(Minghui.org) A 79-year-old woman who had been out on bail was taken back into custody on October 17, 2023, hours after she was sentenced to one and a half years for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

The sentencing of Ms. Tong Shurong, of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, stemmed from an incident on October 17, 2021, when she went to the Yingchengzi Neighborhood in Ganjingzi District, Dalian City that day to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong. After she spoke to a few middle-schoolers, the students reported her to the police. Officers of the Yingchengzi Police Station harassed her at home several times before giving her six months of house arrest. [In China, the police, the procuratorate, and the court can put people under house arrest.]

In May 2022, officers Hu Yanqing, Xu Ning, and Liu from the Yingchengzi Police Station went to Ms. Tong’s home and said that she had just been given a second six-month house arrest and that they had submitted her case to the Ganjingzi District Procuratorate.

Prosecutor Liu Shuang gave Ms. Tong a third six-month house arrest on October 17, 2022. Liu and prosecutor Zhang Fuli then indicted Ms. Tong and submitted her case to the Ganjingzi District Court.

Two officers from the Yingchengzi Police Station went to Ms. Tong’s home at around 12:30 p.m. on May 15, 2023, and drove her to the Ganjingzi District Court. The police didn’t tell her what place it was and she thought she was at the Ganjingzi District Procuratorate. 

She asked a staffer there to pass her letter to prosecutor Liu. The staffer said there were no prosecutors in the court. Only then did Ms. Tong realize she had been taken to the courthouse. She asked to leave but was ordered to wait for someone from the Yingchengzi Police Station to pick her up (the two officers who drove her there left after dropping her off). 

At 6:30 p.m., four police officers arrived and took Ms. Tong to Yisen Hospital for a physical exam. She had high blood pressure, but the police still drove her to a local detention center per judge Duan Li’s order to hold her in a detention center to await trial. Ms. Tong was denied admission and the police finally drove her home at 9 p.m. They gave her a copy of her indictment before they left.

Ms. Tong noted that the indictment contained fabricated allegations against her, so she wrote to the procuratorate and the court to refute the allegations and request that her case be dismissed. She also wrote to relevant government agencies asking them to uphold justice for her. She didn’t hear anything back. 

Ms. Tong stood trial in the Ganjingzi District Court on August 9, 2023. Prosecutors Liu and Zhang presented fabricated evidence against her, but neither she nor her non-lawyer defender was allowed to refute the allegations. Judge Duan also interrupted the defender many times and threatened to remove him from the courtroom.

Ms. Tong and her defender protested against judge Duan’s violation of legal procedures. The latter announced to adjourn the session and left. Several armed officers then came in and ordered Ms. Tong and her defender to sign some paperwork without allowing them to read what was on it. They refused to comply with the demand.

Judge Duan gave Ms. Tong one-year bail on September 8, 2023.

Two bailiffs (one surnamed Wu) from the Ganjingzi District Court, and three officers from the Yingchengzi Police Station went to Ms. Tong’s home on October 17, 2023. They announced that she had been sentenced to 1.5 years and fined 10,000 yuan. After that, they took her to a hospital for a physical examination. She was found to have high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia (high fats in the blood), but was still taken to the Yaojia Detention Center right after the health exam.

Related report:

79-Year-Old Woman to Face Trial for Her Faith in Falun Gong