(Minghui.org) A 67-year-old retiree in Rizhao City, Shandong Province, was sentenced to an eight-year prison term in November 2023 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Ms. Zhang Shanjuan took up Falun Gong in June 1998 and gradually recovered from her joint pain and neck problems. She also became a kinder and more considerate person. After the persecution began a year later, she held firm to her faith and used various opportunities to tell people that Falun Gong was nothing like what’s depicted in the communist regime’s hate propaganda.

She was arrested in May 2021 while distributing Falun Gong informational materials. The arresting officers from the Huanghai Road Police Station took her to a local detention center that night, where she was denied admission after being found to have abnormal heart rhythm and a systolic blood pressure reading of 220 mm Hg (when a normal range is no more than 120). She was then released on bail.

Ms. Zhang’s case was later assigned to Wulian County, which is under the administration of Rizhao City. In the next few years, the Huanghai Road Police Station, the Wulian County Procuratorate, and the Wulian County Court kept harassing her, and threatened to sentence her to eight years. They attempted many times to take her back into custody but she always failed the required physical examinations.

The Wulian County Court eventually sentenced Ms. Zhang to an eight year term in November 2023. She was immediately admitted to a prison. It is unclear when she was indicted or tried. Her family was also not told which prison she is being jailed in.