the courage to take on high-risk assignments at work. He also explained that many Chinese have been influenced by the slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong put out by the Chinese communist regime and have misunderstandings about it. Therefore, he distributed information with the hope that people can learn the facts.

Mr. Ling’s two lawyers defended his innocence and argued that there is no legal basis for the persecution. The lawyers also argued that the prosecutor failed to justify the charges against Mr. Ling – “undermining law enforcement,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.

Upon learning of Mr. Ling’s trial, many of his family, friends and colleagues said that they couldn’t understand why such a good person was facing prison time for his faith. One of his neighbors recalled how Mr. Ling put out a fire started at another neighbor’s new home and saved the new home.

On July 30, 2021, the judge sentenced Mr. Ling to two years with a 3,000-yuan fine. He returned home the next day after having served the time.

Small Business Owner Sentenced to Five Years and Fined 120,000 Yuan for Her Faith

Ms. Yang Liangying, a Tongren City, Guizhou Province resident, is awaiting the result of her appeal against a five-year prison sentence for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Yang, in her 50s, a native of Huaihua City, Hunan Province, moved to Yuping County, Tongren City in the same province, years ago with her husband and two young children. The family manages a small business selling rice noodles.

In her spare time, Ms. Yang went out and talked to people about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was recorded by a surveillance camera while putting up a poster at a tourist site, and was arrested on the afternoon of October 8, 2019.

Over 20 police officers went to Ms. Yang’s home. They kicked in the door and entered. Her Falun Gong books, magazines, and 118,000 yuan in cash were confiscated.

Ms. Yang was then taken to the Laoshankou Detention Center and has been held there since. The Tongren City Court held two hearings in 2021. Her lawyers entered not guilty pleas for her.

It was confirmed in August that Ms. Yang has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined 120,000 yuan. She has appealed with the Tongren City Intermediate Court.

Younger Generation Targeted for Their Faith

19-year-old College Student Sentenced to Prison

A teacher at the Weifang Nursing School and several police officers broke into the dorm of Ms. Li Hui, a 19-year-old freshman, on April 22, 2021, and searched it. Her five Falun Gong books, over 200 cards with information on how to overcome the internet censorship in China, 16 informational cards about Falun Gong, and a flash drive were confiscated.

Knowing that she practices Falun Gong, the school reported Ms. Li in retaliation for her choosing not to get the coronavirus vaccine. 

Ms. Li’s father passed away just a few months ago. Her mother was dealt another heavy blow by her daughter’s arrest and is unable to eat or sleep well. She went to the Domestic Security Office several times to seek Ms. Li’s release, only to be turned away.

Meanwhile, the police ordered Ms. Li’s mother, who also practices Falun Gong, to write a statement to renounce her belief and write a letter to Ms. Li to persuade her to give up her faith. When she refused to comply, the police attempted to ransack her home. She was so frightened that she fainted. Seeing her condition, the police retreated.

Ms. Li was sentenced to seven months with a 5,000-yuan fine by the Qingzhou City Court on August 12, on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization.”

Four Shaanxi Residents Sentenced from 5 to 9 Years for Their Faith

Mr. Zhang Peng, 35, Mr. Wang Yuchao, 26, Mr. Zang Jinda, and Mr. Ma Haipeng of Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province were arrested at their respective apartments between June and August 2019, after the police found them distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in nearby Chunhua County. Their homes were ransacked and their computers and printers confiscated.

The four practitioners were held at the Chunhua County Detention Center and later indicted by the Xianyang City Procuratorate. 

It was recently confirmed that Mr. Zhang was sentenced to 9 years in prison and the other three practitioners were given sentences ranging from 5 to 9 years.

Legal Procedure Violated

Beaten by the Police During Interrogation, Heilongjiang Woman Sentenced

Ms. Guan Yanfeng, of Hulin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on July 12, 2020, in a police sweep of Falun Gong practitioners. She was tried through a virtual hearing by the Jidong County Court on November 18. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. Her daughter acted as her second defender but wasn’t allowed to attend the hearing except during the portion when it was time to present her defense argument. Ms. Guan’s sister-in-law was the only one in her family allowed to attend the hearing.

The prosecutor accused Ms. Guan of “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement.” Both Ms. Guan and her lawyer refuted the charge, stating that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong or labeled it as a cult. The judge insisted that they have legal basis for this argument, but was unable to provide any supporting evidence.

Regarding the Falun Gong informational materials listed as “prosecution evidence” against her, Ms. Guan said, “I wasn’t home when the police searched it. Some of the items weren’t mine. I didn’t sign the list of confiscated items either.”

The judge claimed that Ms. Guan’s husband signed the list for her, but her lawyer argued that her husband has suffered a brain injury and lacks basic cognitive ability, so his signature shouldn’t be considered as a valid piece of evidence.

Ms. Guan also pointed out that a Domestic Security Division officer surnamed Niu beat her in an attempt to extract a confession. The judge denied that there was an officer surnamed Niu. But when they played the video of the police interrogating Ms. Guan, it’s shown that officer Niu savagely beat Ms. Guan twice. Ms. Guan’s lawyer argued that this invalidated any confession that Ms. Guan was forced to make, as it was extracted through violence.

During the hearing, police patrolled outside the courthouse and attempted to arrest local Falun Gong practitioners who came to show their support for Ms. Guan.

The judge held another hearing for Ms. Guan on December 21, 2020, before sentencing her to two years with a 50,000-yuan fine.

Hebei Man Secretly Sentenced to 3.5 Years

Mr. Huang Xingmin was arrested on August 4, 2020, at home. As he lives alone in Langfang City, Hebei Province, the police never informed his family of his arrest. Mr. Huang later managed to call a friend, who then informed his father and sister of his arrest.

Mr. Huang’s sister hired a lawyer, who charged 40,000 yuan for legal fees and another 60,000 yuan to “bribe the judge” (in the lawyer’s words). 

With Mr. Huang’s family still in the dark regarding his hearing, he was sentenced to 3.5 years through a virtual conference and has been taken to the Jidong Prison. His family still doesn’t know which court sentenced him and the name of the judge who handed down the sentence. Their lawyer wouldn’t reveal the information to them either.

Sichuan Woman Secretly Sentenced

Ms. Shuai Huilan, a Leshan City, Sichuan Province resident in her 60s, was arrested on January 18, 2021, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. 

Her family was recently notified by the Jiajiang Court to pay a fine on her behalf. When they went to the court to inquire about her case, they learned that Ms. Shuai was sentenced to 3.5 years and fined 2,000 yuan. The court staff had already withdrawn 600 yuan from her account at the detention center to pay part of the fine.

The court claimed that they had given Ms. Shuai’s verdict to the police station responsible for her arrest. When her family called the police, no one ever answered the call. The police also refused to return the motorcycle confiscated from Ms. Shuai during her arrest.

Once Incarcerated 6.5 Years, Zhejiang Man Sentenced Again for Not Renouncing His Faith

Mr. Zhu Zuoliang, a Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province resident, was secretly sentenced to prison after he was arrested for not renouncing Falun Gong.

Mr. Zhu, 52, was approached by Cao Linwei of the local residential committee on April 19, 2021, who ordered him to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Zhu refused to comply and tried to explain to Cao that he didn’t do anything wrong in practicing his faith. Cao threatened to take him to the local brainwashing center or prison if he insisted on practicing Falun Gong.

Four officers from the Dongguan Police Station found Mr. Zhu the next day and again ordered him to sign the statement. He refused and was arrested shortly after. His home was also ransacked.

Mr. Zhu was tried by a local court on July 20, 2021, and sentenced to 4 or 5 years. The exact prison term remains to be investigated. He is now detained at the Jinhua Detention Center and denied family visits.

Mr. Zhu began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. For upholding his faith after the persecution started, he has been arrested numerous times and incarcerated for a total of 6.5 years.

Liaoning Woman Sentenced to Prison Without Her Knowledge

Ms. Zhang Guijun, a 72-year-old Benxi City, Liaoning Province resident, was suddenly notified by a police officer on August 6, 2021, that the Nanfen District Court had sentenced her to prison and given her ten days to appeal the verdict. It’s not clear how long the prison sentence is and whether Ms. Zhang has filed an appeal.

Ms. Zhang was previously arrested in July 2017 for talking to people about Falun Gong on the street. Wang Chenggang, the head of the local Domestic Security Office, deceived her into believing that his sister was sick and interested in learning Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang agreed to come back the next day to teach his sister the Falun Gong exercises, only to be arrested and taken to the hospital for a physical examination. As she was found to have several health issues, the police had to take her home.

A month later, on August 30, Ms. Zhang was arrested again on the street and taken directly to the Hengren County Court, where the judge sentenced her to three years. As she failed the required medical examination for prison admission, she was released on medical parole.

Zhu Fuchen, the judge that sentenced Ms. Zhang, and several police officers stopped Ms. Zhang on the street at around 7 a.m. on September 26, 2019, and took her to the hospital for a physical examination. Ms. Zhang protested and said that she didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Gong. The police replied that it was an order from above and they had no choice but to follow it.

At the hospital, Ms. Zhang went through a CT, electrocardiogram, blood pressure test and examination of her eyes and calves. As she was found to have high blood pressure, the judge ordered the police to take her to another hospital to go through the exact same examination again.

After the examination, Ms. Zhang was taken to the Hengren County Police Station and ordered to sign a form. She refused and was released at 5 p.m.

Ms. Zhang’s family suspects that her brief detention in 2019 and her latest prison term might be related to her sentencing in 2017 and that the authorities might be attempting to force her to serve her term despite her health.

Related reports:

69 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in July 2021

667 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in First Half of 2021

96 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in May 2021

90 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith Reported in April 2021

100 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith Reported in March 2021

120 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in February 2021

186 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith Reported in January 2021

Chinese version available

Category: Overview of persecution