(Minghui.org) Mr. Yang Xiaoguang, 70, from Mishan City, Heilongjiang Province was sentenced to three and a half years and fined 10,000 yuan on June 26, 2023 for practicing his faith, Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
Mr. Yang Xiaoguang talked to a student about Falun Gong outside the Yifu Elementary School at 8 a.m. on March 3, 2023 and was reported to police by that student. Just after 9 p.m. that day, a group of agents from the Mishan City Domestic Security Office and the Limin Police Station broke into Mr. Yang’s home and arrested him. An officer took out his gun and threatened Mr. Yang. They photographed his home and confiscated his Falun Gong books and related materials.
Mr. Yang was given criminal detention and taken to the Mishan City Detention Center. His arrest came not long after he was discharged from the hospital for a stomach bleeding problem. He was still weak and needed to wear warm clothes. The detention center refused to accept the clothing his family brought for him.
The guards instead repeatedly demanded money from his family, who ended up paying more than 800 yuan in just a few days. The guards asked the family to deposit the money into their WeChat (a social media platform with payment functions) accounts, but they did not issue a receipt.
The Mishan City Procuratorate approved Mr. Yang’s arrest on March 17 and later indicted him. The Mishan City Court next appointed a lawyer to represent him. Because the lawyer was instructed to enter a guilty plea for him, Mr. Yang refused to use him.
Mr. Yang’s family visited two law firms to try to hire a lawyer to defend his innocence. Both refused to represent him when they learned it was a Falun Gong case.
Mr. Yang appeared in court on June 19. Prosecutor Zhu Hong recommended a 3.5-year term with a 10,000-yuan fine. Presiding judge Ling Zuobin and his assistant judges Li Jiying and Ge Xiaoqing concurred and verbally announced at the end of the hearing that Mr. Yang was sentenced to 3.5 years. The court issued a formal written verdict on June 26.
Mr. Yang’s latest sentencing was preceded by a two-year forced labor term and a 14-year prison term. He was brutally tortured during his the 16 years he was incarcerated. For details of his past suffering, please read the related report.
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