(Minghui.org) The Chaoyang City Intermediate Court in Liaoning Province ruled on January 22, 2024 to uphold the prison sentences of a married couple for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Han Ximin and his wife, Ms. Du Qingxiu, were arrested at their home in Lingyuan City (which is under the administration of Chaoyang City) on May 12, 2023. The Shuangta District Court in Chaoyang City held two hearings of their case on August 28 and October 30, 2023, before announcing their verdicts on November 7.

Mr. Han, a 61-year-old former employee of the Lingyuan Steel Company, was sentenced to 1.5 years and fined 3,000 yuan. Ms. Du, a 60-year-old former teacher at the Lingyuan City No. 2 Middle School, was given 3.5 years and fined 10,000 yuan. The couple filed appeals with the Chaoyang City Intermediate Court, which declined to accept their defense statements and rejected their appeals on January 22, 2024 without holding a hearing.

The couple are likely still held at the Chaoyang City Detention Center, at the time of this report. Their latest persecution was preceded by multiple arrests in the past. Mr. Han was given three forced labor terms, in 2000, 2001, and 2007. Ms. Du was given forced labor terms in 2000 and 2007 and a six-year prison term in 2012.

While Ms. Du was held in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, she was tortured for not renouncing Falun Gong, including being beaten, shocked with electric batons, deprived of sleep, not allowed to drink water, and denied restroom use. The inmates also stripped off her clothes and beat her. The most appalling torture was to insert a broomstick into her vagina.

Because of the persecution, both Ms. Du and her husband lost their jobs and were destitute. Mr. Han even begged for leftover food from restaurants.

Related Reports:

Repeatedly Incarcerated, Husband and Wife Sentenced Again for Practicing Falun Gong

Married Couple Face Court Hearing for Practicing Falun Gong