Luzhou City, Sichuan Province: Sixteen Residents Remain Incarcerated for Their Faith
As of the end of 2022, sixteen Falun Gong practitioners in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province are known to be incarcerated for their faith.
One of the practitioners is serving a nine year sentence and was fined 50,000 yuan fine. Three practitioners are over 70 years old with the oldest being 83. Half of these practitioners have been sentenced before in the 23-year-long persecution.
The following are brief summaries of the ordeals of the 16 practitioners.
83-year-old Sentenced Again to Two Years
Ms. Zhao Zhaoquan, 83, is a retired elementary school teacher. Between 1999 and 2005, she was arrested four times, held in a brainwashing center twice, and tortured in a forced labor camp for two years. Authorities extorted money from her and suspended her pensions.
Her first imprisonment took place in 2016 and she was given 2.5 years after two secret hearings.
She was taken away by staff members of the Jiangyang District Court on November 10, 2021, with the excuse of having a physical examination. Her family later learned from a letter she wrote them that she was taken to the Hejiang County Detention Center on the same day of her arrest. Without informing the family, the court secretly sentenced her to two years. She remains in the Luzhou City Detention Center, where her health has deteriorated to the point that she relies on others to take care of her daily needs.
Two Practitioners in Their Late 70s Received Third Prison Sentences
Ms. Gao Xianying, then 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 7,000 yuan by the Hejiang County Court on December 18, 2018. She appealed to the Luzhou City Intermediate Court, and the judge upheld the original verdict on July 29, 2019. She was transferred to Longquan Women’s Prison in Chengdu City on October 16, 2019. This was her third prison sentence for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhao Wenxiu’s family learned that a judge in Lu County Court sentenced her to 7.5 years after she went missing. The authorities put her in Chengdu City Women’s Prison on May 7, 2019; she was 77 at the time. This was also the third time she was imprisoned for her faith.
Sentenced for a Total of 11 Years
Ms. Zhang Lihui, 54, was given three years in prison in 2009 and four years in 2017 for practicing Falun Dafa.
Her latest arrest was on November 7, 2021, when she handed out Falun Gong fliers in a market. She stood trial at Lu County Court on July 13, 2022, and was sentenced to four years and fined 8,000 yuan on October 27.
Four Practitioners Sentenced to Prison after Being Detained for 14 Months
The police arrested four practitioners from Luzhou City at a farmer’s market on August 16, 2020. The practitioners stood trial at the Hejiang County Court on April 2, 2021. On October 8 that year, Ms. Dai Qunying was sentenced to three years and eight months, with a 7,000-yuan fine. Mr. Liu Kaisheng was sentenced to three years and six months, with a 6,000-yuan fine. Ms. Jian Hongmei was sentenced to three years and four months, with a 5,000-yuan fine. Ms. Li Shifang was sentenced to two years and ten months, with a 3,000 yuan fine.
All four appealed the verdicts, but the Luzhou City Intermediate Court upheld their sentences. The authorities transferred Dai and Li to Longquanyi Women’s Prison in Chengdu City on June 15, 2022. It is not clear whether Jian and Liu were also taken to prison or remained detained at the detention center.
Four Practitioners Sentenced to Three to Nine Years
Three weeks after Ms. Gou Zhengqiong was arrested on August 2, 2019, officers from the Lu County Domestic Security arrested three more practitioners, including Ms. Deng Wanying, Ms. Lei Huanying, and Ms. Luo Taihui, on August 21.
After their hearings in Lu County Court, Deng was sentenced to nine years in prison, with a 50,000 yuan fine. She has since been transferred to Longquan Women’s Prison. Lei was sentenced to five years, with a 20,000 yuan fine. Luo was sentenced to three and a half year, with a 10,000 yuan fine. Gou was sentenced to three years, with a 5,000 yuan fine. Gou has since been released after serving the term.
Two Practitioners Sentenced to Four Years for Having a Gathering
Mr. Wang Xianshu and Ms. Yi Qunren from Qifeng Town were arrested on April 30, 2020, for attending a gathering with a few other practitioners. They were tried by the Lu County Court on September 1 and sentenced to four years with a 10,000 yuan fine each on December 21.
They appealed on December 28, 2020, and the Lu County Intermediate Court ordered their lawyers to submit their defense statements in writing, as the judge assigned to the case was not planning to hold a hearing of their appeal case. On May 11, 2021, the judge announced to uphold both practitioners’ original verdicts. Wang is currently at Jiazhou Prison in Leshan City, and Yi is at Longquan Women’s Prison.
This was not the practitioners’ first imprisonment. A judge at Zhaotong Court in Yunnan Province sentenced Wang to three years on July 5, 2017. Yi, after a hearing at Lu County Court, was given four years on November 4, 2014.
Elementary School Teacher Forced Out of Job and Imprisoned for 4.5 Years
Mr. Xia Chenggui taught at Panlong Elementary School in Jiuzhi Town. He filed a lawsuit in 2015 against former Chinese communist regime leader Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution. In retaliation, the authorities suspended him from work and ransacked his home. He escaped to avoid further persecution and became destitute. The police from Hejiang County Domestic Security arrested him in March 2018 when he came home to give his son tuition. At the time his health had deteriorated. The police held him in a detention center for 15 days before releasing him, as he was on the brink of death.
After the hearings at Hejiang County Court, he was given 4.5 years in August 2019 and transferred to Jiazhou Prison in Leshan City.
Two Practitioners Put on Trial Again
Ms. Yang Taiying, 58, used to work for the Bureau of Agricultural Machinery. The police suspected that she handed out Falun Gong fliers. They arrested her on March 5, 2022, and put her in Luzhou City Detention Center. She was indicted on June 6 and went through two hearings at Naxi District Court on August 4 and August 26. The judge has not issued a verdict.
Between February 2001 and October 2004, Yang had been incarcerated in a forced labor camp twice for a total of three and a half years. A judge at Jiangyang District Court sentenced her to 4.5 years in May 2014. Her appeal was rejected by a judge at Luzhou City Intermediate Court in November.
Ms. Zhao Yongxiu, 49, from Hejiang County, used to run a business in Luzhou City. The authorities sentenced her to a year in prison in 2019. She later sued the police and the police retaliated by arresting her in August 2021. She stood trial on August 15, 2022, and the verdict is still pending at the time of writing.
Based on an original report from Minghui.org