Reported in May 2022: 42 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith

( Forty-two cases of Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith were reported in May 2022. Two were sentenced in 2020, seven in 2021, and 33 in 2022, including two in January, four in February, one in March, six in April, 19 in May, and one with an unknown sentencing month.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Since then, countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, sentenced, and tortured for upholding their faith. But due to strict information censorship in China, the incidents can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.

The sentenced practitioners, 26 (62%) of them women, came from nine provinces. Liaoning Province registered the most cases (9), with six of the concerned practitioners arrested in a police sweep (the police claimed the group arrests were a “gift” for the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial celebration on July 1, 2021).

Fifteen of the practitioners were 60 and older, including three in their 80s and seven in their 70s. A 78-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman were sentenced to three and five years respectively.

Their prison terms ranged from six months to eight years, including four cases of probation. Some of them were sentenced for reading Falun Gong books in private homes, while others were targeted for talking to people about the persecution. Twenty-one practitioners were fined a total of 188,000 yuan, averaging 8,952 yuan per person.


Two of the sentenced practitioners were former police officers themselves. Others included a teacher, a nurse, a motorcycle taxi driver, and an IT professional.

While some elderly practitioners were allowed to serve time at home due to their advanced age, they are ordered to report to the local justice bureau on a weekly basis and have frequent video calls with the authorities to confirm that they stay at home. Some of their children were also ordered by the authorities to monitor them and prevent them from contacting other Falun Gong practitioners.

Some of the practitioners have suffered repeated persecution since 1999. The above-mentioned 78-year-old man who was sentenced to three years has already served two prison terms totaling 11.5 years. A woman who has served 15 years was sentenced again to eight years.

The sentenced practitioners included two mothers and their daughters. The mother and daughter in Liaoning Province were secretly sentenced as the authorities kept their family in the dark of their whereabouts and case status.

In another case in Shandong Province, the judge hid the practitioner’s verdict from his family in an attempt to prevent them from appealing on his behalf.

Below are snapshots of selected cases. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).


Repeatedly Targeted

Having Spent 15 Years in Prison, Sichuan Woman Secretly Sentenced to Another 8 Years

Ms. Zhu Mingrong, 48, was arrested on October 24, 2021, after being reported by a student’s parents for talking to the student about Falun Gong. The Leshan City, Sichuan Province, resident was secretly sentenced to eight years either in April or May 2022. Her family has never received any notice about her case.

Since the persecution began, Ms. Zhu has been repeatedly targeted. She has already been incarcerated for 15 years for practicing Falun Gong. She was first arrested in October 1999 when she went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was detained for 15 days and later sentenced to three years. She was given two more prison terms, both for six years, in 2003 and 2010.

After Serving 10 Years and Losing His Father, Sichuan Man Sentenced Again in the Persecution of Falun Gong

Having served a ten-year prison term and losing his father to the persecution of Falun Gong, a Jiangyou City, Sichuan Province, man was sentenced again to six years. He has appealed the verdict.

For upholding his faith in Falun Gong, Mr. Wei Bin was first sentenced to ten years in Deyang Prison in 2002. He was beaten and forced to stand under the scorching sun for long hours. While he was still serving time, his father, Mr. Wei Chaohai, was arrested in September 2009 and sentenced to seven years, also for practicing Falun Gong. The elder Mr. Wei was also taken to Deyang Prison in 2011 and tortured to death in the prison on January 1, 2013.

The younger Mr. Wei’s latest arrest took place on June 18, 2021. Earlier that day, his mother was arrested. The police snatched her backpack and house keys. One group of officers took her to a detention facility with her eyes covered, while other officers broke into her home with her keys and arrested Mr. Wei. The police ransacked the mother and son’s shared residence, confiscating his Falun Gong books, bank deposit cards, and many other valuables.

While Mr. Wei’s mother was released on bail on July 2, he remained in custody. For two weeks, the police kept him handcuffed and deprived him of sleep. Occasionally, he was allowed to sleep for two or three hours. Most of the time, the police kept interrogating him and forced him to admit that he made 3,800 automated phone calls to the general public about Falun Gong.

The Jiangyou City Court held a total of four hearings on Mr. Wei’s case. His lawyer attended the first three hearings, but not the fourth, due to the 21-day pandemic quarantine requirement. When the prosecutor presented the prosecution evidence submitted by the police during the hearing, it was two sheets of Mr. Wei’s phone call records, not the automated phone calls the police claimed. The judge sentenced him to six years with a 6,000-yuan fine on April 29, 2022.

Teacher Sentenced for Her Faith the Second Time in Less Than Three Years

Ms. Yu Meixia, 59, of Changle County, Shandong Province, was sentenced to three and a half years on April 27, following her arrest on February 4, 2022, for talking to people about Falun Gong. Ms. Yu’s latest sentencing was preceded by a previous prison term of 15 months handed down on December 20, 2019, also for talking to people about Falun Gong.

Since the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Yu, a former teacher at the Changle County Third Vocational Secondary School, has been arrested at least five times. Her school suspended her salary twice, resulting in a financial loss of at least 100,000 yuan. Her pension was suspended when she was released after serving her previous prison term in 2020.

Police Officer Sentenced to Prison

Ms. Cheng Lianlian of Baliwan Town, Hongan County, Hubei Province, was arrested on August 21, 2021, after being reported for handing out fliers about Falun Gong. She was held at the Tuanfeng Detention Centre and recently sentenced to seven years in prison. Another practitioner who was arrested with her, Ms. Zhang Guiying, was sentenced to three years.

Ms. Cheng, a 49-year-old former police officer, grew up in a wealthy family. Spoiled by her parents, she was bossy, short-tempered, deceitful, arrogant, and disrespectful to her parents. She also did not get along with others at work.

Her then-boyfriend Mr. Wang Jue practiced Falun Gong and gave her a copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong’s teaching. She finished reading the book in one sitting. Comparing her behavior with the principles in the book, she felt ashamed. She decided to change and took up the practice in March 1998.

Her character soon improved: She respected her parents, she was friendly, and she stopped lying and bullying. Her migraines disappeared. She married Mr. Wang and they had a son, Wang Xiaoxiao.

Because the couple refused to renounce Falun Gong despite the persecution, Ms. Cheng lost her job and the family had to move frequently to avoid persecution. When their 11-year-old son died in a car accident, her husband, who had already endured tremendous pressure due to the persecution, mentally collapsed and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Ms. Cheng then moved in with her parents in Baliwan Town and worked in a supermarket. Baliwan Town Police Station officers did not leave her alone—they often harassed her and then arrested her in August 2021, resulting in her latest sentencing.


Elderly Not Spared

78-year-old Woman Sentenced to Five Years

Ms. Hu Yulian, a 78-year-old Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province resident, was sentenced to five years with a 20,000-yuan fine on April 26, 2022, for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Hu, who was retired from the Daqing Oilfield, lived alone. She was harassed twice by the police around mid-November 2021. They deceived her into opening the door on November 19 by having her son knock on the door. They took Ms. Hu for a physical exam and then sent her home, saying that they would come back the next day at lunchtime.

When the police returned the next day, they said the COVID test she’d taken the day before wasn’t valid. They deceived her into going with them for another test, only to take her to the Dumeng Detention Centre. The police initially told Ms. Hu’s family that she would be detained for ten days. But they refused to release her when the 10-day detention ended and then submitted her case to the procuratorate for prosecution.

Ms. Hu was tried in the Ranghulu District Court on January 18, 2022. The judge didn’t allow her family to attend the hearing, citing the pandemic as an excuse. Ms. Hu acted as her own lawyer and entered a not guilty plea.

When the judge issued the verdict on April 26, he said that he originally intended to sentence her to seven years, but due to her advanced age, he reduced that by two years.

After 11.5 Years in Prison, 78-year-old Man Sentenced to Another Three Years

Arrested on December 10, 2021, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong, Mr. Hu Deyuan, 78, of Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province, has been sentenced to three years.

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, Mr. Hu, a former security guard with the Yingtan Railroad Bureau, has been sentenced twice for upholding his faith.

Mr. Hu was previously arrested on June 28, 2008. He appeared in the Yuehu District Court on November 11 and wasn’t allowed to read his prepared defense statement. Prosecutor Fu Yan introduced as evidence a letter Mr. Hu wrote to the police, urging them not to persecute Falun Gong, while he was detained. The judge sentenced him to eight years.

Mr. Hu was arrested again on March 9, 2017. The police accused him of putting up posters about Falun Gong.

Mr. Hu was tried in the Yuehu District Court on June 7. The court didn’t inform his family of the trial until early in the morning that day. The judge told his family that he intended to sentence him to from three and a half to seven years with a 10,000-yuan fine. If they paid the fine in time, he would pass the lower sentence.

Eager for their loved one to be released sooner, Mr. Hu’s family paid the fine, but the judge refused to provide a receipt. Mr. Hu was ultimately sentenced to three and a half years and his pension was suspended.


Sentenced for Raising Awareness about the Persecution

71-year-old Woman Given Two and a Half Years for Reading Books about Her Spiritual Belief

A 71-year-old woman in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, was sentenced to two and a half years for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Shi Meilian was arrested on May 13, 2021, while studying Falun Gong books at the home of another practitioner, Ms. Shen Yafang.

Ms. Shen, Ms. Shi, and her 12 other guests, all Falun Gong practitioners, were taken to a local brainwashing centre. Ms. Shen, in her 80s, suffered severe vaginal bleeding while in custody. She and the other 12 were later released, but Ms. Shi was held in custody and taken to the Nantong Detention Centre on June 25.

The Chongchuan District Court held a secret hearing and later sentenced Ms. Shi to two and a half years. She has been taken to the women’s prison in nearby Nanjing City.

Prior to her latest sentencing, Ms. Shi served a forced labor camp term. She was arrested again, on August 16, 2007, after the police forced her daughter to take them to her textile shop. She was held at a hotel and denied family visits.

Sichuan Woman Sentenced to Prison for Talking to People about Falun Gong

Ms. Shui Qionghua from Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was arrested on May 13, 2021, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market.

During her trial in the Shuangliu District Court on April 28, 2022, the prosecutor charged her with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organisation,” the standard pretext used against Falun Gong practitioners. He listed the Falun Gong informational materials confiscated from Ms. Shui’s car and home as evidence and recommended a three to seven-year prison sentence.

Ms. Shui’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. He argued that no law in China has ever deemed Falun Gong a crime or labeled it a cult. He added that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence to show how his client had allegedly undermined which law. In addition, the Falun Gong materials confiscated from her couldn’t show how she had harmed anyone or anything.

The prosecutor insisted that it was an indisputable “fact” that Falun Gong was a cult. Someone in the courtroom tried to insist that the prosecutor provide evidence to support the claim but the bailiff stopped him.

After a brief adjournment, the judge sentenced Ms. Shui to two years.

Jilin Woman Sentenced for Talking to a Student about the Persecution of Her Faith

Ms. Song Changping, 56, from Dehui City, Jilin Province, worked as a janitor at the Longzhu Private School. She was arrested on July 10, 2021, after being reported by principal Wang for talking to a student about Falun Gong. She was sentenced to three years in the Dehui City Court and has been transferred to the Dehui City Detention Centre.

Ms. Song’s arrest and sentencing left her family in a dire situation. Her husband works out of town. Their older son cannot work due to severe diabetes. Their younger son also doesn’t work due to depression. Ms. Song was the primary caregiver for both of her sons and her two young granddaughters.

Guangdong Man Gets Three and a Half Years for Distributing Two Pamphlets about Falun Gong

A man in Shantou City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to three and a half years in late 2021 for practicing Falun Gong; his appeal was denied months later.

Mr. Lin Zicheng, 69, put two Falun Dafa pamphlets on a car in a neighborhood in the Haojiang District on July 28, 2020. A residential committee staff member saw them and reported it to the police, resulting in Mr. Lin’s arrest hours later. His home was also ransacked.

Mr. Lin was released on bail on August 18 after developing a medical condition induced by the abuse in the Haojiang District Detention Centre. When the one-year bail expired on August 13, 2021, the police put Mr. Lin under residential surveillance.

Despite his medical condition, Mr. Lin was made to stand trial in the Jinping District Court in late 2021 and sentenced to three and a half years with a 10,000-yuan fine. He appealed to the Shantou City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold his original sentence on January 17, 2022.

Prior to his latest sentencing, Mr. Lin was given a three-year term on May 18, 2010, for talking to people about Falun Gong.

Motorcycle Taxi Driver Sentenced to One Year for Telling His Passenger about Falun Gong

Mr. Guo Zhongwei, 50, from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, has been working as a motorcycle taxi driver in recent years. He was arrested on the evening of June 17, 2021, after being reported by a passenger for talking to him about Falun Gong. His home was ransacked.

The Longhua District Procuratorate approved Mr. Guo’s arrest on July 23, 2021, and later transferred his case to the Nanshan District Procuratorate. The latter indicted him and moved his case to the Nanshan District Court. He appeared in court on January 11, 2022, and was sentenced to one year with a 2,000-yuan fine.

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Guo, a native of Hunan Province, has been targeted for his faith. He was first arrested in 2000 and detained for 15 days. He was arrested again in the summer of 2007 and sentenced to three years by the Guidong County Court in Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, on September 12, 2007.

Mother of Four Sentenced to Prison for Putting Up Posters about Her Faith

Ms. Pan Dongmei of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to a three-year prison term on December 28, 2021. The 42-year-old mother of four and Ms. Yang Shulan, then 75, were recorded by a surveillance camera putting up posters with information about Falun Gong on utility poles on May 24, 2021. The police subsequently began to follow and monitor the two women.

Ms. Pan gave Ms. Yang a ride home on June 22. As soon as they arrived at Ms. Yang’s, they were surrounded by more than ten officers and arrested. The police first ransacked Ms. Yang’s home and then Ms. Pan’s. Both women were held at the Maoming City No. 1 Detention Centre.

Ms. Pan was sentenced to three years and fined 10,000 yuan by the Maonan District Court on December 28, 2021. It is not clear whether Ms. Yang was sentenced.

Since the communist regime initiated the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Pan, a vegetable vendor, has been repeatedly targeted for upholding her faith.

Ms. Pan, then 21, was arrested on April 3, 2001, when she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. While she was held at the Chaoyang District Detention Centre, the guards tied her to a wooden board and force-fed her. They took off her socks, putting one into her vagina and the other into her anus. They also instigated inmates to tape her mouth to prevent her from screaming. She fainted as a result of the torture.

During another interrogation session on April 11, the police handcuffed Ms. Pan to another male practitioner. They took off the male practitioner’s pants and ordered her to look at him. She refused to comply. The police then ordered Ms. Pan to take off her pants to let others look at her. She strongly resisted.

The police next used a lighter to burn both Ms. Pan and the male practitioner’s chins, causing many blisters on their faces. The police then wiped off the black smoke on their faces with rough paper, which was very painful.

Ms. Pan was arrested again on May 8, 2008, after being deceived by the police into going to the police station for a talk. She was taken to a brainwashing centre and held for an unknown period of time.

On August 26, October 6, and October 7, 2020, Lyu Jianguo of the Meihua Town 610 Office, along with several police officers, harassed her and ordered her to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong. She didn’t comply.

In between the three harassment episodes, Ms. Pan was arrested on September 20, 2020, on the high-speed train. She was held at the Maoming City No. 2 Detention Centre for 10 days of administrative detention.

The 610 Office agents and police officers went to Ms. Pan’s vegetable stand on December 24, 2020, and arrested her in front of the crowd. At the Meihua Police Station, they took out the prepared statement for renouncing Falun Gong and ordered her to sign it. When she refused to, they held her hand and forced her to press her fingerprint on it. She was then let go.

Less Than One Year after Finishing His Previous Term, IT Professional Sentenced Again for Mailing Letters about His Faith

Less than a year after Mr. Mo Qibing finished serving three and a half years for practicing Falun Gong, the Yiyang City, Hunan Province, resident was sentenced again to three years and eight months for mailing letters to seek the nullification of his previous wrongful conviction.

Mr. Mo, an IT professional in his late 40s, began to practice Falun Gong on November 16, 2007, after learning about it through a software program that helped him circumvent China’s Internet censorship. Since then, he has persisted in raising awareness about the persecution, only to be targeted himself.

Mr. Mo was first arrested on May 16, 2008. He was held at a detention centre for 15 days and then taken to the Laodaohe Brainwashing Centre, where he was detained for six days.

Mr. Mo was arrested again on March 7, 2011, for talking to people about Falun Gong. He was held in the Taojiang County Lockup and later given one year in the Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp.

On February 28, 2012, four days after he was released, he went to visit another practitioner, Ms. Kuang Huanyuan, in her 80s. The police were there ransacking Ms. Kuang’s home. They arrested Mr. Mo and gave him another labor camp term of 15 months. Because he failed to pass the physical exam required for admission, he was released.

Mr. Mo was arrested yet another time, on April 29, 2013, for talking to people about Falun Gong at a train station. Two weeks later, he was transferred to the Yiyang City No. 2 Detention Centre and sentenced to three years in Wangling Prison in late 2013.

Mr. Mo moved to Zhejiang Province for work after he was released. He was arrested again on December 14, 2017, and sentenced to three and a half years for spreading a notice issued by the China Administration of Press and Publication that lifted the ban on the publication of Falun Gong books. The guards at Zhejiang Province No. 2 Prison shocked him with electric batons all over his body. The scars are still visible today.

After Mr. Mo was released on June 13, 2021, he submitted a motion to reconsider his case to the Ziyang District Court. He said it was no longer about the authorities nullifying his wrongful conviction, but he was hoping to take this opportunity to help those in the judiciary understand the facts about Falun Gong. He also mailed 50 letters to various government agencies to explain the facts about Falun Gong.

For mailing those letters, he was arrested on November 20, 2021, and held at the Yiyang City Detention Centre. The Ziyang District Court held a virtual hearing on April 14, 2022. His lawyer was notified by the court on May 13 that he was sentenced to three years and eight months.


Families Kept in the Dark of the Practitioners’ Case Status

Mother and Daughter Secretly Sentenced

Ten months after a mother and daughter in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, went missing, their family finally confirmed that the two women are being held at the Shenyang City No.1 Detention Centre and that each of them has been sentenced to three years and two months for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Wang Rongjun, a 72-year-old retired sales associate, and her daughter, Ms. Na Yan, a nurse in her 40s, went missing on July 13, 2021. Their family members looked for them everywhere, including where Ms. Na worked, the Shenyang City No.6 Hospital; the local police station; and the residential committee, but to no avail. When the family talked to Ms. Na’s co-workers at the hospital, they noticed that they appeared to be very nervous. Some said they didn’t know where she was and others said she was on vacation.

Not until recently did the family learn that Ms. Na and her mother are being held at the Shenyang City No.1 Detention Centre and that they have been sentenced by the Liaozhong District Court.

The family recalled that on April 22, 2021, three months before the mother and daughter went missing, Nanshichang Police Station officers called Ms. Wang and asked for her address and Ms. Na’s phone number. Ms. Wang asked the police why they need her and her daughter’s personal information. The police claimed that if they had Ms. Na’s number, they wouldn’t go to Ms. Wang’s home to look for her. Ms. Wang didn’t comply.

Shandong Man Secretly Sentenced to Prison, Judge Hides Verdict from Family to Prevent Appeal

Mr. Zhang Tangjiang, 66, of Pingdu City, Shandong Province, was arrested in June 2021 for practicing Falun Gong. When his lawyer called the Mencun Detention Centre on May 23, 2022, he was told that Mr. Zhang was sentenced to four years on March 3.

Because the detention centre couldn’t find a record of Mr. Zhang appealing the verdict, they didn’t let the lawyer visit him. When Mr. Zhang’s family went to visit him themselves on May 25, the guards turned them away again, citing the pandemic as an excuse.

Following Mr. Zhang’s arrest on June 4, 2021, he was first held in the Chengyang Detention Centre for two weeks and then transferred to the Mencun Detention Center in Pingdu. He was later indicted by the Huangdao District Procuratorate and had his case moved to the Huangdao District Court.

Mr. Zhang’s family called the court around November 29, 2021. They were told that the court didn’t have his case in the profile. The family also called the person in charge of his case, but no one answered.

On December 1, Mr. Zhang’s family learned that he had been tried a week before but no verdict had been announced.

They called the presiding judge, Ou Xiaobin, and asked about his case. Ou claimed that Mr. Zhang’s attitude was bad, because he refused to plead guilty or cooperate with them. Ou said if he later changed his attitude, she might give him a lighter sentence.

Mr. Zhang’s family argued with Ou, pointing out that no law in China says practicing Falun Gong is a crime or labels it a cult. Ou said, “The government has already made the decision [to label it a cult] in 1999.”

Mr. Zhang’s family called Ou again on December 3. A person surnamed Yin, who claimed to be a court clerk, answered the call. The family asked why the court didn’t inform them of the hearing. Yin responded that they didn’t have to because Mr. Zhang was an adult.

Mr. Zhang’s family later found out more details about his hearing: he stood trial on November 25, 2021, in a video conference. The session lasted half an hour. Mr. Zhang refused to accept the court-appointed lawyer and acted as his own lawyer to enter a not guilty plea.

After that, Mr. Zhang’s family kept calling the court about his verdict, but judge Ou never gave them any information.

When Mr. Zhang’s lawyer had a video call with him on January 7, 2022, he urged him to file an appeal within ten days once he received the verdict.

Mr. Zhang’s son called judge Ou again on March 8, 2022. Ou still didn’t tell him anything, even though she had just sentenced Mr. Zhang five days before. She also claimed that she couldn’t confirm that he was Mr. Zhang’s son and ordered him to come to the court in person for the inquiry. However, due to the rise of local COVID-19 cases during that time, travel was restricted within the city, which prevented the family from filing the appeal for Mr. Zhang in time.

When Mr. Zhang’s son called Ou again on March 24, she still refused to provide any information about his case. Only when his lawyer called the detention centre on May 23 did the guards tell him that Mr. Zhang had been sentenced to four years on March 3.


Group Sentencing

Seven Liaoning Residents, Including Six Targeted in a Police Sweep, Sentenced

Seven Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province, residents stood trial on December 16 and 17, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong. All were sentenced to prison.

-Mr. Zhang Kunshan, in his 50s, was sentenced to seven years. He has appealed the verdict.-Ms. Yu Shufen, 56, was given three years and two months. She appealed the verdict and was turned down.-Ms. Li Jing, 65, was sentenced to three and a half years.-Ms. Wu Yanling and her husband Mr. Wang Zhongxue, both in their 60s, were given three and two years respectively.-Ms. Liu Sulan, 76, was sentenced to one and a half years.-Ms. Wan Guiying, 73, was sentenced to one year.

Ms. Wan was arrested on September 8, 2021, while the other six were seized on June 11, 2021, in a police sweep that the police claimed was a “gift” for the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial celebration on July 1. At least 27 practitioners were arrested on the same day.

Mr. Wang and his wife Ms. Wu are retired from the Lingyuan Steel Company. During their arrest, the police turned their home upside down and confiscated their printer, computer, Falun Gong books, and even printing paper. Their front door was left open when the police departed. The arrest of Ms. Wu, an only child, left her father, who is in his 90s, struggling to care for himself.

Mr. Zhang, also retired from the Lingyuan Steel Company, had his home ransacked at 6 a.m., even though he wasn’t home when the police came. A crowd watched the police load their car with his Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and other Falun Gong materials. An onlooker said he recalled seeing the police ask nearby residents about Mr. Zhang with a photo of him in hand.

Mr. Zhang was held in the Lingyuan City Detention Centre. Mr. Wang was kept in a detention facility in nearby Jianping County. The five female practitioners were taken to the Chaoyang City Women’s Detention Centre.

The Lingyuan City Court heard the practitioners’ cases on December 16 and 17, 2021, via video conferences. The judge barred the practitioners’ lawyers and families from attending in person, citing the pandemic as an excuse even though all the other hearings in the same court were held in person.

Three Hunan Residents Sentenced

Three people in Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, were recently sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Zeng Qinling and Ms. Tang Xueying were each sentenced to four years and fined 10,000 yuan. Ms. Tang Jiangnan was given two years with two years probation and a 6,000-yuan fine.

Ms. Tang Jiangnan, in her 80s, was first arrested on September 6, 2021. Her computer, printer, and copy paper that she used to print informational materials about Falun Gong were confiscated. Although she was released that same day, the police came back and took her to the Xiameiqiao Brainwashing Centre to be interrogated every day for the next three weeks. She was forced to provide information about other local practitioners.

On October 14, officers broke into Ms. Zeng’s home. They confiscated her Falun Gong books, informational materials, computer, and several cell phones. She was first taken to the Xiameiqiao Brainwashing Centre and then transferred to the Chenzhou City Detention Centre. Fearing being implicated in the persecution, her husband divorced her long ago, and her daughter lives in another city, no family member sought her release after she was arrested.

A month later, on November 18, Ms. Tang Xueying and her husband Mr. Zhu Zhixiong were also arrested and taken to the brainwashing centre. The police held the couple in interrogation chairs and chained them to the chairs for over six hours. Although Mr. Zhu was later released, Ms. Tang was taken to the Chenzhou City Detention Centre. She was held in a separate room with a note on the door that read, “Not allowed to meet with the lawyer.” When her family came to visit her, they weren’t allowed to see her either.

The Suxian District Court held a video hearing for Ms. Tang Xueying, Ms. Zeng Qinling, and Ms. Tang Jiangnan on April 11, 2022.

Ms. Tang Jiangnan was represented by a court-appointed lawyer, who entered a guilty plea for her. Her family also urged her to plead guilty in exchange for the court’s leniency. It’s not clear whether or not she complied. The other two practitioners refused to accept court-appointed lawyers and pleaded not guilty. The judge adjourned the session in under an hour and announced the verdicts days later.


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