(Minghui.org) Three members of an extended family in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, were sentenced to prison on August 9, 2022, for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Zeng Xingyang, 49, was sentenced to five years with a 10,000-yuan fine. His wife, Ms. Deng Fang, 45, was given three and a half years and fined 6,000 yuan. His younger sister, Ms. Zeng Yueling, 43, was sentenced to three years and fined 6,000 yuan.
The couple’s sentencing has devasted their family. Their younger son is only five, a kindergartner, and their older son is going to college this year. When the couple was arrested in April 2021, their older son was still in high school and preparing for the college entrance exam. He managed to overcome the stress of his parents’ arrest, do well on the exam, and get admitted to his dream college.
The boys have been cared for by their paternal grandparents, in their 70s, since their parents' arrest. The elderly couple doesn’t get a pension and are having tremendous difficulties supporting themselves and their grandsons. With the fall semester fast approaching, they are also struggling to find the money to pay for their older grandson’s college tuition, as most Chinese college students don’t have access to student loans.
Meanwhile, the elderly couple’s daughter, Ms. Zeng, was widowed a few years ago when her son was only nine. Her parents-in-law don’t have any income and they are also facing a dire situation caring for her son.
Arrests and Sentencing of the Family
Mr. Zeng, a teacher, was arrested at his teaching studio on the morning of April 9, 2021. The police raided Mr. Zeng’s home that afternoon and arrested his wife. His younger sister, Ms. Zeng, who happened to be visiting them, was also arrested after the police found Falun Gong pamphlets in her bag.
While ransacking Mr. Zeng’s home, the police kept his then 4-year-old son and 74-year-old father from entering the apartment building. Mr. Zeng’s parents had been visiting him from their hometown in Meizhou, Guangdong Province, because his mother was seeking medical care in Guangzhou for her heart problem.
Lai Ganwen of the Shipai Police Station frequently harassed Mr. Zeng’s parents, who decided to stay longer to help take care of their two grandsons following the arrests. Lai threatened the elderly couple that if they didn’t cooperate with the interrogation, he would arrest them, too. Mr. Zeng’s mother’s condition worsened as a result of the stress and she landed in the hospital several times during that period.
The family later learned that the police had arrested Mr. Zeng after suspecting him of making calendars with information about Falun Gong. They followed him for a year before making the arrest. The calendar stand and hanging rod confiscated from him were used as prosecution evidence.
The Tianhe District Procuratorate approved the arrests of Mr. Zeng, Ms. Deng, and Ms. Zeng on May 17, 2021. Their case was transferred to the Haizhu District Procuratorate on August 2, and they were indicted in late August.
The Haizhu District Court held a virtual hearing on October 21, 2021. Their lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them and the three practitioners maintained that they didn’t violate any law in practicing Falun Gong. Judge Wang Jie announced their verdicts on August 9, 2022.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Lai Ganwen (赖淦文), officer, Shipai Police Station: +86-20-38734826Chen Cheng (陈程), prosecutor, Haizhu District Procuratorate: +86-20-89016783, +86-18617352881Wang Jie (王洁), presiding judge, Haizhu District Court: +86-18126766736
(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)
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