Lawyers Assaulted, Barred from Defending Falun Gong Practitioners

November 05, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Hebei Province, China

(Minghui.org) During the trial of six Falun Gong practitioners by the Feixiang District Court on October 11, 2016, one of the defense lawyers was beaten by the bailiffs and barred from the courtroom, another lawyer was constantly interrupted by the judge during his defense presentation, and the six defendants were deprived of their right to defend themselves.

The defendants were arrested on January 26, 2016 for distributing flyers about the persecution of Falun Gong by the communist regime. They were then held in the Feixiang Detention Center for more than nine months. Their names are Mr. Li Congchun, Mr. Li Mingtao, Mr. Shen Youliang, Ms. Wang Yingru, Ms. Wan Meihua, and Ms. Luo Jinyu.

Mr. Li Congchun, 71, and Mr. Li Mingtao, 45, had previously been imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Li Mingtao was tortured during his 11 years of imprisonment, including being shocked by electric batons, hung up, savagely beaten, deprived of sleep, held in solitary confinement, and had his fingers hit with pliers.

The four-hour court session ended without a verdict.

Lawyer Assaulted by Bailiff, Barred from Courtroom

Lawyer Dong Qianyong’s backpack was searched by court staff. However, under Chinese law, lawyers are exempt from security searches.

Although he agreed to the search, the court officials took him to an office where a man from a higher court was present. After Dong asked why the man was there, a bailiff slapped his face twice. His glasses fell to the ground and broke.

The lawyer demanded to know why he was slapped. The bailiff said, “Beating is one of the ways to enhance law enforcement.”

The lawyer’s complaint to the presiding judge about the bailiff fell on deaf ears. As the lawyer prepared to call the procuratorate to file a formal complaint, the bailiffs confiscated his two cellphones, saying it was to prevent the lawyer from recording the trial.

The judge and bailiff did not allow the lawyer into the courtroom.

Lawyer Dong then went to the procuratorate to file the complaint. After he came back to the court, the bailiff held his hands behind his back, searched his body, and checked his phone. The court staff tore open his briefcase and dumped all the case documents all over the ground.

The lawyer was later removed from the courtroom and not allowed to defend his client.

Shortly after the trial started, presiding judge Liu Yanfeng announced that lawyer Dong Qianyong failed to appear in court.

The other lawyer, Zhang Zanning, argued with Judge Liu that it was he who did not allow Mr. Dong to enter the courtroom. Judge Liu ignored him and continued with the trial.

Second Lawyer Cut Off During Defense

Although lawyer Zhang Zanning, who was representing another practitioner, was allowed into the courtroom, the judge constantly interrupted his defense. At one point, the judge suddenly stopped him and asked other people to talk.

When the lawyer ignored the judge and continued to talk, the judge pounded the gavel harshly, yelled at the lawyer, and threatened to suspend his right of defense.

The mother of his client, Mr. Li Mingtao, also wanted to defend him, but Judge Liu did not allow her to speak. She protested to the judge after seeing the judge repeatedly restricting defense arguments for the practitioners. As a result, she was dragged out of the court by bailiffs.

Defendants Deprived of Right to Defend Themselves

The judge also denied the defendants’ right to speak on their own behalf.

During cross-examination, several practitioners wanted to defend themselves but were stopped by Judge Liu, who promised to allow time during the free speech stage. However, the practitioners were not allowed to talk during the free speech stage.

Judge Liu first asked practitioner Mr. Li Congchun to speak but did not allow him to say more than two sentences. Mr. Li told the judge that he should treat him with respect and let justice be served.

The judge cut him off and asked the second defendant Mr. Li Mingtao to talk. “Do you object to the charges against you?” the judge asked.

“I didn’t do anything wrong by practicing Falun Gong,” said Mr. Li, “or by being a good person and following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The charges against us are false.”

The judge stopped him and then asked the third defendant Mr. Shen Youliang. “Do you object to the charges?”

Before Mr. Shen replied, the judge went ahead and said, “You don’t, do you?”

Judge Liu and the prosecutor Li Wenying read the questions quickly and with a heavy accent. The defendants had trouble understanding what was said. The free speech stage for the six defendants ended in less than seven minutes.

Tight Security

Plainclothes officers surrounded the court, and all the streets to the court were blockaded by police cars. The officers were on high alert to prevent anyone from getting close.

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Police around the court during trial of six Falun Gong practitioners

When the practitioners’ family members and lawyers arrived at the court, their car was blocked by the officers, and everyone was forced to show their identification.

Judge Liu then passed out 16 attendance permits to the 6 defendants’ families. No one without a permit was allowed to attend the officially open trial, including the defendants’ family members.

Eight local Falun Gong practitioners who came to the support the defendants were arrested by police. All but two were held for 15 days in a detention center.

Related article in Chinese:
开庭陷害法轮功学员-邯郸法院警察殴打辩护律师

Responsible parties:
Liu Yanfeng (柳延峰), presiding judge, Feixiang Court in Hebei Province: +86-18031061889
Yin Lijun (殷立君), party secretary, Feixiang County: +86-310-8668999, +86-18103305999
Pan Jiqiang (潘纪强), head, Feixiang County Police Department: +86-310-8557801, +86-13903100180
Yan Yanmin (闫艳民), head, Feixiang County Domestic Security Division:+86-13315065168
Tian Jingbin (田敬宾), director, Feixiang County 610 Office: +86-310-8555876, +86-13932004899
Zhao Hongshan (赵洪山), head, Feixiang County: +86-310-8550266, +86-13931004668
Wei Xiping (魏锡平), secretary, Feixiang County Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-310-8550588 (Office), +86-13831069788

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

Village Party Secretary Helps Falun Gong Practitioners

February 21, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China

(Minghui.org) Seven Falun Gong practitioners went to a practitioner’s home in a village on January 17, 2016. They were preparing for a trip to a mountainous region where they planned to distribute Falun Gong informational materials.

The village Party secretary arrived after noticing several electric bikes outside the house. He asked the homeowner if he had visitors, and said that he would like to talk to them.

The practitioners showed the Party secretary a petition form for suing Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese communist regime, and asked if he would like to sign it. The Party secretary put his fingerprint on the petition without hesitation.

The homeowner thanked the Party secretary for protecting practitioners in the past. The secretary replied, “The other day, I told my wife to learn Falun Gong from you guys. You have nothing to worry about. Let me know if anyone dares to cause trouble for you. The next time the police or anyone else asks if you still practice Falun Gong, don’t reply. You may serve them tea and show them your kind nature, but avoid answering their questions about Falun Gong.”

Time was pressing, so the homeowner thanked the Party secretary for his advice, and said, “We are getting ready to drive to the mountains to distribute Falun Gong materials. We’ll need to take my tractor. So we will have to talk to you another time.”

The Party secretary said that he would have liked to have given us a lift there, but his car was too small to seat everyone.

The tractor stalled just after they left, due to cold weather.

The driver called the Party secretary for help. He arrived in less than ten minutes, and brought a container of hot water to help unfreeze the fuel line. While the practitioners were fixing the tractor he invited three practitioners into his car and took them to their destination.

The tractor was running by the time he returned to take the remaining practitioners. They all then left for the mountains.

Chinese version available

Category: People in China Awaken to the Truth

Over 300 Falun Gong Practitioners from Sanhe, Hebei Province Sue Jiang Zemin

December 14, 2015

(Minghui.org) More than 300 Falun Gong practitioners from Sanhe City, Hebei Province have filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin between May 27 and December 7, 2015, according to reports compiled by the Minghui website.

The practitioners charge the former Chinese dictator with initiating the brutal suppression of Falun Gong and hold him responsible for the tremendous suffering inflicted upon them by his campaign. The criminal complaints were mailed to the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Many of these practitioners recounted how Falun Gong returned them to health and gave them a new outlook on life. Their dream to live a healthier and happier life, however, was shattered when Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign to eradicate the practice in 1999.

Simply for refusing to give up their belief, these law-abiding citizens were arrested, detained, tortured, and had their homes ransacked and personal belongings seized by the communist authorities. Below, we profile the stories of a few of these practitioners:

Ms. Jia Xueyun, 53, Remains Incapacitated after 15 Years

Once a healthy woman with a big smile, Ms. Jia Xueyun was rendered disabled after three months of torture and abuse at Kaiping Labor Camp in 2000. The guards there beat her on a regular basis, and often stuffed her mouth with soiled sanitary pads.

Her family could hardly recognize Ms. Jia when she was released 15 years ago. She couldn’t move or talk. She also had needle marks all over her arms. Her family suspected that she might have been injected with unknown drugs.

Today, 15 years later, Ms. Jia remains mentally challenged. Her short-term memory is gone. While she can manage to stand up on her own for a few seconds and walk several steps with support, she relies on others for all her daily needs.

Her two sons were only teenagers when she became disabled. They couldn’t understand how their mother was reduced to an invalid simply for practicing Falun Gong. Her husband had to work extra hard to take care of her and their children.

Ms. Jia’s parents were so traumatized by her deterioration that they both developed symptoms of stroke shortly after her release. Both have since passed away.

Husband and Wife Sue Jiang Zemin for Repeated Arrests

Mr. Lu Chunyang, 53, was an office director for the Sanhe City Export Company. His wife, Ms. Li Yonglian, once taught at the Fourth Elementary School in Sanhe City. Both lost their jobs within just a few years of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Both husband and wife were also repeatedly arrested. In particular, Ms. Li was arrested five times and once spent three years in a forced labor camp. They were also forced to pay a total of 19,985 yuan in “fines” for their refusal to give up their belief in Falun Gong.

Mr. Lu wrote in his complaint, “Not only my wife and I suffered tremendously, my parents and daughter were also traumatized. My father’s health deteriorated quickly and he passed in 2009 after several hospitalizations. My mother developed dementia after our repeated arrests and now requires around-the-clock care. My daughter, a middle-schooler when the persecution started, was bullied and struggled to focus on her studies.”

Retired Government Official Holds Jiang Responsible for His Arrests

Mr. Lu Baofa, 73, was the security section chief for the Sanhe City Commerce Bureau.

He recalled in his complaint how he kicked his 40-year habit of smoking and drinking just nine days after he started practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Lu, however, was arrested on July 20, 1999, the very day Jiang launched the persecution of Falun Gong. The local police kept him in custody for 6 days before moving him back to his workplace, where he was detained for more than 40 days.

Mr. Lu was completely cut off from the outside world while under “house arrest” at his workplace. He was forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong day in and day out. Despite the pressure, he refused to give up Falun Gong.

Farmer Tortured and Forced to Do Hard Labor

Mr. Pan Zhenfang, a farmer from Xinji Town, was arrested a total of 12 times over the course of the persecution.

In 2000 alone, he was taken into custody four times and forced to pay a fine of 3,000 yuan. His wife Zhang Chunhua was sent to a labor camp in late April that year.

Mr. Pan was brutally tortured after he was taken to a forced labor camp in early 2001. For 15 days straight, he was cuffed to a metal ring anchored to the floor, unable to sit or stand. The guards used 4 electric batons simultaneously to shock him. He passed out, only to be woken up for further electric shock. One person later burned the soles of Mr. Pan’s feet with a cigarette butt.

He was later moved to a factory to do hard labor. The job involved using toxic materials, yet he and other Falun Gong practitioners were not given any protective gear. Moreover, they were required to finish their tasks within a short period of time. Anyone who failed to meet the deadline was brutally beaten.

The factory was later shut down after repeated complaints from locals for the toxic fumes. Mr. Pan was then transferred to another factory for more hard labor.

When he was finally released, Mr. Pan learned that his father had passed away shortly after his arrest in 2001. The local police constantly harassed his family during his entire labor camp detention.

Wedding Photographer Stripped and Exposed to the Elements

Meng Zhaomin, a 43-year-old wedding photographer, credits Falun Gong for curing his Hepatitis B, yet he was arrested repeatedly for practicing Falun Gong.

He recalled one particular arrest episode in his criminal complaint, “I was talking to Pan Zhenfang [the above mentioned farmer-practitioner] and another practitioner in my studio when city Party Secretary Yang Shaolin broke in and ordered the three of us arrested. We were taken to the police station, where Mr. Pan and I were stripped down to our underwear and cuffed to a concrete pole in the courtyard. It was a blustery day with snow on the ground, but Yang and the police refused to give us back our clothes, despite repeated pleas from onlookers.

When we were finally freed from the pole, our bodies were numb. We couldn’t lift our arms or walk properly.”

Ten officers broke into Mr. Meng’s studio again on June 4, 2004 and ransacked his business and upstairs residence. He was held at a brainwashing center for 45 days, during which time his wife was never told of his whereabouts and searched for him everywhere.

On February 5, 2009, Mr. Meng and his wife were arrested again. Domestic Security Office Head Shi Liandong slapped his face hard and knocked him down repeatedly. Shi even threatened to throw Mr. Meng out of a fourth-floor window. During the next four months, Mr. Meng was kept in a small room inside a brainwashing center.

Brothers and Their Wives Forced to Leave Home to Avoid Arrest

Zhang Jun and his younger brother Zhang Yong and their wives all practice Falun Gong. The two couples were repeatedly arrested and at one time they had to live away home to avoid further arrests, leaving their elderly parents and young children to fend for themselves.

Zhang Yong wrote his complaint, “On March 3, 2000, we went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, but were arrested the very same day. My wife, Chen Fengqin, and I, as well as my brother Zhang Jun and his wife Li Fengqin, were interrogated separately. I was beaten for more than one hour.”

The brothers’ father paid 4,000 yuan to get his sons and daughters-in-law released. The police have yet to return 2,500 yuan of the bail money to the family.

In August 2001, the two brothers and their wives left home to avoid further arrest. The police launched a manhunt for them and sent agents to keep tabs on their families. The police often barged into their houses without warning, terrifying their parents and children.

Background

In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.

The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners over the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.

Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang’s directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.

Chinese law now allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.

Related reports:

The Tragedy of Ms. Jia Xueyun of Sanhe City, Hebei Province
Jia Xueyun Risks Her Life to Protect Dafa with 100 Day Hunger Strike
Police in Sanhe, Hebei Province Arrest Mr. Meng Zhaomin and Create Hardship for His Family

Chinese version available

Category: Prosecuting Jiang Zemin