(Minghui.org) Targeted in a police sweep, a retired military doctor in Changsha City, Hunan Province was recently sentenced to a two-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong. She was released in late October 2022. Her pension was also suspended.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhu Cuihua, who previously worked at the Hunan Armed Police Corps Hospital, was arrested on October 28, 2020, and her home was ransacked. She was held at the Changsha City No. 4 Detention Center.
Ms. Zhu was one of more than twenty Falun Gong practitioners in Changsha arrested on October 27 and 28. The police attempted to get information about them through their families during the home raids. While most of their families said they didn’t know, the police included that in their testimonies and later forbade them from attending the practitioners’ hearings, with the excuse that their families were prosecution witnesses to the case.
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 practitioners’ families and lawyers were denied visiting them. When some families filed complaints against the police, the officers threatened to arrest them.
Seven of the arrested practitioners have been convicted as of the time of writing. 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. Another couple, Mr. Chen Yang and Ms. Cao Zhimin, stood trial on December 21, 2021 and are still awaiting verdicts.
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