(Minghui.org) A 56-year-old woman in Gaozhou City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to six years with a 20,000-yuan fine on September 22, 2023, for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Wu Youqing was arrested on September 26, 2022, and indicted on November 25 that year. Presiding judge Tan Wei of the Maonan District Court ruled on January 30, 2023, to put her case on hold due to an unforeseen situation, but he took up her case a few months later. He held a hearing in the Maoming City First Detention Center on June 29, 2023. Prosecutor Dai Jianlan, judges Ke Xuejun and Pan Chuanghua, and clerk Tu Yuan were also present at the trial.
Ms. Wu’s two lawyers entered a not-guilty plea for her and she also demanded an acquittal. She was pronounced guilty three months later.
For details of Ms. Wu’s arrest and detention, see the first two related reports listed at the end of this article.
7-year Prior Incarceration and Family Broken
Ms. Wu’s latest sentencing was preceded by multiple prior arrests for upholding her faith. She was given three years of forced labor (2005-2008) and four years in prison (2013-2017). She was brutally tortured during her incarceration. A prison guard once forced her to strip naked to humiliate her.
She survived years of abuse in detention and returned home, only to face constant harassment from the local authorities as they attempted to force her to renounce her faith.
Before the persecution began, Ms. Wu’s husband was very supportive of her practice of Falun Gong and theirs was a happy family. But Ms. Wu’s repeated arrests after the persecution began proved to be too much for her husband to bear both mentally and financially (she was fired from her job at a Rural Credit Cooperative while she was held in a labor camp). He lashed out at her and often beat her savagely. He eventually filed for divorce while she was in prison.
By the time she was released from prison, her ex-husband had remarried but she did not resent him or his family. She still visited her ex-parents-in-law with her son on a regular basis.
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