Reported in March 2022: 74 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith
In March 2022, 74 Falun Gong practitioners were reported to have been sentenced for their faith. The newly confirmed cases include 1 in 2013; 2 in 2014; 1 each in 2016, 2017, and 2018; 24 in 2021; and 44 in 2022. Of the 44 cases in 2022, 1 was sentenced on January, 13 in February, and 30 in March.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that the Chinese communist regime has persecuted since 1999. Since then, countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, sentenced, and tortured for upholding their faith. Due to strict information censorship in China, incidents cannot always be reported promptly, nor is all the information readily available.
The convicted practitioners came from 20 provinces and municipalities. Shandong Province recorded the most sentencing cases (11), followed by Liaoning (8), Beijing (8), Hebei (7), Shaanxi (6), and Guangdong (6). The remaining 14 regions had cases between 5 and 1.
The practitioners’ prison terms ranged from 7 months to 9 years, with an average of 3.22 years. Thirty-two practitioners were fined 312,000 yuan (~ 46,000 USD) averaging 9,750 yuan (~ 1,500 USD) per person.
Twenty-four of the sentenced practitioners are 60 or older, with the oldest being a 76-year-old man who was sentenced to three years. They came from all walks of life, including doctors, nurses, and teachers.
Below are snapshots of selected sentencing cases. The complete list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).
Parents Die Six Years Apart in Persecution of Falun Gong, Young Woman Given Seven Years for Her Shared Faith
After losing both of her parents to the persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Sun Yujiao, who is around 30 years old, was recently sent to prison to serve a seven-year term for her shared faith.
Ms. Sun of Mengyin County, Shandong Province, was arrested at home on June 10, 2021. The police broke in and searched her home. Ms. Sun and her father’s Falun Gong books, Falun Gong informational materials, computers, and printers were confiscated. She was first interrogated at the police station and then transferred to the Linyi Detention Center.
Her father, Mr. Sun Pinjin, was arrested at work eight days later. His family was informed the next day that he had died.
When Mr. Sun’s family saw his body at the Mengyin County Funeral Home, one of his eyeballs was missing, and his abdomen and half of his head were sunken and leaking fluid. The police refused to let his family order an autopsy. The authorities forced Mr. Sun’s family to cremate his body on June 26, leaving the real cause of his death a mystery.
Mr. Sun’s death came only six years after his wife, Ms. Yu Zaihua, died due to Falun Gong’s persecution on August 19, 2015. She was 47.
Now, nine months following Mr. Sun’s tragic death, Ms. Sun was sentenced to seven years and taken to the Shandong Province Women’s Prison. It’s not clear whether the authorities gave her a lengthy-term to prevent her from seeking justice for her father. (Link)
Mother and Daughter Sentenced to Prison
In Nanning City, Guangxi Province, Ms. Lyu Bo and her mother, Ms. Fu Shujie, 67, were reported on March 5, 2020, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. Over ten officers broke into their homes on March 22 and confiscated their Falun Gong books, informational materials, computer, and cellphone.
Two practitioners who happened to be visiting them, Ms. Gan Yonglian, who was four months pregnant, and Ms. Mo Lijuan, were also arrested. Both Ms. Gan and Ms. Mo had their homes ransacked.
Although Ms. Lyu and Ms. Fu were released days later, the police camped outside their homes to prevent them from going out or contacting other practitioners.
The four practitioners were taken back into custody on July 7, 2020, and held in the Naning City No.1 Detention Center. Due to the abuse, Ms. Fu’s health quickly declined, and she became incapacitated.
Ms. Lyu was sentenced to ten months and Ms. Fu to one year in March 2021. It’s not clear whether Ms. Mo and Ms. Gan have been convicted. (Link)
70-year-old Doctor Secretly Sentenced to Three Years and Three Months
When Ms. Lyu Chunyu’s lawyer tried to visit her in the Yaojia Detention Center in Liaoning Province on March 1, 2022, a guard revealed that she was sentenced to three years and three months for practicing Falun Gong. They prevented the lawyer from visiting her and said they would take her to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in a few weeks.
Ms. Lyu, a 70-year-old doctor in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, has been repeatedly harassed for her faith in Falun Gong over the past two years.
The police went to her home on November 2 and 3, 2021, and took her for a COVID test and physical exam. On November 3, she was taken to the Yaojia Detention Center and charged with “undermining law enforcement,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.
On November 22, Ms. Lyu’s family received a message from the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Zone Court that said that she was scheduled to be tried in a video conference on November 30. Her daughter called the assistant to Judge Wang Qian the next day, only to be told that the hearing had already been held the day before. (Link)
Previously Incarcerated for 9 Years, Former Teacher Sentenced Again to 5.5 Years
Ms. Gong Ruiping, a former elementary school teacher in Beijing, was sentenced to 5.5 years and fined 11,000 yuan (~1,600 USD) on February 21, 2022.
Ms. Gong, 45, was reported for talking to a young man about Falun Gong on July 3, 2021. The police tracked her location through her cellphone and arrested her on July 20. Her two residences were ransacked, and her Falun Gong items, including banknotes with messages about Falun Gong, printed on them, were confiscated.
Ms. Gong stood trial at the Pinggu District Court on December 15, 2021. Her family wasn’t allowed to attend. She appealed the sentence after the judge announced the verdict on February 21, 2022.
Since the persecution began in 1999, Ms. Gong has been incarcerated for over 9 years, including 4 years in prison and more than 5 years in detention centers, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers. She also lost her job as a teacher. While detained, she was beaten, force-fed, and shocked with electric batons. She was injected with toxic drugs and forced to drink urine. A police officer also sexually assaulted her. (Link)
After 11.5 Years of Incarceration, Heilongjiang Woman Sentenced to Another 4 Years
About a year and a half after Ms. Sun Shujie finished serving five years for her faith in Falun Gong, the Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province resident was arrested again and sentenced to another four years.
Ms. Sun was on her way to the local social security bureau on December 23, 2020, to seek the reinstatement of her pension that was suspended during her last prison term when the police grabbed her and dragged her into a police car. They snatched her keys and ransacked her home without a search warrant. When her family pointed out that the home raid was illegal, deputy police chief Sun Yang produced a warrant. Ms. Sun’s Falun Gong books and household items were confiscated.
After the police chief took Ms. Sun to the police station, he told his subordinates that they didn’t have to interrogate her—they could make up the interrogation record themselves. After holding her in isolation for a day without giving her any food or water, the police took Ms. Sun to the Shuangyashan Detention Center the following afternoon. She developed a severe medical condition at the detention center and was released on bail on January 28.
After Ms. Sun was indicted, she was arrested again on March 30, 2021, and they attempted to take her to the detention center, which refused to accept her due to her extremely high blood pressure. The Jianshan Court gave her a copy of the indictment and put her on residential surveillance.
Ms. Sun was taken back into custody on August 21, 2021, and was later sentenced to four years. She appealed the verdict, but the higher court turned down her appeal. She was admitted to the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison.
Since the onset of the persecution in 1999, she has been arrested 15 times for her faith. She served three labor camp terms (of 1, 2.5, and 3 years) and a prison term of 5 years following her arrest in 2014.
While in custody, she was beaten, restrained on a tiger bench, shocked with electric batons, stretched, and hung up. She was hospitalized 11 times and almost died.
While serving time in the Jiamusi Forced Labor Camp in 2003, Ms. Sun was given toxic drugs that made her delirious. Shortly after her husband divorced her. (Link)