Retired Teacher Sentenced to Three and a Half Year Prison Term
(Minghui.org) Mr. Peng Zhijiang, a retired teacher from Anqing City, Anhui Province, was sentenced to a four-year prison term on December 26, 2016, and fined 10,000 yuan, for practicing Falun Gong. He appealed the verdict. His attorney recently received the revised verdict from the Anqing City Intermediate People's Court, stating that Mr. Peng was sentenced to three and a half years and fined 8,000 yuan.
According to Article 232 of the Criminal Procedure Law of China, for an appeal, the court should form a collegial panel and hold a new trial. But the Anqing City Intermediate People's Court violated these provisions. The case was closed with a revised verdict issued without an actual trial.
Persecuted for His Belief
Mr. Peng began practicing Falun Gong in 1998. He formerly suffered from a number of illnesses, including gastric ulcer, arthritis, heart disease, and rhinitis. After practicing Falun Gong he became healthy and optimistic, and his moral character improved. He interacted positively with the people around him and was recognized with the “outstanding teacher” award.
After the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, Mr. Peng was harassed multiple times by the local police. He was sent to brainwashing sessions several times, which caused him tremendous trauma. In May 2015, Mr. Peng sued Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese leader, for launching the persecution of Falun Gong.
Mr. Peng was arrested by officers from the Taihu County Domestic Security Division on the morning of May 24, 2016, while he was distributing Falun Gong informational materials. The home that he shares with his son was ransacked that afternoon. After being held in the Taihu County Detention Center for about one month, he was issued an arrest warrant.
Mr. Peng was charged by the Procuratorate on October 14, 2016. He was sentenced to a four-year prison term and fined 10,000 yuan, after two court appearances, on December 7 and December 26, respectively.
Mr. Peng appealed the verdict but a new trial was not held. The sentence was arbitrarily changed to three and a half years in prison and the fine was reduced to 8,000 yuan.