(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Junhua received a ruling on her appeal case in the mail on January 3, 2024. The Nanchong City Intermediate Court in Sichuan Province wrote that it had decided to uphold a two-year prison sentence against her because she had been “stubborn” and refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Falun Gong is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. Ms. Liu, an 80-year-old retired physician from the hospital affiliated with Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong City, was convicted in March 2023 for distributing flash drives containing Falun Gong information on a bus. 

Ms. Liu is still held at the Nanchong City Detention Center at the time of writing. Her husband visited her after the appeal ruling and they decided to file a motion to challenge the higher court’s decision.

Appeal Hearing

During her appeal hearing on November 14, 2023, Ms. Liu requested that her guilty verdict be overturned as there is no legal basis for the persecution of Falun Gong in the first place. 

Judge Yin Lin replied that he could throw out the prison sentence only if she wrote statements to renounce Falun Gong. Ms. Liu refuted him saying, “Falun Gong teaches its students to live by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. The Chinese Communist Party advocates falsehood, evilness, and class struggle. It’s utterly sad that you want me to stop being a good person. But I will never betray my belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” 

Ms. Liu’s lawyer also requested that her verdict be overturned. 

Her husband, Mr. Luo Xuguang, a retired professor at Southwest Petroleum University, served as her non-lawyer family defender. He explained how Falun Gong freed Ms. Liu from the suffering of high blood pressure, premature ventricular contractions (extra heartbeats that disrupt the heart rhythm), gastroptosis (stomach displaced downward), and many other diseases. He said that he was amazed by Falun Gong’s miraculous healing power, especially given that his wife, a physician by training, had been unable to recover through medical treatments. 

Mr. Luo added that he suffered from high blood pressure, cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disk, lacunar cerebral infarction, and other severe illnesses. He underwent surgery in 2019 and his wife has since been his sole caregiver. He remains paralyzed on one side of his body and is unable to take care of himself. He worried about who was going to take care of him if his wife got thrown into jail simply for practicing her spiritual belief.

Mr. Luo does not practice Falun Gong himself, but he has seen firsthand how Falun Gong has turned its students, including his wife, into much better people. He said that the conviction of his wife was a total injustice and he thus requested that she be cleared of her alleged “crime.”

Judge Jin ruled to uphold Ms. Liu’s original verdict at an unknown date and she received the ruling on January 3, 2024.

Ongoing Harassment Preceding Trial

Ms. Liu’s prison sentence stemmed from a raid on her home on March 11, 2021 by officers from the Shunqing District Domestic Security Office. They said someone had reported her days earlier for distributing flash drives containing Falun Gong information on a bus. 

Two police officers and the security director of Southwest Petroleum University showed up at Ms. Liu’s home on April 23, 2021, and ordered her to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. She refused to comply and they left.

The officers returned to harass Ms. Liu again on May 21, 2021. She wasn’t home. Her husband Mr. Luo condemned them for the harassment.

Shortly after the officers left, they saw Ms. Liu walking down the street. They approached her in a police car, took her photo, and asked her where her daughter worked. (It’s not clear if her daughter practices Falun Gong or why the police targeted their daughter.)

The police called Mr. Luo on June 30, 2021, and asked him if their daughter was home (they shared the residence with their daughter). He replied that she had gone to work.

Zhang Xiaolan, a professor at Southwest Petroleum University who has engaged in brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners, called Mr. Luo on July 21 and 22, 2021, demanding to talk to his daughter. Mr. Luo told Zhang that, even if she (Zhang) came, he wouldn’t open the door for her.

On July 23, 2021, the police installed a surveillance camera facing the front door of Ms. Liu’s apartment. Mr. Luo took a photo of the camera and removed it that same day. He filed a complaint with the Shunqing District Court against the police for infringing upon their privacy.

In retaliation, the police submitted Ms. Liu’s case to the Shunqing District Procuratorate on September 23, 2021. The procuratorate indicted her and moved her case to the Shunqing District Court on January 25, 2022. The Shunqing District Court put her on bail on February 9 that year. 

Officers from the Shunqing District Domestic Security Office raided Ms. Liu’s home on June 10 and July 14, 2022. During the June raid, the police also forcibly collected her blood sample and fingerprints.

Taken Back into Custody After Being Sentenced to Two Years 

The Shunqing District Court held a virtual hearing of Ms. Liu’s case on April 19, 2022. Less than two months later, on June 10, the police and the university’s security officers harassed her and deceived her husband into opening the door by claiming they were going to give them COVID-19 vaccine shots. They confiscated Ms. Liu’s hand-copied Falun Gong book and took her to the local police station. She was released hours later.

The court held a second hearing on February 15, 2023, and sentenced her to two years with a 3,000-yuan fine on March 17. She was taken to the Nanchong City Detention Center right after her sentencing. 

Related Reports:

80-year-old Retired Doctor Taken into Custody to Serve a Two-year Term

Retired Doctor, 80, Awaits Result after Protesting a Two-year Sentence for Her Faith