July 25, 2016 | By You Ran
(Minghui.org) During the 17-year-long persecution of Falun Gong in China, many practitioners in Tianjin, Beijing’s largest nearby neighbor, have been arrested for their belief. Below are three cases from earlier this year illustrating how innocent practitioners are arrested, detained, and tried for no reason.
Technical Expert Imprisoned for Belief
Li Wen had the highest GPA in his class when he graduated from the renowned Tsinghua University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1991. He was employed as a lead engineer at a factory that manufacturers glass products and television parts. He holds a number of patents and has garnered many awards from his company.
Mr. Li and his wife were arrested in July 2001 for practicing Falun Gong. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and held in Tianjin Prison. The management at his company sought his release, but officials rejected their requests. Company representatives were forced to visit Mr. Li in prison to get technical assistance.
In July 2015, Mr. Li was again arrested, this time while at home. He was put on trial in Hexi District Court on March 28, and his attorney Yu Wensheng pleaded not guilty, “At least 100 lawyers, in more than 1000 court trials, have pointed out the suppression of Falun Gong had no legal basis. Article 300 of Chinese Criminal Law has been abused to frame Falun Gong practitioners,” the lawyer said during the trial. The lawyer said he was attempting to not only to safeguard Falun Gong practitioners’ basic rights, but to also to stop law enforcement officials’ unlawful actions.
Defense Attorney Detained
Ninghe County Court held a trial against Mo Weiqiu in December 2015, and her husband Li Guangyuan chose to defend her. But the judge did not allow Mr. Li speak, other than answering yes or no when the judge asked questions. The trial lasted half an hour. Mr. Li asked the judge it would be impossible for the five computers found in Ms. Mo’s home to be presented as material evidence, but the court dismissed his request and said Ms. Mo would be sentenced to three to six years.
The judge asked Ms. Mo’s daughter and other relatives to leave the courtroom, and then had Mr. Li arrested. Police confiscated 7,000 yuan that he was carrying on him, and after being detained for 29 days he was forced to pay a fine.
False Testimony from Anonymous Witnesses
Two other practitioners, Chen Yuanhua and Yang Fujing, were on trial on January 26, 2016, when the chief judge asked them if they had distributed Falun Gong materials and if they were guilty. Both women said they were not distributing Falun Gong materials when they were arrested, and that they did not commit any crime. The women told the judges that freedom of belief is protected by the Chinese Constitution.
The prosecutor said three village residents were walking on the street after 1am on August 27 last year when they saw Ms. Chen and Ms. Yang distributing Falun Gong materials. The defense attorney refuted this claim, because his clients were arrested the evening of August 26 and already in custody at the time. He requested the three witnesses present their testimony in the court room and that the prosecutor present some material evidence. But both requests were rejected by the judge.
Ms. Chen and Ms. Yang were sentenced to 4 and 3 ½ years imprisonment, respectively.
Ninghe Court sentenced Ms. Mo to 4 ½ years imprisonment on April 27.
Category: Accounts of Persecution