(Minghui.org) Ms. Dong Xiurong, a Daxing District, Beijing resident, lost her appeal of a four-year sentence for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Ms. Dong was arrested in July 2022 during a police sweep and has since remained at the Daxing District Detention Center. She was sentenced to four years and fined 4,000 yuan at an unknown date. Her family was not notified of her court hearing. The Beijing Intermediate Court rejected her appeal at an unknown date.

Ms. Dong’s loved ones were also not allowed to visit her until around January 2024. They noticed that she was in poor health and are contemplating applying for medical parole for her.

Trial Court Lies About Prison Terms and Deceives Families Into Dropping Appeals Lawyers

Ms. Dong and at least 30 other local practitioners were arrested in July 2022, four months before the 20th Party Congress was held on October 16-22. Most of the practitioners had their homes ransacked. Many more were harassed and ordered to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong.

Ms. Dong and three other arrested practitioners, including Ms. Liu Yuhong, Ms. Liu Xing, and Ms. Jin Shuying, had their arrests approved around September 2, 2022. The Daxing District Court notified their families around April 2023 that they were sentenced to prison: Ms. Liu Yuhong was sentenced to two years, Ms. Liu Xing was sentenced to one year and nine months, Ms. Dong was sentenced to one year and four months, and Ms. Jin was sentenced to one year.

The practitioners’ families hired appeals lawyers for them, but the court deceived them into dropping the lawyers, by claiming the practitioners would be released soon given their “light” sentences. The families thus dismissed the lawyers.

Ms. Jin’s family realized something was wrong in July 2023 when she was not released as scheduled. They later found out around December 2023 that the court lied about the prison terms given to her and the other three practitioners. Ms. Jin, Ms. Liu Yuhong, and Ms. Liu Xing were all given four and a half years and fined 5,000 yuan, while Ms. Dong was sentenced to four years and fined 4,000 yuan.

Related Reports:

Update on the Prison Sentences of Four Falun Gong Practitioners in Beijing

Targeted in a Police Sweep, Five Beijing Residents Convicted for Practicing Falun Gong