(Minghui.org) Two residents of Chishui City, Guizhou Province were sentenced to prison in late December 2023 for their shared faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Ms. Liu Junmao and Mr. Wang Zexuan were arrested on August 9, 2023 after being reported for talking to fellow guests about Falun Gong at a banquet. They were taken to the Chishui City Police Station before being transferred to the Zunyi City First Detention Center and the Zunyi Third Detention Center, respectively, at an unknown date. 

The Zunyi City Court convicted both of them in late December 2023, sentencing Ms. Liu to three and a half years, and Mr. Wang three years and three months. Both are appealing their verdicts.

This is not the first time that Ms. Liu and Mr. Wang have been jailed for their faith. Both were arrested multiple times in the past two-plus decades.

Ms. Liu Previously Twice Sentenced to a Total of 13 Years

Ms. Liu was sentenced to three years by the same Chishui City Court in 2001. Her husband divorced her in March 2003 while she was still serving time. After she was released, she lost her teaching job at the Chishui City Fourth Elementary School. She landed a job at a kindergarten in Xishui County, but the Chishui police tracked her down and arrested her there. She was taken back to Chishui and detained at an unknown location.

Ms. Liu later did odd jobs at a port in 2006 but still faced constant harassment from the Chishui police. She was eventually forced to live away from home, only to be arrested again in April 2012 and sentenced to ten years. After she was released on January 12, 2021, she was devastated to learn that her parents had passed away one year apart between 2017 and 2018, and that her only daughter had become too scared of the persecution to acknowledge her.

Mr. Wang Previously Incarcerated 7.5 Years

Mr. Wang is a native of Hejiang County, Sichuan Province. He was a substitute teacher and also had his own photography studio and restaurant. After he took up Falun Gong in 1997, he quit smoking, drinking, and gambling. 

Two months after the persecution started in July 1999, he was arrested and detained for over ten days. He was arrested again in early May 2000 and detained for an unknown amount of time. For the next two decades, he faced frequent harassment and arrests. He served two labor camp terms and a prison term totaling 7.5 years.

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