(Minghui.org) Four Tangshan City, Hebei Province residents’ appeals against their prison terms for practicing Falun Gong were recently denied. Two of them have been taken into custody to serve time.

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

The four practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on August 12, 2020, when over 100 police officers were mobilized to terrorize, arrest, and torture more than 50 practitioners, in an attempt to force them to give up their faith. A few practitioners in nearby Tianjin, a centrally-controlled municipality, were also arrested. Mr. Dong Jianquan died on October 25, 2020 as a result of the tremendous pressure.

While most of the practitioners were released and cleared of prosecution, thirteen practitioners were indicted and later sentenced by the Luannan County Court on August 27, 2021.

Mr. Liu Weili was sentenced to ten years, Ms. Wang Huilin six and a half years, Ms. Zhang Zhilan received seven years, Ms. Tong Xiulan three years, Mr. Zuo Desheng two years and six months, Mr. Hou Jianguang one year, Mr. Wang Baozhu eleven months, both Mr. Lu Lifa and Ms. Bi Guanqin were sentenced to six-month terms, and Ms. Cui to one year with two years’ probation. The terms of Ms. Liu Jinying, Ms. Li Yuying, and Ms. Hu Yincang remain to be investigated.

Mr. Liu, Ms. Zhang, Ms. Wang and Mr. Zuo, who had all been out on bail, appealed with the Tangshan City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold their original verdicts on January 13, 2022, without holding a hearing. 

Mr. Liu and Mr. Zuo were taken to a local detention center on January 15. The police went to Ms. Wang’s home on January 14, but she wasn’t home when they arrived. It’s not clear whether she has been taken into custody at the time of writing. Ms. Zhang’s detention status also remains to be investigated.

Related reports:

Targeted in a Group Arrest, Six Hebei Residents Sentenced to Up to 10 Years in Prison

Man in His 70s Appeals Ten-year Sentence for Practicing Falun Gong

Bedridden Woman Sentenced to 6.5 Years

Tangshan City, Hebei Province: 20+ Residents from the Same District Arrested in One Day, One Dies Two Months Later