(Minghui.org) Two women in Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province, were sentenced on December 22, 2021, for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

The Hongxinglong Court summoned Ms. Yang Wenshu and Ms. Liu Guiqing, both in their 80s, on December 20. When they refused to appear due to their health, court officials showed up at their homes two days later to announce the verdicts.

Ms. Yang, 83, and Ms. Liu, 80, were each sentenced to one year and fined. Ms. Yang was originally given six months, but because she refused to plead guilty and urged the court employees not to participate in the persecution, they extended her term to one year.

The women were reported by the parents of a student for talking to the student about Falun Gong on October 14, 2020. The police located the practitioners via surveillance cameras and followed them for the next two days.

Ms. Yang and Ms. Liu were arrested on October 16 as they were distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in a residential area. The police ransacked their homes and confiscated their Falun Gong books, photos of Falun Gong’s founder, computers, printers, copy paper, and banknotes with information about Falun Gong printed on them. Due to strict information censorship in China, many practitioners use creative ways to raise awareness about the persecution, including printing short messages on banknotes.

Both women were released at 9 p.m. on the day of their arrests. They were forced to wear GPS tracking bracelets and prohibited from leaving a police-designated area. Ms. Liu started to have difficulty walking. The police stayed outside of the two women’s apartments to monitor them. As the two women were neighbors, they were accused of having a gathering every time they visited each other. The police, who then submitted their case to the procuratorate, harassed the women several times, asked them questions, and took their photos.

Related report:

Two Women in Their 80s Face Prison Time for Talking to People about Their Faith