100 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith in March 2021

Based on an original report from Minghui.org

In March 2021, Minghui.org confirmed another 100 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced for their faith. This includes 25 cases in 2020, 5 cases in February 2021, and 70 cases in March 2021. The newly confirmed cases bring the total number of confirmed sentencings in 2020 to 839, in January to 53, and in February to 125. 

The reports of practitioners sentenced in March 2021 came from 46 cities in 20 provinces and centrally-controlled municipalities. The province of Jilin registered the most cases (18), followed by Henan (15), Liaoning (11), and Shandong (10).

The practitioners were given prison sentences ranging from two months to nine years, with an average of 3.91 years. One term remains unknown.

A total of 28 practitioners were each fined between 1,000 and 80,000 yuan by the courts for a total of 284,000 yuan, averaging 10,143 yuan per person.

The 100 practitioners were between 37 and 81 years old. Seventeen of them were 65 or older at the time of their sentencing, and their terms ranged from 2 months to 9 years.

Below are snapshots of cases reported in March 2021. 

Group Arrests and Sentencing

14 Falun Gong Practitioners, Including 7 from an Extended Family, Sentenced to 7 to 9 Years

After a year and a half in detention, 14 residents of Changchun City, Jilin Province, were sentenced to prison. Seven of them came from one extended family. Mr. Meng Xiangqi, 37, and his mother-in-law Ms. Fu Guihua, 55, were each sentenced to 7.5 years.

Meng’s father Mr. Meng Fanjun, 59; his sister-in-law Ms. Yu Jianli, 30; Yu’s husband Mr. Wang Dongji, 40; and Wang’s parents Mr. Wang Kemin, 69, and Ms. Wang Fengzhi, 69, were all sentenced to 7 years each.

The other seven practitioners were also handed heavy terms. Mr. Jiang Tao, 46, was sentenced to 9 years. Mr. Hou Hongqing, 49; Mr. Han Jianping, 58; Mr. Tan Qiucheng, 44; Ms. Zhang Shaoping, 51; Ms. Cui Guixian, 56; Ms. Liu Dongying (who is the mother of Ms. Cui’s son-in-law), 55, were all sentenced to 7 years each.

All 14 practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on August 15, 2019. They were tried by the Lishu County Court on September 28, 2020. During the proceedings, the authorities kept their lawyers from representing them. When the lawyers sought justice for their clients, judge Cui Ren said, “If you think I have violated the law, feel free to file a complaint against me anywhere you want.” Their verdicts were released on February 26, 2021.

Heavy Terms and Repeated Persecution

Disabled from Torture, Jiangxi Woman Sentenced Again to 8 Years

Ms. Li Meilian, 56, of Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province, was arrested on March 25, 2020, and her arrest was approved on April 22. She was taken to Yingtan City Hospital on May 6, 2020, for health reasons. On October 30, 2020, Li was tried via video conference and  sentenced to 8 years. Prior to the latest arrest, Li was held twice in forced labor camps, totaling more than three years, and sentenced to five years in prison.

In 2000, Li was beaten, handcuffed to a death bed, and force-fed while in Jiangxi Women’s Forced Labor Camp. She was kicked and suspended, resulting in her hamstring being severed. While she was imprisoned, Li’s flourishing business was forced to close. Her husband and one of her parents also passed away, leaving her son to fend for himself.

Li was secretly admitted to Jiangxi Women’s Forced Labor Camp for two years on March 30, 2012, although no legal procedures were followed. During her second forced labor term, she was tied to a tiger bench, beaten, and injected with unknown drugs.

Elderly Targeted

81-year-old Woman Sentenced to Four Years for Hanging Up a Banner

Ms. Yu Shufeng of Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province, was arrested in January 2020 after a surveillance camera recorded her hanging up a banner that said, “Falun Dafa is good.” Despite her disabled legs and impaired hearing, the authorities still sentenced her and took her to the Lanzhou Women’s Prison to serve time.

This is the second time that Yu has been sentenced for her faith. She was previously arrested on March 25, 2006, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. After being detained for over eight months, she was secretly sentenced to three years in Lanzhou Women’s Prison. While she was in the detention center, the guards tortured her to try to force her to renounce Falun Gong, but she remained firm in her faith.

77-year-old Woman Sentenced to Four Years

After a year and a half of detention, Ms. Wang Xuezhen, 77, lost the ability to walk independently due to abuse in custody. Despite her handicap and lack of due process in the hearing, Wang was sentenced to four years in prison by the Hangzhou District Court on March 17, 2021. She faces a dire situation. 

Ms. Wang Xuezhen

Wang from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, was arrested on July 9, 2019, for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong. On January 3, 2020, Wang was tried in the Haizhu District Court. Her family was not notified of the hearing. Wang refused to accept the court-appointed lawyer, who was instructed to enter a guilty plea for her. Instead, she acted as her own lawyer and defended her innocence.

Wang argued that no law in China deems Falun Gong a crime and that there is no legal basis for the persecution. She also testified against the police for ransacking her home without her or her family’s presence and accusing her of committing a “crime” for trying to be a good person.

When the lawyer hired by Wang’s family visited her in early August, she told the lawyer that she was having excruciating back pain and was sometimes unable to walk, so she had to crawl. She had asked to see a doctor, but the guards ignored her request. Then, someone familiar with Wang’s situation told her family in late October that she was subjected to stretching torture in the Haizhu District Detention Center. She was so badly injured that she was unable to stand up straight or walk. She was in a wheelchair when her lawyer visited her again on November 3.

Original Article: https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2021/4/12/191845p.html