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A Family Struggles for Justice After Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province Court Secretly Sentences Ms. Zhang Shuzhi to Prison

April 15, 2005 |  


After the Shangzhi City Court in Heilongjiang Province tried practitioner Ms. Zhang Shuzhi on February 4, 2005, her family members have continued to ask the Shangzhi City First Detention Center for information about her health and whereabouts. But the detention center refused to reply. Her family members have had no choice but to go to the Shangzhi City Court by train for the seventh time.

On the morning of March 17, Ms. Zhang Shuzhi's family members arrived at the Shangzhi City Court and asked Han Shilong, the director of the criminal court, about Ms. Zhang Shuzhi's case. Han Shilong told them to ask Ma Yuyan, the staff member who handled her case. Ma Yuyan said, "Zhang Shuzhi was sentenced to four years in prison. On March 15, the court verdict was delivered to her. She wanted to appeal to a higher court. The appeal time limit is 10 days. [According to the law, the appeal time limit is actually 15 days.] Now you can go to the detention center to see her."

Her family members asked, "According to the regulations, two copies of the court verdict should be made and one copy given to family members without delay. Why didn't you inform us right away? On what did you base the four-year sentence? Why didn't you sentence her publicly?" Ma Yuyan said, "We did everything according to our laws. You can appeal wherever you choose."

Between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., her family members went to the detention center and asked for Lu Zhanwu, the head of the detention center. Lu said, "Even if the court verdict has issued its verdict, you can't meet with her. If she wants to appeal, she herself can contact the court directly. Don't ask about things that don't concern you. If you want to see her, you'll have to ask for a lawyer. You should leave now." Her family members went to the court for the third time, but staff member Ma Yuyan was not there. Another office worker said, "Only if you have connections can you get to see Zhang Shuzhi. There's no other way."

On the afternoon of March 17, Ms. Zhang's family members took the trouble to go to the Harbin City Intermediate Court in Heilongjiang Province. The Court Appeals Office was crowded with people seeking justice. Her family members explained the situation to a staff member, Judge Zhang, and asked him what to do next. Unexpectedly, Judge Zhang ferociously said, "Four years imprisonment is not severe enough for her. She should be sentenced to death." Judge Zhang then telephoned the court in Shangzhi City. The director of the court, You Zengfa, answered him. Judge Zhang said to You Zengfa, "Zhang Shuzhi's family members have come here. I've told them the sentence is too light for her." Then Judge Zhang added venomously, "A 29-year-old graduate student was sentenced to 12 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong. Her elderly mother came here to say her daughter was punished too severely, but I think practitioners should be sentenced to death." Judge Zhang hung up and then said, "You'll have to ask Lu, the head of the detention center, for a face-to-face talk through your connections."

Names and telephone numbers of persons responsible:

The Complaint Office of the Intermediate Court of Harbin City: 2377351
The Appeal Office of the Intermediate Court of Harbin City: Judge Zhang
The Security Office of Shangzhi City: 53343840
The reception room of the Security Office of Shangzhi City: 53343227
The person handling cases of the Shangzhi City Security Office is Wang Hui. His family telephone number: 53350555
The reception room of the Court of Shangzhi City: 53347451
Director's office of the Court of Shangzhi City: 53322718
The Criminal Court office of the Court of Shangzhi City: 53349388
The bailiff of the court of Shangzhi City: 53946970
Directors of the Court of Shangzhi City: You Zengfa and Yang Chunwei
Director of the Criminal Court of Shangzhi City: Han Shilong
The person handling this case in the Criminal Court of Shangzhi City: Ma Yuyan
The monitor's office of the Procuratorate in the Shangzhi City Detention Center: 53337167 53331559