91 Falun Gong Practitioners Reported Sentenced for Their Faith in August 2021
Based on an Original Report from Minghui.org
As of August 2021, 91 Falun Gong practitioners were confirmed to have been sentenced for their faith, bringing the year-to-date confirmed sentencings to 827. The 91 newly reported cases include 4 that took place in 2020, 8 in the first half of 2021, 39 in July 2021 and 40 in August 2021.
The 91 practitioners are from 16 provinces and municipalities. Jilin had the most cases at 25, followed by Liaoning (12), Heilongjiang (12), Shandong (10) and Hebei (9). The remaining 11 regions had cases between 1 and 4. Minghui.org was able to confirm the age of 41 practitioners, with the youngest being a 19-year-old college student. Five practitioners were in their 30s, nine in their 50s, thirteen in their 60s, ten in their 70s, and three in their 80s, with the oldest being 88. The sentenced practitioners are from all walks of life, including teachers, an operations manager, and a retired engineer.
The practitioners were given prison terms ranging from six months to ten years, with an average term of three years and nine months. Thirty-two practitioners were fined a total of 466,000 yuan, including 20 fined between 2,000 and 6,000 yuan and 12 fined between 10,000 and 120,000 yuan, averaging 14,562 yuan per person.
Below are snapshots of the cases reported in August 2021.
Elderly Not Spared
Mr. Zeng Jiageng, a 79-year-old former engineer, was sentenced to five years on July 28, 2021, despite dangerously high blood pressure and a heart condition, as well as impaired vision and hearing.
Zeng, of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, was arrested on July 10, 2019, after the police accused him of using his phone as a hotspot to spread information about Falun Gong.
Zeng began to experience life-threatening high blood pressure and a heart condition two months after his arrest. Zeng’s family and lawyer applied to have him released on bail but were turned down. The Haizhu District Procuratorate indicted Zeng in November 2019 and moved his case to the Haizhu District Court.
Zeng was tried through a video conference on August 17, 2020. Due to his severe hearing loss, the presiding judge, Zhou Zhengyuan, asked his lawyer to write down questions he intended to ask Zeng. The judge held another hearing on September 23.
While awaiting the verdict, Zeng’s health deteriorated. His blood pressure kept rising, and his hearing and vision declined further. He often suffered from insomnia and he couldn’t keep his balance while walking.
His family and lawyer’s repeated requests to have him released on bail were ignored. On July 28, 2021, the judge announced that Zeng had been sentenced to five years with a 10,000-yuan fine.
Having served three labor camp terms, a prison term and the loss of her son due to the persecution of Falun Gong, a woman in her late 60s was recently sentenced to another prison term of 6.5 years.
Ms. Wang Pengying, of Shulan City, Jilin Province, was arrested on September 28, 2020, and detained at the Jilin City Detention Center. Her family recently learned about her prison sentence, but is still being kept in the dark about the details.
Wang’s husband, a coal mine worker, died due to a workplace accident many years ago. She raised their son, Fan Guang, by herself with her meager income. While life was difficult, she found joy in life again after she was introduced to Falun Gong.
When the persecution suddenly started on July 20, 1999, Wang was repeatedly arrested and detained for speaking up. She was arrested in 2001 and 2002, and given a one-year labor camp term each time.
As she was incarcerated, the authorities deprived her son, who had just graduated from college, of the workers’ compensation he and his mother had been entitled to due to his father’s fatal workplace injury. The young man fell ill even before he was able to find a job. Lack of income drove him to live a destitute life, which further worsened his condition.
By the time Wang was released, her son had become critically ill and was emaciated. Wang took him to the hospital, but it was too late. He died on April 10, 2004. Thirteen days later, while still mourning the death of her son, Wang was arrested again on April 23, 2004, and given a third one-year term at Changchun Women’s Forced Labor Camp.
On October 12, 2016, Wang was arrested for distributing informational materials about the persecution. She stood trial at the Shulan City Court on May 19, 2017, and was later sentenced to 2.5 years with 3 years of probation, as well as a 30,0000-yuan fine.
Mr. Ling Jianmin, a 45-year-old operations manager at Haizhu Power Supply Bureau in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, drove to a residential area and left some informational materials about Falun Gong on car windshields in July 2019.
A driver reported him, however, and through videos taken by surveillance cameras, the police identified his license plate number and put him on a wanted list. When Ling returned from a trip to Hong Kong on August 1, 2019, he was arrested at customs in Shenzhen City. The police ransacked his home at around 4 a.m.
Ling was tried by the Haizhu District Court on November 13, 2020. His family and colleagues attended the hearing. He entered a not guilty plea for himself. He recounted how practicing Falun Gong enabled him to gain inner peace and gave him the courage to take on high-risk assignments at work. He also explained that many Chinese people have been influenced by the slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong put out by the Chinese Communist regime and have misunderstandings about it. Therefore, he distributed information with the hope that people can learn the facts.
Ling’s two lawyers defended his innocence and argued that there is no legal basis for the persecution. Upon learning of Ling’s trial, many of his family, friends and colleagues said that they could not understand why such a good person was facing prison time for his faith. On July 30, 2021, the judge sentenced Ling to two years with a 3,000-yuan fine.
Ms. Yang Liangying, a Tongren City, Guizhou Province resident, is awaiting the result of her appeal against a five-year prison sentence for her faith in Falun Gong.
Yang, in her 50s, lives in Yuping County, Tongren City with her husband and two young children. The family manages a small business selling rice noodles.
In her spare time, Yang would talk to people about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was recorded by a surveillance camera while putting up a poster at a tourist site, and was arrested on the afternoon of October 8, 2019.
Over 20 police officers raided Yang’s home. They confiscated her Falun Gong books, magazines, and 118,000 yuan in cash.
Yang was then taken to the Laoshankou Detention Center and has been held there since. The Tongren City Court held two hearings in 2021. Her lawyers entered not guilty pleas for her. It was confirmed in August that Yang has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined 120,000 yuan. She has appealed with the Tongren City Intermediate Court.
Original Article: https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2021/9/8/194982.html