Reported in July 2022: 55 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith
Fifty-five cases of Falun Gong practitioners sentenced for their faith were confirmed in July 2022, including one case from 2020, nine cases in 2021, and 45 cases in 2022 (including three in March, three in April, two in May, eight in June, and 29 in July).
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Since then, countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, sentenced, and tortured for upholding their faith. But due to strict information censorship in China, the incidents can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.
Yunnan Province registered the most cases of nine, followed by eight in Sichuan, seven in Shandong, and six in Jilin. The remaining twelve regions had cases between one and four.
The sentenced practitioners were between 42 and 85 years old. Four practitioners in their 80s were sentenced to terms ranging from one to six years.
The practitioners’ prison terms ranged from eight months to eleven years. Five practitioners were given sentences of eight years or longer. In addition to the prison time, twenty-five practitioners were fined by the court for a total of 317,000 yuan (46,000 USD) averaging 13,208 yuan (1,900 USD) per person.
Mr. Wu Chengshou, of Shandong Province, was given the longest 11-year sentence and received the highest fine of 100,000 yuan (14,500 USD). Another two practitioners, with one from Shanghai and the other from Hubei, were sentenced to 9.5 and 9 years, respectively, by the same court in Henan for posting information about Falun Gong on social media.
One practitioner’s term was arbitrarily extended for one year because she refused to renounce Falun Gong in the prison. An 83-year-old woman was deceived into going with several court clerks for “a physical examination,” only to be brought to the local detention center and given a two-year sentence.
One practitioner’s husband, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was also convicted and threatened not to hire a lawyer to seek justice.
Below are snapshots of selected sentencing cases. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).
A Letter to Seek Justice Leads to 3.5-Year Prison Sentence
A little over a year after a Tianjin resident was released after serving 2.5 years for hanging up a banner about Falun Gong, she was arrested again for writing a letter and has now been sentenced to 3.5 years.
Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, Ms. Zhao Shuxia, 58, has served two labor camp terms and a prison term for her faith.
Following an arrest in 2016 for hanging up a banner about Falun Gong, her elderly father’s health deteriorated due to his constant worries about her. He suffered from severe diabetes and became blind. He passed away on September 10, 2016. A year later, Ms. Zhao was sentenced to 2.5 years.
After Ms. Zhao was released, she did odd jobs to support herself and her elderly mother. She later found a job as a house aide to an elderly woman, after getting to know her daughter in prison, who was sentenced for protesting to the authorities for illegally seizing her property.
When the authorities harassed the petitioner after she was released, they found that Ms. Zhao was working at her home and ordered her to fire Ms. Zhao. Not wanting to put any pressure on the family, Ms. Zhao quit the job.
Not long after, Ms. Zhao heard that the petitioner appealed and was arrested again. She wrote a letter to the police, urging them to release the petitioner, only to be arrested herself on February 3, 2021. After appearing in the Nankai District Court twice, first in July and then in September 2021, she was sentenced to 3.5 years and taken to the Tianjin Women’s Prison in mid-May 2022. (Link)
After a Decade of Displacement, Shandong Man Secretly Sentenced to 11 Years
Shortly after Mr. Wu Chengshou returned home from a decade of displacement to avoid being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, the Weifang City, Shandong Province resident was arrested and secretly sentenced to eleven years.
Mr. Wu, 57, was arrested at work on April 20, 2021. His wife, Ms. Wang Xian, was handcuffed and held aside while the police ransacked their home. The couple’s Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, 10,700 yuan in cash, a computer, a broken paper cutter and their son’s old computer were all confiscated. Ms. Wang was interrogated in the basement of the local police station and forced to pay 11,000 yuan bail bond before she was released.
In order to gather information about the couple, the police forced their son, Mr. Wu Binjie, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong and works in Inner Mongolia about 600 miles away, to come back to Weifang for interrogation. When the younger Mr. Wu reported to the police station on June 9, the police also accused him of being a suspect.
The elder Mr. Wu has been denied family visits since his arrest. His family later heard from an insider that he was experiencing some medical issues in custody. Worried about his health, his family hired a lawyer to visit him. The detention center initially approved the lawyer’s visit, but soon revoked it, with the excuse that his prosecution process has finished (since he was already sentenced to prison and his appeal was rejected).
Mr. Wu’s family later confirmed that he was sentenced to 11 years and fined 100,000 yuan. (Link)
Former Accountant Sentenced to Four Years
Having served one year of forced labor and three years in prison, a former accountant in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province was sentenced again to four years and fined 10,000 yuan for her faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang Chunhe, 63, was taken to a brainwashing center in October 2020 during the “Zero-out” campaign, which aims to force every Falun Gong practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce their faith. She wasn’t released until over two months later.
As she remained firm in her faith, the police arrested her on April 10, 2021, after tricking her into opening the door by claiming to be there to do a coronavirus test. The police sealed her door before they left.
Using Falun Gong books and materials confiscated from Ms. Zhang as evidence against her, the police submitted her case to the Zengcheng District Procuratorate. Ms. Zhang stood trial in the Haizhu District Court on November 19, 2021. She argued that she didn’t violate any law by practicing Falun Gong and that no evidence had shown how she had harmed anyone as alleged by the prosecutor.
On March 28, 2022, guards at the Zengcheng District Detention Center attempted to coerce Ms. Zhang into renouncing her faith on camera and collect her fingerprints. When she resisted, they pulled her out of the chair, handcuffed her, and dragged her to the cell, injuring her arms. She started a hunger strike in protest.
The judge announced through a virtual sentencing hearing on July 13, 2022, that she was sentenced to four years and fined 10,000 yuan. (Link)
Based on an original article by Minghui.org