October 01, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent from Hunan Province
(Minghui.org) A Shimen County woman was recently tried for using a cult to undermine law enforcement, a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Tan Xiaolan had two court appearances, on August 23 and September 21, 2016, respectively. Both times she and her lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, and that it was her constitutional right to talk to people about Falun Gong on social media.
At the end of both hearings, the presiding judge ordered that the court proceedings be altered before being presented to Ms. Tan and her lawyer for their signatures.
Ms. Tan spotted the modifications and refused to sign the documents.
Judge Alters Court Proceedings
The judge from Shimen County Court didn’t allow Ms. Tan to testify for herself during the first hearing. He simply asked her to show him a written copy of her statement.
When it was time to sign the court proceedings as required by law, Ms. Tan signed the first page following what her lawyer did. But she soon uncovered something fishy when she flipped to the second page. The judge had changed the court proceedings, which was nothing like what had just unfolded in court.
She refused to sign.
Same Alteration Tactic Used at Second Hearing
The same judge again refused to listen to Ms. Tan’s testimony. He pushed away the bailiff when he was about to pass Ms. Tan’s written testimonial to him.
Ms. Tan became suspicious when the court proceedings took a long time to be ready. She went inside the office and wanted to find out why. She overheard the judge talking to someone on the phone, “What should we do? You know we’re not following legal procedures.”
It dawned on Ms. Tan that the judge was knowingly violating the law. She tried to argue with the judge, but was pushed out by a bailiff.
A person finally came out with the court records. He kept urging Ms. Tan to just sign her name on every page, but she refused to budge. She noted that the lawyer’s defense argument had been shortened to just one sentence, while her own testimony was left out completely.
She refused to sign, but the court managed to pressure her husband to sign on her behalf. She snatched away the document and tore it to pieces. She reminded her husband, “How could you be so muddle-headed? If we had signed, that would have allowed them to violate my human rights and try me on trumped up charges!”
The court added a note to the court proceedings, “Tan Xiaolan refused to sign.”
Violation of Due Process Precedes Court Hearings
Ms. Tan was deceived into going to the local police station on May 6, 2016. She refused to sign the detention paperwork, but was still sent to a local detention center.
On May 23, her husband, father, and two brothers submitted an appeal to the Shimen County Political and Legal Affairs Committee, requesting her release. They have still not heard back from the agency.
Ms. Tan wasn’t released on bail until June 15, three days past the legally permissible detention term in the absence of a formal charge.
Not long after her release, the Shimen County Procuratorate filed an indictment against her.
Category: Accounts of Persecution