Mother Sentenced to 8 Years; Daughter Beaten by Judge (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Chen Zhenping is a Falun Gong practitioner in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. She was arrested and taken to the First Detention Center on July 9, 2008, by members of the Zhengzhou City National Security Team. On August 19, without evidence, Jinshui District Court Judge Ren Yuan declared Ms. Chen guilty, threatening her with a sentence of 7-15 years. The details of the verdict were not made available to her family.
Chen's younger daughter, Jin Zhaohuan, hired attorney Li Subin to defend her mother. According to legal procedures, the district court should have provided Attorney Li with the indictment and the accusations and allowed him to meet with his client, Ms. Chen; however, the court refused to honor such procedure.
Ms. Jin Zhaohuan went to the court numerous times to request a copy of her mother's verdict so that Attorney Li could appeal her mother's sentence. Judge Ren Yuan blatantly denied her request saying, "We can't confirm your identity. How do we know you're really her daughter?" When Ms. Jin later presented him with her residence card and ID card, Ren Yuan said, "I have to ask for permission from my boss before I can give you a copy of the verdict. Go home and wait."
On New Year's Day 2009, a kindhearted person found Ms. Jin and notified her of the latest development in her mother's situation. Judge Ren Yuan and court administrator Ma went to the detention center and told Ms. Chen Zhenping to sign the verdict for an 8-year-sentence. She firmly refused. Before leaving, Ren Yuan said, "It's doesn't matter whether you sign it or not. The verdict is final."
According to Attorney Li, for Ren Yuan to refuse to make the verdict public and keep everything in the dark clearly demonstrates that Ren not only has violated the law but has also committed a criminal act. "Not only is Ren abusing his authority but he is also interfering with carrying out the law." Attorney Li suggested that Ms. Chen's family report Ren Yuan to higher authorities.
Upon repeated requests from Ms. Jin Zhaohuan, Ren Yuan finally promised to give her a copy of the verdict on January 4. On arriving in court that day, Ren Yuan stated, "How do I know if you are truly Chen Zhenping's daughter? Show me your residence card." Ms. Jin was infuriated and said, "You're really bullying people. I won't leave if you don't give me the verdict." Ren Yuan pushed her down and showered her with kicks and pummeled her with his fists. He even grabbed her hair and knocked her head against a wall.
Ren Yuan's staff managed to stop him. Ms. Jin was all tears due to the beating and went to court administrator Ma's office to lodge a formal complaint against the judge. Ma didn't believe her and took her back to Ren Yuan's office where everyone lied, saying that nothing had happened. Ms. Jin then dialed 110 (Chinese equivalent of 911 in the US) but was told it was none of their business. One of her friends also arrived at the court to help her seek justice but was also told that nothing had happened to Ms. Jin.
Ms. Chen Zhenping's older daughter, Ms. Jin Zhaoyu, is currently in Finland. She calls upon the international community to help rescue her mother. She has contacted almost all of the 200 Finnish parliament members, the President of Finland, the European Union, Amnesty International (AI), and the Red Cross. They could not believe such a thing is still happening in China, and many of them kindly wrote back to her to show their support.
Director of Criminal Court Ma: 86-371-63912039 (Office)
Judge Ren Yuan: 86-371-63936628
Appendix I is a letter from Ilkka Kantola, a member of Finland's Parliament, calling on China to release Chen Zhenping. Appendix II is a letter issued by AI for the same purpose.
Appendix 1: Letter from Finland's Parliament Member Ilkka Kantola to the Chinese Government
To the Chinese Government:
The Human Rights Group of the Parliament of Finland is very concerned to learn certain information about China. Members of Parliament are doubtful that the Chinese government has followed the international human rights covenant or its domestic laws. We respect the Chinese government and hereby call upon it to stop any human rights violations and to enforce its laws.
A young Chinese lady named Jin Zhaoyu came to Finland in July this year on a tourist visa. On October 17 she met with the Human Rights Group and expressed her worries about the safety of her mother, who lives in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province.
Ms. Jin said the second day of her arrival in Finland, Chinese police broke into her mother's home in China, turning everything upside down and taking her mother away.
Ms. Jin asserted that her mother's arrest relates to the policy made by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin to prohibit the practice of Falun Gong.
Through Ms. Jin we learned about her mother's situation and the persecution of other Falun Gong practitioners in China. We are very concerned about her mother's safety. We were told her mother was subjected to daily beatings and torture. One of her fingers was broken as a result. We also learned that she had to labor for over 15 hours every day; not complying with work orders meant she was denied food. Ever since her arrest she has been forbidden to communicate with the outside world.
Ms. Jin also informed us that her younger sister, Jin Zhaohuan, was also arrested the same day of her mother's arrest. Even though the younger sister was released an hour later, we are concerned that she may be arrested again some time later. Ms. Jin Zhaoyu told us that many Falun Gong practitioners detained in Chinese labor camps have had their organs harvested while still alive. We fear 18-year-old Jin Zhaohuan may be subjected to the same treatment should she be arrested again.
Ms. Jin Zhaoyu learned from her sister that their mother, Chen Zhenping, could be sentenced to 7-15 years. We are troubled by such information. We suspect that in China people are being punished for their personal opinions and religious beliefs.
We call on the Chinese government to investigate the current situation of Chen Zhenping and release her as soon as possible if she is found jailed.
October 17, 2008, Helsinki
Parliament of Finland
Appendix II: Letter from Amnesty International
PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 17/103/2008
3 November 2008
UA 305/08 Fear of torture
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Re.: Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Chen Zhenping
Falun Gong practitioner Chen Zhenping was arrested without a warrant on 9 July at her home in the City of Zhengzhou, Henan Province. Her family has been forbidden to visit her, and it is unclear where she is now held. She is in grave danger of being tortured.
She was first held for 10 days at the Matougang Village Detention Center and then moved to Zhengzhou City No.1 Detention Center. Zhengzhou City Jingshui People's Court officials told one of her relatives on 10 October that Chen Zhenping had been sentenced to between 7 and 15 years' imprisonment. The family has not been served an official notification of a trial by court authorities.
After Chen was arrested, her family contacted lawyers in Zhengzhou to represent her. The lawyers told them that before the Olympic Games the Chinese regime had warned them not to accept Falun Gong cases. Chen is therefore unlikely to have had legal representation, making any trial that took place an unfair trial.
On 28 October Chen's family discovered that her signature had been forged on the register where detainees are required to sign when they receive provisions from relatives and friends.
According to a fellow inmate, Chen Zhenping has been held in a cell with more than 30 people and forced to sleep on the floor. She was reported by a former cell-mate to have been forced to work up to 19 hours a day producing rugs, Q-tips, and other goods, with strict a production targets: if she did not meet these targets she was beaten and otherwise ill-treated.
Falun Gong is a spiritual movement that gained large numbers of adherents in China during the 1990s. After a peaceful sit-in on Tiananmen Square in July1999, the Chinese regime outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign of intimidation and persecution directed by persons in a special organization called the 610 Office. The crackdown on Falun Gong intensified in the lead-up to the Olympics. Falun Gong sources reported more than 8,000 arrests of its practitioners nationwide during this period and say that in 2007 more than 100 died while in detention or shortly after being released due to torture, starvation, and lack of medicine. Falun Gong practitioners are a primary target of China's system of Re-education through Labour (RTL), a form of punitive administrative detention in which people can be deprived of their liberty without trial for up to four years. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people are estimated to be under RTL.
Please send appeals as quickly as possible, in English or your own language:
- asking the authorities where Chen Zhenping is held, and asking them to provide immediate guarantees for her safety, and assurances that she will not be tortured or ill-treated;
- asking them to release Chen Zhenping immediately and unconditionally unless she is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offense;
- demanding she be given immediate access to a lawyer of her own choosing, her family, and any medical treatment she may require;
- expressing concern that she has been imprisoned solely for her religious beliefs.
President of the Supreme People's Court Xiao Yang
27 Dongjiaomin Xiang, Beijing 100006, China
Minister of Justice Director Wu Aiying
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China
Zhengzhou City Mayor ZHAO Jiancai
233 Zhongyuanxilu, Zhengzhou, 450007, Henan Province, China
Zhengzhou City No. 1 Detention Center
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of China accredited in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 December 2008.