(Minghui.org) Targeted in a group arrest, seven Changsha City, Hunan Province, residents have been sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Among them, Ms. Zhang Lingge was sentenced to four years on May 8, 2021, Mr. Meng Kai to three years and six months on September 17, 2021, Ms. Wen Jing to three years and three months on December 6, 2021, Ms. Xu Lihua to three years and six months on December 7, 2021, Mr. Li Zhigang to five years and three months on December 21, 2021, and both Mr. Cao Zhifang and his wife Ms. Yang Fang to three years and four months on December 24, 2021. 

Mr. Meng, a lawyer himself, appealed with the Changsha City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold his original verdict. He has been taken to the Wangling Prison on January 20, 2022. 

Ms. Xu, a former senior police commissioner, was taken to the Hunan Province Women’s Prison on January 27, 2022. 

Mr. Li also appealed the verdict. It’s not clear whether the higher court has made any ruling on his case. He has been suffering persistent high blood pressure after he was taken to the Changsha City No. 2 Detention Center on December 5, 2020. He aged very quickly, according to his family who had visited him. 

Mr. Li’s high blood pressure was induced by the abuse he suffered during a prior “resident surveillance” at a secret location, where he was forced to sit on a cold metal chair all day long and was at one time deprived of sleep for over a month. The amount of food he was given in a day at that location was less than one of his meals at the local detention center. 

All the seven practitioners were arrested on October 27 and 28, 2020 by plainclothes officers. None of the officers showed search warrants while ransacking the practitioners’ homes. 

Different from past group arrests, the prosecutor submitted the practitioners’ cases to the court separately, instead of combining them into a joint case. A person familiar with the cases revealed to some practitioners’ families that the court hearings were only a formality and some of their prison terms had already been determined by the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extrajudicial agency tasked with overseeing the persecution.

The authorities not only blocked the practitioners’ families and lawyers from visiting them, but also used threats to force their families to provide more information about them. Some practitioners’ family members were listed as witnesses to their cases without their knowledge and were barred from attending the practitioners’ court hearings, most of which were heavily guarded by armed police. 

When some practitioners’ family members filed complaints against the police, the officers threatened to arrest them.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Zhong Gang (钟钢), secretary of Changsha City Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-13973109558
Li Fan (黎璠), presiding judge of Changsha City Intermediate Court: +86-13975106228Lu Xianyu (卢先钰), head of Wangling Prison: +86-15897390588Luo Youtian (罗友田), head of Changsha Women’s Prison: +86-13975846688

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

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Former Doctoral Candidate at National University of Defense Technology Sentenced Again for His Faith

Ten Hunan Residents Detained for Nearly a Year for Their Faith

15 Hunan Residents Face Predetermined Prison Sentences for Practicing Falun Gong

Changsha, Hunan Province: 15 Face Trial, a 16th Has Been Imprisoned, All for Their Shared Faith

Hunan Police Refuse to Meet with Falun Gong Practitioners’ Lawyers

Changsha City, Hunan Province: 17 Falun Gong Practitioners and One Family Member Arrested, Two Harassed for Their Faith

Updates on Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted in Changsha City, Hunan Province Group Arrest

13 Hunan Residents Detained Incommunicado for Two Months and Counting

Changsha City, Hunan Province: Fourteen Arrested and One Harassed for Their Faith