(Minghui.org) The Suining City Intermediate Court in Sichuan Province ruled in early July 2024 to uphold the prison sentence of a local woman for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Ms. Deng Xiugui, 74, was sentenced to one year and two months and fined 3,000 yuan on March 18, 2024. The Chuanshan District Court also sentenced two other local Falun Gong practitioners on the same day. Ms. Du Yingfen, around 71, was given one year and eight months with a 5,000 yuan fine. Ms. Yang Guihua, around 68, received one year with a 2,000-yuan fine. 

All three practitioners had been out on bail before their sentencing. Ms. Yang was taken to the Yongxing Detention Center right after the sentencing hearing, and Ms. Deng and Ms. Du were each given six-month house arrest the day after their sentencing due to health reasons. Ms. Deng soon filed an appeal but was rejected months later. It is unclear whether the other two women have ever appealed their wrongful convictions.

Additional Details of Trial

Minghui.org previously reported on the three practitioners’ initial arrest in December 2022 and the indictment in May 2023. Below are newly obtained details of their joint trial.

The Chuanshan District Court held a hearing on November 15, 2023, and appointed a lawyer for each of the three practitioners. As the lawyers were instructed to enter guilty pleas for them, they declined to use the lawyers during their hearing.

The three practitioners went to the Suining City Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judicial agency tasked with overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong, on December 27, 2023, to submit a letter and request a meeting with officials there. The security guard turned them away.

Two days later, the three practitioners submitted a request to the Chuanshan District Court to exclude from their trial the evidence illegally collected by the police. At 2 that afternoon, officer Ding Kai summoned them to the Kaixuan Road Police Station. He read out aloud a court order to have them taken back into custody before body searching them. He then produced a pre-prepared interrogation record but the practitioners refused to sign.

Ding, along with a few other officers and two community workers, next took the three practitioners to the Yongxing Detention Center at around 5 p.m. that day. They failed the required physical examination and were released.

Judge Zhu held a sentencing hearing on March 18, 2024, and convicted all three practitioners. Ms. Yang was taken to the Yongxing Detention Center after the sentencing. Ms. Deng and Ms. Du were released and issued a six-month-house-arrest notice the next day.

Ms. Deng filed an appeal with the Suining City Intermediate Court shortly afterward. Officer Ding took her and Ms. Du to the Chuanshan District Court on June 26, 2024, to sign some paperwork. It was unclear what it was about but it could be related to the two women’s house arrest. Both of them left notes there saying that Falun Gong restored their health and that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. 

That afternoon Ding took Ms. Deng and Ms. Du to the Yongxing Detention Center. They were again found to have high blood pressure and unfit for detention. Ding drove them home past 4 p.m. 

The court recently threatened to have the two women go through another round of physical examination but it’s unclear how that had transpired.

Ms. Deng heard back from the intermediate court in early July 2024 that her appeal was rejected. 

Related Reports:

Three Elderly Sichuan Women Sentenced to Prison for Practicing Falun Gong

Three Sichuan Women Indicted for Practicing Falun Gong, On Bail Awaiting Trial

Suining City, Sichuan Province: Four Elderly Women Arrested in One Day for Practicing Falun Gong