(Minghui.org) Mr. Jia Fengzhong, a 59-year-old resident in Zunhua City, Hebei Province, was released on November 15, 2022 after serving 13 months for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Jia took up Falun Gong in June 1999. He credits the practice for curing many of his ailments, including a severe stomach condition and pleurisy. For upholding his faith, he has been arrested several times and given a labor camp term prior to his latest sentencing.

More than ten police officers and the village secretary showed up at Mr. Jia’s home on October 15, 2021. Only one officer showed his police ID before they started to ransack his home.

Three rolls of new silk fabric, Falun Gong books, many Falun Gong keepsakes and a speaker were confiscated. Although the silk fabric had nothing to do with Falun Gong and the police had promised to return it, they haven’t done so at the time of writing. The speaker wasn’t included on the confiscation list. The Falun Gong themed decoration or painting on the wall or door were either torn down or scratched.

According to Mr. Jia’s family, the police wrote a different date of arrest in his case document and later changed it to October 15. 

Mr. Jia was taken to the Xingwangzhai Detention Center on October 16 to serve a three-day detention, which was later extended to November 15.

Also on November 15, the police submitted Mr. Jia’s case to the Zunhua City Procuratorate with the charge of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong. The prosecutor approved his arrest on November 22, 2021.

When the Zunhua City Court held the first hearing of Mr. Jia’s case on March 11, 2022, his lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him. The lawyer argued that the police created a case against Mr. Jia first, before they found the so-called evidence (Falun Gong materials) at his home. It’s obvious that they had schemed against him. 

On the other hand, just because Mr. Jia had Falun Gong materials at home didn’t mean he distributed them. In addition, the prosecutor failed to provide evidence of how the materials undermined law enforcement or caused any other damage. 

Shortly after, the prosecutor modified the indictment and mainly charged Mr. Jia with promoting Falun Gong by having the couplet bearing Falun Gong messages on his front door. The judge held two more hearings, on June 16 and August 2, respectively, before sentencing him to 13 months with a 2,000-yuan fine on August 8. 

During all three hearings, the judge didn’t allow Mr. Jia’s family to attend the sessions in person, citing the excuse of pandemic prevention. They were allowed to watch the live stream of the hearings in a room next to the courtroom.

Related reports:

Two Hebei Residents Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith in Falun Gong

Zunhua City, Hebei Province: Several Residents Arrested for Their Faith, Family Members Implicated