Mother of California Resident Unjustly Given Long Prison Term in China

Ms. Liu Zhitong holds a photo of her mother. The board reads, “Immediately release my mother Kong Qingping.” (

Ms. Liu Zhitong holds a photo of her mother. The board reads, “Immediately release my mother Kong Qingping.” (

The Falun Dafa Information Center learned after months of silence that Ms. Kong Qingping, the mother of a California resident, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 30,000 yuan (4,140 USD) on November 10, 2023, and that her appeal to the sentence was rejected on March 25, 2024.

It was previously only known that the Ganjingzi District Court in Dalian city, Liaoning Province tried Ms. Kong in a virtual hearing for the second time on September 22, 2023, and that no verdict was reached. She was held in the Yaojia Detention Center and awaited a third trial.

According to new reports from Weiquanwang and Minghui, she filed a motion with the Dalian City Intermediate Court to reconsider her appeal. She remains in detention at the Yaojia Detention Center in Dalian.

Continued Calls for Ms. Kong’s Release

Since Ms. Kong’s arrest on October 22, 2022, her daughter in the United States, Liu Zhitong, has been active in advocating for her release.

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 29, 2023 requesting the Secretary to “ask Ambassador Nicholas Burns to raise this case directly with his PRC counterparts and call for Ms. Kong’s immediate unconditional release.” 

Ms. Lee also called for action to combat the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners more broadly. “It is well documented that Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained and subjected to other human rights abuses,” wrote the congresswoman. “These actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have garnered widespread condemnation from the global community. This case, among others, underscores the importance of raising awareness and unequivocally opposing such transgressions against human rights.”

Arrests and Sham Trials

Ms. Kong started practicing Falun Gong in 2004 amidst the brutal persecution. She credits the practice for the dramatic health improvement she experienced and has refused to give it up despite the risk of detention.

Her current detention stemmed from an earlier arrest in February 2020 in which Dalian city police broke into her home and confiscated Falun Gong texts. She was detained for 24 hours before she was released and placed her under residential surveillance. A month later police summoned her and ordered her to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong. She refused to comply and was released on a 10,000 yuan (1,380 USD) bail.

One year later, the police ordered her to report to them again, but she left home with her family to avoid harassment. Police tracked them down and arrested Ms. Kong on October 22, 2022.

Following her arrest, she was denied proper family visitation and access to a lawyer. She stood trial three times before she was sentenced to seven years in November 2023.

During the trials, prosecutors presented two pieces of “evidence” against Ms. Kong. The first was a couplet hung on her door: “真诚善良忍为上,重德行善福临门” (Sincerity, kindness, and tolerance are the most important, emphasizing virtue and doing good, blessings will come to your door).

The second was the interrogation record from one of Ms. Kong’s neighbors that said she distributed DVDs with Falun Gong related content on them outside the apartment complex. While such an act should not be criminalized anyway, Ms. Kong’s lawyers noted that she was abroad during the alleged DVD distribution. Additionally, the neighbor admitted to the lawyers after the hearing that he didn’t specify to the police that it was Ms. Kong and only mentioned that “someone” distributed DVDs.