(Minghui.org) It was recently confirmed that three residents of Heyuan City, Guangdong Province, have been sentenced to prison for their shared faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Ms. Li Youbin, around 50, was sentenced to eight years by the Dongyuan County Court. Ms. Qiu Denong, 73, was sentenced to three and a half years by the same court. They were both transferred from the Dongyuan County Detention Center to the Guangdong Province Women’s Prison after their wrongful conviction.

Mr. Chen Ruyong, 51, was sentenced to three years. His family does not know which court sentenced him or when. He spent about a year at various detention facilities before being admitted to Sihui Prison at an unknown date.

The practitioners’ families were never notified of their indictments, trials, sentences, or transfers to prison.


The practitioners’ sentences stemmed from a police operation that took place around October 1, 2022 (China’s National Day, a politically sensitive date). Officers Zhai Jianhua and He Beicheng of the Yuancheng District Domestic Security Office in Heyuan City and other agents raided the homes of 24 local Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Chen, Ms. Qiu, and Ms. Li, over the course of several weeks.

Ms. Li was arrested first, in September 2022, while distributing Falun Gong informational materials. More than ten agents from the Dongyuan County Police Department, the Chuantang Police Station, and the local street committee raided her home shortly afterwards. The same group also raided Ms. Qiu’s home days later and confiscated her printer, Falun Gong books, and informational materials. The police took Ms. Li to the Dongyuan County Detention Center but not Ms. Qiu. They did, however, closely monitor Ms. Qiu in the months that followed.

Mr. Chen had his home raided on October 4, 2022. The police confiscated his computer, printer, and other valuables before taking him to the Dongyuan County Detention Center. He was later moved to the Heyuan City Detention Center and then to the Zijin County Detention Center.

Ms. Qiu was arrested on March 20, 2023, after a surveillance camera recorded her visiting someone (not sure if the person was a Falun Gong practitioner) that day. She was taken to the Dongyuan County Detention Center and sentenced to 3.5 years months later.

Past Persecution of Ms. Qiu – Eight Prior Arrests, Husband Forced to Divorce Her

Ms. Qiu used to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, rheumatic headaches, rheumatic joint pain, neurosis, severe gynecological issues, and many other ailments. All her symptoms disappeared after she took up Falun Gong in the summer of 1998. She held firm to her faith after the persecution began a year later and was repeatedly targeted.

She was arrested eight times between 2001 and 2006. Her first arrest took place in 2001. She was held in the Heyuan City Detention Center for 20 days and fined more than 2,000 yuan.

Ms. Qiu was arrested again in 2002 and given one year of forced labor at the Sanshui Women’s Labor Camp. She was forced to do hard labor without pay during the day and watch programs slandering Falun Gong at night.

Between 2004 and 2006, Ms. Qiu was arrested six more times and held at local brainwashing centers. She was held in the Sanhui Brainwashing Center twice, once for three and again for five months. The other four times she was held at the Dongyuan County Brainwashing Center. During one of the brainwashing center detention episodes, because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, captain Zhang punched and kicked her, slapped her face, verbally abused her, and deprived her of sleep for several days straight.

When Ms. Qiu was not in detention, she and her family faced constant harassment from the police. They also raided her home many times. On June 3, 2006, the Chuantang Police Station drafted a divorce complaint and forced her husband to sign it. The Dengta District Court approved the divorce and delivered the ruling, signed by judge Huang Zhifang and clerk Tian Weien, to her parents, where she was staying.