Lawyer Demands Acquittal of Falun Gong Practitioner

November 07, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Liaoning Province

(Minghui.org) An Anshan City pharmacist was tried on October 18 on charges of using a cult to undermine law enforcement, a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Dai Yajuan’s lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that his client should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.

He also questioned the authenticity of the prosecution evidence and protested against the police’s violation of legal procedures.

Ms. Dai was seized from home on June 28. None of the officers showed any IDs or search warrants. The police drove her to the police station before returning to ransack her home.

By law, the police must fill out a search warrant return – an itemization of seized property, and the arrested person must be present when the police tallies the confiscated items. Ms. Dai was never given a chance to see what was taken away from her home. Her family, who wasn’t present during the police raid, later discovered that all her jewelry was gone.

The indictment mentioned the number of confiscated Falun Gong books in two places, one saying 163 copies while the other 169 copies.

The lawyer acknowledged that Ms. Dai indeed owned some Falun Gong books – though not as many as claimed by the police – but her possession was lawful and caused no harm to anyone or society at large, let alone undermined law enforcement.

There was another piece of prosecution evidence stating that the police interrogated Ms. Dai on July 4 and secured her signature on some paperwork. She testified that no officer visited the detention center to question her on that day.

The lawyer requested that the judge dismiss the prosecution evidence and acquit his client.

The judge adjourned the session without issuing a verdict.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

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

The Story of a Young Slovakian Lawyer

September 11, 2016 | By Wu Sijing, a Minghui reporter

(Minghui.org)

2016-8-26-peter-slovakian
Photo: Peter, a young Slovakian lawyer who practices Falun Gong

A New “Law” for the Lawyer – Help People Solve Their Conflicts

Peter, a 27-year old Slovakian lawyer, has a calm way of handling his cases due to practicing Falun Gong.

Often, a person looks for a lawyer to protect his or her interest and defeat an opponent during a conflict. Sometimes, the client even hopes the lawyer will use unfair practices to win.

Peter truly believes in”Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” the foundational principles of Falun Gong.

“In my line of work, I have seen many conflicts and battles among people,” said Peter. “In my opinion, it is more valuable to help my clients to resolve disputes in a positive way, instead of defeating the other side.”

He advises his clients to treat opponents peacefully and not to go extremes. “Even if you have conflicts with another person, you can still respect each other and try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes,” explained Peter. “Just think, which way is better: have one more enemy or have one more friend?”

Many of his clients have agreed with him.

Falun Gong Teaches People to Be Good

When Peter was in college 10 years ago, a Chinese friend introduced Falun Gong to his parents, who became the first practitioners in Slovakia.

“My father used to have a very bad temper. He got into fights easily. He always thought other people were wrong. He constantly criticized me,” Peter recalled.

“However, after my father started practicing Falun Gong, he changed. He became peaceful, happy, and understanding.” Seeing the change in his father, Peter began to practice Falun Gong too.

“My parents are so happy that I practice. They are happy I have positive moral values and am trustworthy. A lot of parents are worried that their children will be negatively affected by today’s society–smoking, drinking, or other bad behaviors. They know Falun Gong teaches me to look inward and to be a good person.”

Exposing the Persecution in Slovakia

Peter and other local Falun Gong practitioners have often held public events about Falun Gong. They give information leaflets and collect signatures on petitions against forced organ harvesting from living practitioners.

People who have experienced communism, whether they are from East Germany, Czech, or Poland, understand readily. When they hear about the persecution of Falun Gong in communist China, they nod right away, “Yes, we have experienced a similar thing,” is a common comment.

“Slovakia was formerly a communist country,” said Peter. “Many people know clearly what a communist government does to its citizens. I did not have to convince them that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is true.”

“Some people even cried when they heard about the brutal persecution. They were deeply touched. I occasionally meet former communist party members who still try to defend the communist system, but that was very rare.”

Although the younger generation in the country did not live under communist rule, Peter was glad to see they understand very well the destructiveness of the communist party.

“No young person defends communism,” said Peter.

Since he began to practice seven years ago, Peter has been talking about Falun Gong and the persecution in public.

“Falun Gong teaches people to be good, and to improve. But Falun Gong practitioners in China have been under such cruel persecution. We practitioners outside of China must stand up for then.”

“The persecution must end,” Peter said firmly.

Chinese version available

Category: Journeys of Cultivation

Court Circumvents Defense Lawyer in Trial of Falun Gong Practitioner

April 03, 2016 | By a correspondent from Xinjiang Province

(Minghui.org) Extralegal proceedings against Falun Gong practitioners by a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) court were recently exposed when the defense attorney for a Falun Gong practitioner was circumvented from his client’s trial, and another attorney was denied full legal access to the client’s court documents.

The trial was held in Karamay City, Xinjiang Autonomous Region on February 17, 2016. The defendant, Ms. Zhao Shuyuan, was helped into the courthouse, as she was in poor health due to having been on a hunger strike.

Ms. Zhao had hired a defense lawyer, but he did not appear in court because he had not been informed of the trial date.

The lawyer, Tang Tianhao, is based in Chongqing, Sichuan Province, which is far from Karamay City. He had been waiting for the trial notification, and was initially informed by the court that he could legally represent his client. In addition, the lawyer was promised that he could have an official meeting with Ms. Zhao before the court session.

The court told Ms. Zhao before the trial that her lawyer had resigned from her case. (However, the lawyer had not resigned. He was simply awaiting the trail date notice from the court.)

As a victim of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Zhao was being tried for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the CCP who launched the persecution of Falun Gong.

At least 200,000 persecution victims have already filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin. The trial and court’s circumventing the lawyer from defending his client shows that the last vestiges of authority from Jiang’s regime are trying to prevent persecution victims from seeking justice.

The verdict of the trial is yet unknown.

Defense Attorney Also Denied Full Access to Court Documents

Mr. Tang Tianhao flew to Karamay City on January 15, 2016 to review Ms. Zhao’s court documents. Prior to that he was informed that a trial would be held on January 18, and was promised that he would be granted full access to documents regarding his client.

He arrived at the criminal district court at the scheduled time, but a court officer told him that because the case involved Falun Gong, he would not have full access to the court documents, as he would in normal trial proceedings.

“You can manually transcribe the documents, but cannot make any photocopies of them,” the officer said.

This unexpected restriction rendered the lawyer unable to fully review his client’s case before January 18.

While Mr. Tang was transcribing the document, he petitioned to the court to allow the witnesses recorded in the court document to appear at the trial for cross- examination. The officer turned him down, saying he should have petitioned for that earlier.

He was then notified that the trial scheduled for January 18 had been called off, and a new date was yet to be decided.

Mr. Tang asserted that the court was in violation of China’s law, which stipulates that lawyers should have full access to court documents, including making photocopies. He decided to appeal to higher authorities.

Persecution of Ms. Zhao

Ms. Zhao is a resident of Karamay City and an engineer at the Karamay Petroleum Bureau. She was arrested by officers from the Karamay Police Department on November 5, 2015.

Her case was submitted to the Karamay Procuratorate in early December 2015, and subsequently passed to the Karamay District Court on December 24.

Ms. Zhao is being held in the Karamay Detention Center, where she remains in poor health after initiating a hunger strike to protest the persecution.

Ms. Zhao had previously been sentenced to forced labor after the CCP began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999.

She was also sentenced to nine years of imprisonment in Xinjiang Women’s Prison in 2002. She previously held a huger strike for nearly four years to protest the persecution. Prison guards once poured a bowl of boiling water into her mouth, which caused severe burns.

More details of Ms. Zhao’s persecution can be obtained here:
Engineer Brutally Force-Fed during Nine Years in Prison, Arrested Again for Suing Jiang Zemin

People involved in persecuting Ms. Zhao:
Song Hongli (宋宏利), secretary of the Karamay Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-990-6223823 (Office)
Zeng Xianjiang (曽宪江), chief of Karamay Police Department: +86-990-6884223 (Office)
Feng Jiezhong (冯杰忠), chief of Karamay district police station: +86-990-6888827 (Office)
Zhao Wei (赵薇), prosecutor of Ms. Zhao’s case: +86-990-6913263 (Office)
Jin He (金鹤), judge of Karamay Criminal Court

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

Human Rights Lawyers File Complaint against Shandong Court for Legal Procedure Violations

December 20, 2015 | By a Minghui correspondent from Shandong Province, China

(Minghui.org) Four human rights lawyers recently filed a complaint against the Jiaozhou City Court for legal procedure violations, one day after its botched trial of their clients.

Ms. Song Guixiang and her daughter Ms. Li Xue were arrested in September this year, after filing lawsuits against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin, for launching the persecution of Falun Gong that resulted in their repeated arrests and incarcerations in the past.

The trial of the two women was halted after their lawyers persistently protested the court’s illegal demand that they go through a security check. By law, defense lawyers are exempt from the routine security checks required of the general public. The Chinese courts, however, have frequently used security checks as an excuse to stop lawyers from representing Falun Gong practitioners.

The judge announced that a new trial date would be set for the future, but he also issued a “no visitation” order to the detention center where the mother and daughter were being held. The lawyers filed a complaint the next day, accusing the court of blocking them from attending the trial and instigating the detention center to deny meetings with their clients.

Lawyers Reject Illegal Security Check Demand

The trial on December 1, 2015 was set to take place in a makeshift room in the No. 3 Detention Center in Qingdao, where Ms. Song and Ms. Li were being held.

After the lawyers and the women’s family members arrived at the detention center, they were ordered to go through a security check. The lawyers were blocked outside when they refused to comply with the illegal demand. They pointed out the illegality of the order, but were shoved by the bailiffs.

As the lawyers kept protesting the unlawful demand, one court official emerged to whisper new orders to the bailiffs, who then escorted the lawyers into the makeshift courtroom.

In less than one minute, however, the lawyers were yanked outside by the arm and neck. This “in-and-out” drama unfolded without any explanation from the court bailiffs or officials.

Undaunted, the lawyers continued their protest of the court’s legal procedure violations. Several hours later, the judge announced that the trial was canceled and would be rescheduled for a different date.

The lawyers requested to meet with their clients afterwards, but were denied by the detention center, citing an order from the court. The lawyers filed a complaint with the Jiaozhou Procuratorate about the court’s obstruction of their defense, and the detention center’s denial of visitation on the following day.

Both Mother and Daughter in Critical Condition

Ms. Song, a retired teacher in her seventies, and her daughter Ms. Li were arrested on September 16, 2015, by officers from Fuan Police Station. They have been detained at No. 3 Detention Center in Qingdao.

When their family visited them on October 9, they noticed that Ms. Song was in critical condition as a result of torture. She had become paralyzed from the waist down, and was incontinent. She had chest pain and high blood pressure. Her daughter Ms. Li had been in a coma after over 20 days of hunger strike, abstaining from both food and water.

Lawsuits against Jiang Results in Latest Arrest

Ms. Song and Ms. Li have been repeatedly persecuted for not giving up Falun Gong over the past 16 years. Ms. Song has been arrested more than 20 times, and has been tortured while in detention. Ms. Li was sentenced to seven years in prison. Her older sister, Ms. Li Mei, is also a Falun Gong practitioner, and she too has been arrested several times.

In addition to the physical detention and torture, their wages were withheld and their home ransacked several times. The financial losses add up to more than one hundred thousand yuan.

In order to seek justice for themselves, Ms. Song and her two daughters filed a criminal complaint on May 28, 2015 against Jiang Zemin, for initiating the persecution. The local police, however, arrested the mother and the younger daughter within less than four months of their lawsuits being filed against Jiang.

Related report:
Retired Teacher and Daughters File Lawsuits Against Former Dictator Jiang Zemin

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Chen Baodong ( 陈宝东), head of Jiaozhou 610 Office: +86-13806392997
Fu Zengguang (付增光), presiding judge at Jiaozhou Court: +86-13869809977
Zhang Jina (张纪娜), prosecutor at Jiaozhou Procuratorate: +86-18653212677, +86- 13589293007
Zhuang Lijie (庄丽洁), head of No. 3 Detention Center in Qingdao: +86-532-66578929

(More perpetrators’ contact information available in the original Chinese article.)

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution