Persecution Suffered by Mr. Zhao Bailiang's Family in Hailin City
1. Zhao Bailiang's whole family suffered persecution
On June 30, 2008, police from the National Security Team in Mudanjiang Police Station arrested Mr. Zhao Bailiang. Mr. Zhao, 34 years old and a Falun Gong practitioner, is a villager working in Mudanjiang. He is originally from Donghe Village in Hailin City. Mr. Zhao was arrested four days after his wife gave birth to their son. After arresting Mr. Zhao, the police went to the home of Mrs. Zhang Yuhua, who is Mr. Zhao's mother-in-law, and took away the money sent by relatives to cover the expenses for Zhao's wife's impending hospital stay. The police interrogated all of the relatives who went to Zhao's home until 9 p.m. that night. Eventually the police arrested Mrs. Zhang Yuhua and two other people.
The next day, police from both the National Security Team of Hailin Police Station and Fuxing went to Donghe and arrested Mr. Zhao Bailiang's father Zhao Congxun, his younger brother Zhao Baichang, and Mr. Zhao Baichang's wife, who was six months pregnant. After Zhao Bailiang's mother and wife took their 2-year-old daughter and son, who was less than one month old, and went back to Donghe, the police in Fuxing Village kept going to their home to harass them. Zhao's mother had to leave home. At present, Mr. Zhao's wife and their two young kids are staying at home. Their money for daily living expenses was stolen by the police, and they are now living a very difficult life.
After arresting Mr. Zhao Bailiang from Donghe and his mother-in-law Mrs. Zhang Yuhua, the police from the National Security Team of Mudanjiang tricked Mr. Zhao Bailiang's wife into signing an arrest document for Mr. Zhao Bailiang.
Mr. Zhao Bailiang's father Zhao Congxun and his younger brother Mr. Zhao Baichang were sentenced to one and a half years of forced labor. The police extorted 10,000 yuan from Mr. Zhao Baichang's wife to bail him out. She gave them the money, but they did not release him. At that time, Zhao Baichang's wife was six months pregnant. Her mother-in-law, who is nearly 60 years old, had to handle all of the Fall harvesting work at home.
2. Mr. Zhao Bailiang was illegally sentenced
On November 28, 2008, the Xi'an District Court in Mudanjiang City of Heilongjiang Province held a court session to try four Falun Gong practitioners: Mr. Zhao Bailiang, Mr. Li Haifeng, Mr. Li Yongsheng and Mrs. Zhang Yuhua.
Mr. Zhao Bailiang was sentenced to one year of forced labor in 2000 because he went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He has been detained since June 30, 2008. Mr. Zhao's mother-in-law, Mrs. Zhang Yuhua, who is 52 years old, was sentenced to three years of forced labor camp on December 29, 2002. She has been detained since June 30, 2008. During her detention, she suffered from high blood pressure and loss of memory. She also had severe headaches and had trouble standing still.
The family members of these Falun Gong practitioners hired four attorneys to defend them. Mr. Han Zhiguang, the first defense attorney from Beijing's Gong Dao Law Firm, led the following exchange in the courtroom:
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: What was your major? Why do you practice Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: My major was western medicine. The purpose of practicing Falun Gong was not for healing, because I am very healthy. When I first read the book Zhuan Falun, I learned that it guides people on how to be a good person, how to improve one's morality, etc. I felt that it was a good practice, so I began to practice Falun Gong.
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Do you participate in any political activities? Are you against the government?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: I have never participated in any political activities, nor am I against the government.
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Why did you admit the CCP's [Chinese Communist Party] allegation that you practiced Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: Although I admitted to their allegation, I do not think I have committed any crime. If it was a crime, I would not do it.
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Does Falun Gong have any organizational structure? Who is the person leading activities?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: We do not have any organizational structure. Nobody orders anyone. Everything is done from a person's own willingness.
Attorney Han Zhiguang: What kind of benefit did you get from practicing Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: I really felt that I have improved my character and morality. Moreover, I learned not to care too much about personal gain, not to argue with other people, and to always think about others first. My original purpose of practicing Falun Gong was improve my and others' morality.
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Why do you continue practicing Falun Gong after the ban of it in 1999?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: I thought that the government did not have a good understanding of Falun Gong and hoped that the government would do more investigation. I wanted to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and made those materials. My only purpose was to let people know more about Falun Gong, which is not what the government says it is. The decision to ban Falun Gong was wrong.
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Are you against the current national law?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: I feel that Clause 1 of Article 300 of the Criminal Law, which says "utilizing an evil religious organization is equivalent to sabotaging the implementation of the law" violates the Chinese Constitution's protection of one's beliefs. I think this clause of Article 300 is unfair and it's wrong to call us "an evil religious organization."
Attorney Mr. Han Zhiguang: Did you ever sabotage the national law?
Mr. Zhao Bailiang: Never.
Below is Mr. Zhao Bailiang's self-defense:
The purpose of my practicing Falun Gong is not to be against the government or to pursue any political goals. I only wanted to improve my moral standard. All of these years, we have been trying to appeal to the Chinese government by clarifying the truth about Falun Gong. However, the government does not listen to us. Instead, the government arrested us and sent us to forced labor camps or prison. I do not know how upholding the right to appeal and promoting the protection of human rights violates the Chinese law. Also, the stipulation of "utilizing an evil religious organization is equivalent to sabotaging the implementation of the law" violates one's freedom of belief and human rights. I think this article does not apply to us and, thus, it is not a crime to practice Falun Gong. The law relies on the morality of the society. When sentencing a person, no matter whether he/she is a judge, or any other related people, they should first truly protect the dignity of the law and justice.
As Mr. Zhao made this point, the public prosecutor and the judge interrupted Mr. Zhao Bailiang at the same time. Chang Xiaohui, the judge, said in a very strict tone, "You can only defend your own behavior. It is none of your business as to how the regulation is defined and how the judge and the prosecutor implement the law."
After the judge stopped Mr. Zhao Bailiang's defense, Mr. Han Zhiguang, the first defense attorney, said in his defense,
"After I accepted this case, I carefully reviewed the case and met with Mr. Zhao Bailiang. After the court investigation, I am more convinced that, although there were some facts that Mr. Zhao Bailiang participated in some Falun Gong activities which were reported in the legal document "No. 138 Case in 2008" by the People's Procuratorate of Xi'an District in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, those activities do not amount to a crime and the people's court should announce that Mr. Zhao Bailing is innocent."
The attorney gave the following statement:
Firstly, I think from the first court day until now, there is no legal evidence to confirm that Falun Gong is a cult.
Secondly, I think illegal organizations should not be assumed to be a cult. Although Falun Gong does not have a legal existence in China, it definitely is not a cult from a legal point of view.
1. According to the "Criminal Law" published by the People's Court Press in January 2008 and the explanation on page 1909 of the first Clause of Article 300, Mr. Zhao Bailiang had not become a major factor for so-called "utilizing an evil religious organization to sabotaging the implementation of the law." The key is intent, which means that a person purposefully uses evil religious organizations to sabotage national regulation and administrative implementation of the law. From the material submitted, it is obvious that Mr. Zhao Bailiang did not participate in any crime. Mr. Zhao Bailiang's major is medicine, so it is very natural that he would be interested in all kinds of Qigong and Chinese medicine. He found Falun Gong and saw that it contains so many good things such as truth and kindness, etc. Falun Gong promotes "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance", which is also a part of spiritual civilization and moral ethics.
2. My client, Mr. Zhao Bailiang, does not intend to sabotage the national law, nor has he committed a crime.
According to the theory of criminal law, for a case to objectively be against the law, the following must apply:
- The law must be well-defined and specific, and not be a generic or unclear "law" which has become or will become effective. However, the "law" clearly is more limited since it only refers to those laws enacted by the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee.
- My client, Mr. Zhao Bailiang, must be objectively seen to purposely carry out some methods to sabotage the "law" mentioned above. He should know the content of the "law" and also should understand that the implementation of this law would bring damage to his own rights. Therefore, he purposely did something to prevent the carrying-out of this law in society.
- He uses a kind of method to sabotage the implementation of this "law" and objectively damages the implementation of this "law" and has a legal result of endangering society.
- One thing needs to be emphasized here is that "sabotage the implementation of the law" does not mean to "violate a regulation", that is to say, violating a law is not the same as sabotaging it.
Obviously, Mr. Zhao Bailiang's case does not have all of the above four factors.
Objectively, the prosecution did not provide any evidence as to what law Mr. Zhao Bailiang had violated. Therefore, Mr. Zhao Bailiang has not committed any crime.
Mr. Zhao's actions were due to his personal beliefs and pursuit. In addition, there were not any criminal factors. Objectively, it did not cause any social danger. His behavior has not become a crime, as defined in our national criminal law. As everyone knows, a crime is defined in the criminal law. If something is not clearly listed in the criminal law, then it is not a crime. This is the universal principle of the criminal law. Therefore, I sincerely hope that the people's court should rule that Mr. Zhao Bailiang is innocent.
3. Our Appeal
At present, Mr. Zhao Bailiang is still being detained. Originally, there were five people in his family. Now, only the grandmother and a young child are left free. Nobody is taking care of their crops and animals. We appeal to all kind-hearted people in the world to help stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.