(Minghui.org) Two Pingxiang City, Jiangxi Province, residents were sentenced to prison on November 16, 2023 for raising awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of their shared faith, Falun Gong, a mind-body practice which is based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Ms. Xiao Fangmei, 74, was given 11 months, and Ms. Xiao Qiuwen, 68, received 10 months. It is unclear whether the women are related. They were also fined 1,000 yuan and allowed to serve time outside of prison.

The women’s sentences stemmed fro their arrests on the morning of February 27, 2023. They were talking to people about Falun Gong at a fair in Shangli County, Pingxiang City, when they were seized by officers from the Anyuan Police Department. They were first taken to the Dongda Street Police Station for interrogation before being driven to the Houbu Street Police Station. Just past 2 p.m. the next afternoon, the police took them to the Pingxiang City Detention Center. They were both denied admission after failing the required physical examination. The police released them after 8 that night.

The Luxi County Court in Pingxiang City heard the joint case against the two practitioners on November 16, 2023 and convicted both of them at the end of the hearing.

Past Persecution

This is not the first time that the two practitioners have been targeted for their faith. Ms. Xiao Qiuwen was arrested on March 4, 2008 and taken to a local detention center the next day. She was sentenced to one year on March 25, 2008 but allowed to serve time outside of prison.

Both women were arrested together on May 2, 2014, after being reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials in Nankeng Town, Pingxiang City. They were held at the Nankeng Town Police Station overnight. The next morning, they police ordered them to sign interrogation records and give blood samples. They refused to comply and the police called in four more officers. The officers beat the women and grabbed their hands to sign the interrogation records and give blood samples. That afternoon, the police took the women to a hospital for physical examinations before driving them to a local detention center that night. They failed the required physical examination at the detention center and were released on bail.

The two women went to a residential complex together to distribute calendars which had information about Falun Gong on the morning of December 17, 2019, when they were reported to the Economic Development Zone Police Department. The police pored over surveillance videos and arrested them that afternoon. They were taken to the Pingxiang City Detention Center that night.

The Luxi County Court sentenced Ms. Xiao Fangmei to eight months and Ms. Xiao Qiuwen to nine months on July 1, 2020. They were each fined 1,000 yuan but were allowed to serve time outside of prison.

Related Report:

Fourteen Practitioners Arrested in Pingxiang City, Jiangxi Province