Ms. Yang Lirong from Inner Mongolia Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

Ms. Li Yuzhi was arrested at her home on February 29th, 2012, by Xu Guofeng, Liu Long, and other officers from the Songshan District Domestic Security Division in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia. They confiscated her computer, printer, and over 60,000 yuan1. Xu, Liu and two other officers waited at Ms. Li's home for several hours and claimed that they would arrest whoever showed up. That afternoon Ms. Li's daughter, Ms. Yang Lirong, from the Hongshan District brought her good friend Ms. Zhang Cuimin to her mother's home. They were both arrested.

Officials from the Procuratorate and Songshan District Court filed a complaint against Ms. Li and Ms. Yang. They also tried to prevent the family from hiring a lawyer to defend them. Liu Long stated, “You will be given a longer sentence if you hire a lawyer to defend your legal rights.”

Ms. Yang's family was not deterred and hired a lawyer to defend her. Xu Guofeng and Liu Long still tried to threaten them into dismissing their lawyer.

Ms. Yang and her mother were tried in Songshan District Court on August 22nd. Ms. Li was sentenced to three years, and, as expected, Ms. Yang was given a severe sentence—eight years— because her family hired a lawyer and they refused to plead guilty. Ms. Li and Ms. Yang were taken to Hohhot City Women's Prison on September 27th.

The officials present at the hearing were: Feng Guijuan and Sui Weihua, prosecutors from the Songshan District Procuratorate; Li Yueming, presiding judge of Songshan District Court; and Guo Wenxiu, judicial officer.

Ms. Zhang Cuimin from the Hongshan District in Chifeng was previously sentenced to seven years in prison by the Songshan District Court. She was taken to Hohhot City Women's Prison approximately six months ago.


1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.

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