Falun Gong Human Rights Defenders Given Jail Sentences of 10 Years or More

Submission to the United Nations

Editor’s Note: The following was submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders by the Falun Dafa Information Center in March 2021 in response to a call for submissions from NGOs of cases of defenders sentenced to over 10 years in prison.


March 19, 2021

Submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor, on the long-term detention of human rights defenders


Following is a non-exhaustive list of individuals who have received sentences of ten years of more for advocating peacefully for the rights of Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) adherents. This list is compiled based on reports from Chinese government websites, along with reports from networks of human rights activists within China.


Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Buddhist religious practice indigenous to China. The practice consists of meditation, slow-moving exercises, and the study of moral teachings centred on the virtues of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Falun Gong attracted a large following in the 1990s in China, with state agencies estimating that as many as 70 million people had taken up the practice. Threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity, its independence from state control, and its theistic religious teachings, the Communist Party launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in 1999.


Since that time, Falun Gong has been the target of severe, recurring crackdowns. Adherents are subject to widespread surveillance, arbitrary detention, imprisonment, torture, forced religious conversion, and are at a high risk of extrajudicial killing. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Falun Gong adherents have been held in reeducation-through-labour camps, black jails, psychiatric institutions, and prisons, where they are subjected to torture and coercive ideological reprograming. Information about Falun Gong remains hermetically censored on the internet, and government sources have waged a propaganda campaign meant to vilify and dehumanize Falun Gong adherents to justify their persecution. Over 4,500 named individuals have reportedly been killed, but due to the difficulty in collecting information from within China, the true number is likely many times greater. In 2019, an independent tribunal of jurists and academics concluded that tens of thousands of Falun Gong adherents had likely been killed to supply China’s organ transplant industry.


Although a majority of detained Falun Gong adherents are subject to administrative punishment, criminal sentences against Falun Gong adherents remain common. In 2020, the Falun Dafa Information Centre received reports of 6,652 arrests of Falun Gong adherents, and 622 prison sentences. The human rights group Freedom House verified 933 cases of Falun Gong adherents being sentenced to terms of up to 12 years between January 1, 2013, and June 1, 2016.


Among Falun Gong activists who have received prison sentences, most are charged with inciting subversion of state power, or are charged under article 300 of the criminal code — “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law.” Their actual offenses, however, constitute nothing more than the peaceful exercise of their religious beliefs, and their rights to free assembly and expression. In most cases, they are arrested and sentenced for attempting to document or publicize human rights abuses against their co-religionists, for speaking out in defence of freedom of religion, or for producing literature refuting the official propaganda that seeks to present their faith as deviant, evil, and deserving of suppression. The cases listed in the following pages represent a small sample of these.

Li Jing
李晶
Date of Birth: 1952
Female
Date of sentence: April 2 2019
Length of sentence: 10 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Jilin Women’s Prison

Li Jing is a resident of Changchun, Jilin province, and a practitioner of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline. She was arrested on or about March 14, 2018 outside of her apartment building, after police had intercepted phone calls. Police searched her home, and discovered cell phones and computers that she had been using to send automated messages to raise awareness about the human rights abuses against Falun Gong adherents.
She was held in pre-trial detention for approximately one year at the Changchun No. 4 Detention Centre. During her interrogation, she was reported deprived of sleep, food, and drink.
Ms. Li was indicted on unknown criminal charges and tried on November 7, 2018. During the 20-minute trial, Ms. Li did not have legal representation, and was not permitted to make any statements in her defence. Her family was not informed of the trial.
Ms. Li was sentenced to ten years in prison on April 2 2019, and is currently being held at the Jilin Women’s Prison. Her family has been prevented from visiting her.
Ms. Li had previously spent three years in reeducation-through-labour camps for advocating on behalf of the rights of Falun Gong practitioners.
Further information:
https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2018/12/4/173498.html
https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2019/4/22/176581.html

Luan Ning
栾凝
Date of Birth: June 27, 1959
Male
Date of sentence: April 16 2020
Length of sentence: 10 years
Criminal charge: Inciting subversion of state power
Place of detention: Ningxia Hui

Mr. Luan Ning is a resident of Yinchuan city, and a practitioner of Falun Gong. He was arrested in August 2017 for distributing and mailing information about Falun Gong and about human rights abuses perpetrated by the Communist Party. He was tried by the Intermediate People’s Court of Yinchuan City in the Ningxia Autonomous Region, where he was sentenced to ten years in prison for inciting subversion of state power. Mr. Luan was represented at trial by lawyer Ran Tong, who appealed the sentence. The appeal was rejected.
Mr. Ning was sentenced to prison on two previous occasions. In 2000, he was sentenced to three years in prison for his defense of Falun Gong and for attempting to raise awareness of the persecution of its practitioners. Following his release he was arrested again, and in 2009 was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in 2012.
More information:
http://www.lawking.com.cn/Index/show/catid/32/id/6585.html

Jiang Wei
姜伟
Date of Birth: Unknown
Female
Date of sentence: 2016
Length of sentence: 12 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Liaoning Women’s Prison

Ms. Jiang Wei is a resident of Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province, and a practitioner of Falun Gong.
In June 2015, Ms. Jiang filed a legal complaint against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin for torture and human rights abuses that she had previously endure in custody. In response to her claim, she was arrested in November 2015. On March 21, 2016, she was tried at the Shuangta District Court and sentenced to 12 years in prison. She is currently being held at the Liaoning Women’s prison.
Ms. Jiang was previously held at the Masanjia reeducation-through-labor camp for three years, from 1999 – 2002. There, she was tortured with electric shock batons, was suspended in stress positions, force-fed, deprived of sleep, made to perform forced labor, and was given injections of unknown drugs. She was released on medical parole in 2002. Ms. Jiang was then arrested again in 2004, and sentenced to eight years in prison. She was again tortured, held in solitary confinement, beaten, and suspended in stress positions.
More information:
https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2020/2/6/183111.html

Duan Xiaoyan
段小燕
Date of Birth: Unknown
Female
Date of sentence: July 24 2017
Length of sentence: 10 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Gansu Women’s Prison

Duan Xiaoyan is a resident of Qingyang City, Gansu province. She has been detained and imprisoned on several occasions for seeking to inform her fellow citizens about the human rights abuses perpetrated against Falun Gong adherents.
In 2000, Ms. Duan spent one year in a reeducation-through-labor camp due to her practice of Falun Gong. In 2002, she was sentenced to seven years in prison for broadcasting television programs that exposed human rights abuses against Falun Gong adherents.
In 2015, Ms. Duan was again arrested for disseminating information supporting the free exercise of religion, and detailing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese party-state. She was held in pre-trial detention, and was sentenced in January 2017 to ten years in prison.
She is currently being held at the Gansu Province Women’s Prison. In prison, she has reportedly been beaten, subject to coercive ideological reeducation, deprived of sleep, forced to squat for extended periods, and denied family visits.
More information:
https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2020/6/8/185423.html

Guo Pingzhen
郭平珍
Date of Birth: 1978 (approx.)
Female
Date of sentence: July 23 2020
Length of sentence: 10 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Qichun County Detention Center (for pre-trial detention; local of prison unknown)

Guo Pingzhen is a resident of Wuxue City, Hubei Province, and is an adherent of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline. On February 3 2018, she was arrested along with four other Falun Gong practitioners, all of whom had been involved in the production and distribution of informational literature advocating for the rights of Falun Gong adherents. Ms. Guo held a hunger strike while being held in detention center.
A trial was convened on July 23 2020, and all five individuals received prison sentences ranging from five to ten years. Ms. Guo was sentenced to ten years in prison. Her last known location was at the Qichun County Detention Centre.
More information:
https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2020/8/19/186410.html

Liu Mouling
刘某玲
Date of Birth: 1997 (approximate)
Female
Date of indictment: July 8 2015 (date of sentencing unknown)
Length of sentence: 10 years
Criminal charge: Article 300 (‘using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law’)
Place of detention: Unknown

Liu Mouling is a resident of Meizhou City, Guangdong Province.
On April 3, 2015, police searched Liu’s home and discovered numerous books, documents, audio and visual materials related to Falun Gong, along with laptops and a printer. The search was prompted by reports that vehicles near Ms. Liu’s work were found with Falun Gong leaflets and CDs. Ms. Liu apparently fell under suspicion for noting that other countries (besides China) respect the rights of Falun Gong adherents to practice their faith.
Sentencing documents indicate that Liu began printing and distributing materials advocating for the rights of Falun Gong adherents, and detailing human rights abuses committed against the group, in 2011. Liu was indicted on criminal charges on July 8 2015 and sentenced to ten years in prison.
More information:
http://wenshu.court.gov.cn/content/content?DocID=6052790d-3882-4fec-a130-d262b38734b2

Cui Fenglan
崔凤兰
Date of Birth: Unknown
Female
Date of sentence: December 26, 2016
Length of sentence: 15 years
Criminal charge: Article 300 (‘using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law’)
Place of detention: Unknown

Falun Gong practitioner Cui Fenglan is a resident of Harbin City, Heilongjiang province. She was detained on May 16 2016 when she went to pick up packages that authorities alleged contained good luck charms bearing Falun Gong-related motif ‘‘Truth, Forbearance, Compassion.’’ Police reportedly raided her home and confiscated 67,000 Yuan.
On December 26, 2016, she was sentenced to 15 years in prison during a secret trial. She had no legal representation in court, and her family was not informed of the trial. During the proceedings, Ms. Cui argued on her own behalf that article 300 violated the human right to freedom of conscience and religious belief.
Authorities have repeatedly harassed or punished Cui in connection with her Falun Gong human rights advocacy. In 2001, she was detained and reportedly tortured at the Harbin No. 2 Detention Center, after she had travelled to Beijing to appeal for the human rights of Falun Gong adherents. She was then imprisoned for one year at the Wanjia Reeducation-Through-Labour camp, where she was beaten severely.

Ms. Cui’s lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the sentence in 2017. Her family members have reportedly faced pressure and intimidation from authorities.
More information:
https://www.cecc.gov/sites/chinacommission.house.gov/files/documents/2020%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%20FINAL%201223.pdf

Liu Qing
刘庆
Date of Birth: Unknown
Male
Date of sentence: August 27 2019
Length of sentence: 11 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Jilin No. 2 Prison

Mr. Liu Qing is a resident of Songyuan City, Jilin Province, and is a Falun Gong practitioner.
He was arrested on August 15, 2019, and tried in secret on August 27, 2019, in Fuyu City, Jilin Province. His family was not informed of the trial. Mr. Liu argued at trial that practice of Falun Gong was a human right, and sought to defend the principle of freedom of religion and conscience. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Mr. Liu’s wife reports that he is emaciated, with evidence of injury to his head. During a previous detention, he suffered a stroke.

Wang Desheng
王德生
Date of Birth: Unknown
Male
Date of sentence: November 29 2016
Length of sentence: 13 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Yinchuan Prison

Wang Desheng is a resident of Zhongning County, Ningxia Autonomous Region. He and his wife were arrested in November 2015, for producing and distributing literature advocating for the religious freedom of Falun Gong adherents, and detailing instances of human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners.
On November 29, 2016, Mr. Wang was sentenced to 13 years in prison. His wife, Shan Jining, received a three-year sentence. Mr. Wang was previously sentenced to four and eight years in prison in 1999 and 2005, respectively. His wife has also been imprisoned on numerous occasions in prisons and reeducation-through-labor camps.

Zuo Hongtao
左洪涛
Date of Birth: Unknown
Male
Date of sentence: November 16 2017
Length of sentence: 13 years
Criminal charge: Article 300 (‘using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law’)
Place of detention: Unknown

Mr. Zuo Hongtao is a resident of Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, and a practitioner of Falun Gong.
He was arrested on June 9, 2017, at his real estate office, along with several others. While in detention, he held a hunger strike, and was force-fed. His health declined and he was hospitalized, but was denied medical parole.
Authorities allege that Mr. Zuo was involved in printing information about Falun Gong.

Wu Wenzhang
吴文章
Date of Birth: Unknown
Male
Date of sentence: November 11 2018
Length of sentence: 11 years
Criminal charge: Article 300 (‘using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law’)
Place of detention: Unknown
Mr. Wu Wenzhang is a resident of Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, and a Falun Gong practitioner. He was arrested on June 9, 2017, at the office of Mr. Zuo Hongtao. Authorities allege that he was involved in printing information about Falun Gong. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Mr. Wu had previously been arrested and detained, and was subject to persist police surveillance and harassment. In 2001, he travelled to Beijing to stage a peaceful appear for the human rights of Falun Gong adherents, and was detained for 15 days and tortured. In May 2004, he was sentenced to three and a half years for his continued human rights advocacy and practice of Falun Gong.

He Ping
何萍
Date of Birth: Unknown
Female
Date of sentence: Unknown
Length of sentence: 12 years
Criminal charge: Unknown
Place of detention: Shanyou Detention Center (last known location)

Ms. He Ping is a resident of Songyuan City, Jilin Province. She was abducted from her home on September 10, 2019. Searching her house, police found Falun Gong-related books, a computer, five cellphones, and SIM cards, which she had been using to make automated phone calls to raise awareness about the human rights abuses suffered by Falun Gong adherents. She was sent to the Shanyou Detention Center. Her family has since learned that she was sentenced in a secret trial to 12 years in prison.