28 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced in July 2020
A bakery owner, retired engineer, and farmer among those sentenced up to seven years for their faith.
According to information collected by Minghui.org, the month of July 2020 saw 28 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced to prison for their faith.
An additional 24 sentencing cases that took place in the first half of the year were also confirmed in July, including 1 from January (an eight-year term to a Henan woman), 2 from March, 3 from April, 5 from May and 13 from June, bringing the year-to-date tally of sentenced practitioners to 191.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999.
The 28 practitioners sentenced in July came from 12 provinces and municipalities. Shandong and Shanghai both registered 6 cases, followed by 4 in Tianjin, 3 in Jiangsu and 2 in Sichuan. Beijing, Guangdong, Henan, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, and Yunnan each had 1 case.
The prison terms given to practitioners ranged from six months to seven years, with an average of 2.75 years. Two practitioners’ terms were unknown.
These practitioners come from all walks of life, including a bakery owner, a retired engineer, a farmer, a translator and a piano teacher.
Four of the 28 practitioners were 65 or older. In particular, 80-year-old Ms. Guo Defen, of Tianjin, was sentenced to one year by the Hexi District Court.
Nine of the practitioners were also fined between 2,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan by the courts, averaging 7,889 yuan per person. A judge of the Huangdao District Court in Shandong sentenced three practitioners to prison in one day and fined two of them 10,000 and 20,000 yuan, respectively.
Some practitioners were sentenced for talking or distributing information about Falun Gong. One woman’s family suspects that the authorities sentenced her to try to silence her regarding the deaths of her two relatives while in custody.
The authorities violated legal procedures at every step of the prosecution process, from ransacking the practitioners’ homes without a search warrant, to denying them visits from families and lawyers, or barring their families from attending the trial.
Information about the sentencing cases was collected between January 1 and August 5, 2020. Due to the communist regime’s information blockade, the actual number of Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith is likely much higher.
Download/view the full list of sentenced practitioners here (PDF). Below is one of the cases.
After Ten Years Imprisonment, Retired Engineer Sentenced to Five More Years
Mr. Zhang Qin, 65, a retired engineer in Shanghai, was sentenced to five years by the Fengxian District Court on July 6, 2020.
Prior to his latest term, Mr. Zhang had been arrested five times in the past for upholding his faith, resulting in two prison terms (four and five years, respectively) and one forced labor term of one year. He was accused by the judge for being a “repeat offender,” when his verdict was announced in July 2020.
Mr. Zhang’s latest and sixth arrest took place on April 24, 2019, at a subway station in Shanghai. He suffered severe head injuries as a result of police brutality during the arrest.
The Xuhui District Procuratorate approved his arrest on May 30, 2019, and indicted him on August 20, 2019.
The original version of this article was published on Minghui.org: