A Canadian businesswoman who was the co-owner of a multi-million-dollar company has been sentenced to eight years in prison in China for practicing Falun Dafa.
Sun Qian, a Canadian citizen, was arrested at her Beijing residence in February 2017 and has remained in custody ever since. She was sentenced on the morning of June 30 by a Beijing court, according to one of her former lawyers Xie Yiyang.
“Sun Qian is innocent,” Xie says. “The arresting and charging of Sun Qian were illegal right from the beginning.”
Xie says Sun’s sentence violates China’s own constitution which stipulates freedom of religious belief. He says the sentence tramples the rule of law and shows “the criminal acts” of those involved in “such an unjust case.”
Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, called for Sun’s immediate release.
“Sun has suffered at the hands of the Communist party for over three years. She has been illegally detained and physically and mentally tortured with reports of her being shackled, handcuffed to a steel chair, pepper sprayed in the face, and under sustained brainwashing and psychological manipulation,” Li said.
Sun has been represented by close to a dozen lawyers since her arrest, all of whom had to drop her case due to pressure from the Chinese authorities. Since 2019, she has been allowed to only use a government designated lawyer, who could at best ask for leniency rather than argue for her innocence.
The Meng Case
Xie says one of the main factors behind Sun’s case dragging on for over three years before sentencing, and then the very long prison sentence handed down June 30, is the Meng Wanzhou case.