(Minghui.org) A married couple in Tonghua City, Jilin Province, were sentenced to prison in mid-June 2022 for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Li Hua and Ms. Zhao Guiyong were arrested on October 27, 2021, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. When their relatives happened to visit the couple two days later, they were surprised to see their door wide open with all the lights on. The couple was nowhere to be found. The rooms were in a mess, indicating that it was raided. 

The couple’s daughter received a call from the police on November 2 and was told that Mr. Li was held at the Tonghua County Detention Center and Ms. Zhao at the Tonghua City Detention Center. She went to the county police department on November 8 to inquire about her parents’ case. She was stopped at the door and told that the police had nothing to share, as her parents’ case was related to “state secrets.” She then went to the two detention centers. The guards denied her entry and also refused to provide any information about her parents.

Ms. Li went to the Tonghua County Domestic Security Office on November 24 and was received by two officers. They told her that officers from the Donglai Police Station, Guosong Police Station and Ermi Police Station were involved in her parents’ case, but they refused to reveal the names of the specific officers.

The two officers also revealed that the police hadn’t determined the charges against the couple, but it was certain that they would be sentenced. When their daughter said she would hire lawyers to represent them, the officers responded that she wasn’t allowed to do so and even if she hired lawyers, it wouldn’t change anything. They added that non-Falun Gong defendants can hire lawyers, but not Falun Gong practitioners.

The couple’s daughter contacted the appeals office with the county police department and government about the police’s violation of legal procedure in the case but to no avail.

She went to the Tonghua County Procuratorate on November 30, trying to get updates about her parents’ case. A staff member surnamed Zhang directed her to Wang Zhiyan, the chief of the Donglai Police Station.

She went to the Donglai Police Station and confirmed that it was they who arrested her parents. She also found her father’s motorcycle in the police station’s yard, but the police refused to return it.

The couple stood trial in mid-June 2022. Mr. Li was sentenced to four years. Ms. Zhao was given three years with four years’ probation. She began experiencing a medical condition in custody and was released on June 21. Mr. Li was still held at the Tonghua County Detention Center at the time of writing.

Perpetrators’ contact information:

Xu Yan (徐岩), director, Tonghua County Domestic Security Office: +86-13894581239, +86-13943519035Guan Jian (管健), secretary, Tonghua County Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-435-5235666, +86-13904450061Piao Yuan (朴渊), deputy secretary, Tonghua County Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-435- 5220377, +86-13943518081

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)