(Clearwisdom.net) It was reported on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website that on the night of July 14, Zhao Taishan from the Jixi National Security Division in Heilongjiang Province, Song Wenshuang and Zhong Jiwei from the Jixi Police Department, along with police officers from the Beidaying District Police Department, the Nongken Police Department in Mudanjiang City, arrested Falun Gong practitioners Mr. Yao Tiebin and his wife Ms. Zhang Fengrong. They stole 13,000 yuan in cash, a gold necklace, gold ring and a pair of gold earrings from the couple. To cover up their crime, without allowing the couple to read the pre-written statement they had brought, the officers forced the couple to sign it and put their fingerprint on it. When the couple refused to cooperate with this unreasonable demand, the police brutally beat them. The police used this fabricated statement as their "evidence" to persecute the couple. They transferred the case to the Nongken Procuratorate in Mudanjiang and then to the Nongken Court. On November 21, 2008, the trial was held in the Nongken Court.

On the morning of November 21, there were over 180 people in attendance at the court hearing.

Around 8:40 a.m., friends and relatives of the couple as well as 60 to 70 Falun Gong practitioners and other people gathered at the hearing. After the prosecutor read the so-called "statement," the judge asked Mr. Yao, "Is what the prosecutor read a true statement?" Mr. Yao said, "No." The judge then asked, "Then why did you sign it if it was not true?" Mr. Yao answered, "They did not let me read it and they forcibly took my hand and wrote down my signature and took my fingerprints."

The judge asked, "Is the record for the confiscated items a true statement?" Mr. Yao responded, "No. I don't know what they wrote on the record for confiscated items. They would not let me see. They only forced me to sign the statement. When I refused, they beat me."

When the judge asked about the confession statement, Mr. Yao said, "On the night of July 14, they brutally beat me as they interrogated me. Then they forced my signature."

The judge asked Ms. Zhang Fengrong, "Is what the prosecutor said true?" Ms. Zhang said, "No. They forced me to sign the record for confiscated items without letting me read it. At the time, I was forced to kneel on the floor. I saw them steal the 13,000 yuan in cash, a gold necklace, a gold ring and a pair of gold earrings."

Ms. Zhang also went on to describe the tactics the police used to deceive and force them into making the "confession."

During the hearing, everybody in the courtroom clearly heard the despicable tactics the police had used on the couple. Even the judge had to admit that the case was in fact nothing more than trumped up lies and an induced "confession."

During the in-court argument, Mr. Yao's lawyer pointed out that based on the facts of the investigation, the police allegation of Yao Tiebin violating Article No. 300 of Criminal Law - "Utilizing evil religious organizations to undermine the implementation of the law" could not be established. He stated that Mr. Yao Tiebin should be released immediately. The reasons are as follows:

1. Based on the results of the court's investigation, the written records of the interrogation cannot serve as valid evidence due to the unlawful tactics used by the police in deceiving the couple and inducing and forcing their "confession."

2. Based on the court's investigation results, regarding the record of the confiscated items, the police did not let the defendant Yao Tiebin be present and did not let him identify, number or verify the items. They merely forced the defendant to sign the record at the police department. According to the Procedural Law - Criminal Law Procedures, Article 115, "Any confiscated articles or documents should be identified, numbered, and verified by the witness and the article holder on the spot, and the detailed list in duplicate is made and signed or sealed by the detectives, witness, and holder. One copy is kept with the holder and another copy kept for future reference." The police clearly violated the law. Hence this "evidence" is invalid.

3. According to the court's investigation results, officers from the Jixi City Police Department violated the law while searching Mr. Yao's home and they also committed a crime by stealing the couple's property. The defendant has provided important information about this crime, and it is the responsibility of the court to investigate this.

4. The allegation against the defendant Mr. Yao Tiebin, cannot be established, as Falun Gong is not a cult or "evil religion." In the meantime, the investigation results show that the allegation of Mr. Yao violating Article 300 cannot be established.

According to Article 3 of the Criminal Law, "Actions that are defined to be crimes by laws should be prosecuted according to the law. Actions that are not defined to be crimes by laws should not be prosecuted." The court should rule that Mr. Yao Tiebin and Ms. Zhang Fengrong are not guilty and should be released immediately!

December 10, 2008 is the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As far as the case under consideration is concerned, the free practice of Falun Gong should be protected by Article 18 of the Freedom of Belief and Article 19 of the Freedom of Opinion and Expression. On February 15 and 16, the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will start a broad and in-depth investigation of China's human rights situation. At that time, China's human rights records will be opened and examined thoroughly for the first time by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).