Shandong Practitioners Sentenced Up to 7.5 Years for Falun Gong Artwork

Falun Gong practitioners in Guan County, Shandong Province, were arrested between May and August 2022 for producing information materials and possessing Falun Gong-themed new year paintings and ornaments in their homes. The eight practitioners, most of whom are farmers, stood trial at the Guan County Court on December 21, 2022.

During the trial, Ms. Zhang Yuxiang noted that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China. She pointed out that by practicing Falun Gong and gaining good health, practitioners have saved their employers and the country a lot of medical expenses. They were not violating any law by exercising and trying to be good people.

The presiding judge Fan Bin, along with judges Zheng Lianfei and Hu Quanming, were presented with the police-confiscated paintings and ornaments as prosecution evidence against the practitioners. Neither the prosecutor nor presiding judge Fan Bin explained how the practitioners undermined law enforcement by having those items. 

On January 4, 2023, the eight Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced from 3 years to 7.5 years in prison. They were charged with promoting Falun Gong and making informational materials about the practice. Most of them have appealed the verdicts. 

Below are the details about the eight practitioners and their sentencing: 

  • Zhang Yuxiang, 51, was sentenced to 7.5 years and fined 18,000 yuan. She was arrested on August 18, 2022, and put in criminal detention on September 13. When the police ransacked her home, they also took 20,000 yuan in cash from her.
  • Mr. Xu Hengkui, 60, was also sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and fined 18,000 yuan. He was arrested on May 13, 2022, and released on bail in early June due to his health condition. He was previously given two years of forced labor on February 28, 2002.
  • Mr. Kong Dequan, 61, was arrested on July 29, 2022. He was sentenced to seven years and four months, with a 16,000 yuan fine. He was previously sentenced to three years of forced labor on May 5, 2001. 
  • Mr. Zhou Chunbao, 48, and former deputy tax bureau director, was arrested on May 15, 2022. He was interrogated multiple times and deprived of sleep for days. He was sentenced to four years and fined 10,000 yuan.
  • Ms. Gao Shuzhen, 47, was sentenced to four years and fined 10,000 yuan. She was previously arrested on March 1, 2022, and detained briefly. The police harassed her on May 13 and confiscated her computer. She was arrested again on July 26. The police put her on residential surveillance on July 30 and then in criminal detention on September 22. 
  • Mr. Han Zhenlin, 71, was arrested on July 28, 2022. He was also sentenced to four years with a 10,000 yuan fine. The police claimed that he was held at the Guan County Legal Center, but his family could not find any information about the place. Prior to his latest sentencing, he was detained five days following another arrest on November 18, 2015. 
  • Mr. Zhang Bingliang, 68, was arrested on August 19, 2022. His 200,000 yuan in cash from selling fertilizers was confiscated by the police. He was sentenced to four years with a 10,000 yuan fine.
  • Mr. Wang Ruixiang, 55, was sentenced to three years and fined 8,000 yuan.

Based on an original report from