(Clearwisdom.net) Since the beginning of 2008, Jiaohe City Communist Party officials in Jilin Province, court appointed prosecutors, 610 Office personnel, and secret police have launched a new round of persecution targeting Falun Gong practitioners. This crackdown also includes peasants who've lost their land, unemployed miners, and other human rights activists. This is being done in order "to ensure a peaceful Olympics."

After nine years of brutal persecution, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to harass Falun Gong practitioners. Since February 2008, more than 100 practitioners in this area have been harassed and followed, and more than 40 have been arrested, tortured, robbed, and had funds extorted from them. Mr. Zhang Guosheng, Mr. Li Dekuan, Ms. Guo Shuqing, and several others were sent to labor camps. Mr. Qiu Baohe was sentenced to a jail term (the police did not release the details of his sentence). Mr. Liu Baochun, Ms. Chang Guiyun, Ms. Zhang Min, Ms. Shi Xiuzhen, and Mr. Pang Shuwen were tried in court. Mr. Li Zhenhua and Mr. Liu Jiang are currently in detention.

In addition, peasants in Jiaohe City's Yangmulinzi Village saw their farmland forcibly occupied by the government. But after they were awarded about 18 million yuan in compensation, the city Party secretary and former mayor, Zhang Enbo, seized the money. After repeated visits to and protests at the government offices, which prompted severe injuries at the hands of the police, these citizens were unable to retrieve their money. Recently, the police arrested more than 20 peasants, accusing them of being Falun Gong practitioners. They were sentenced to jail terms for "disturbing the social order." In a related incident, unemployed workers in Jiaohe Coal Mine were also monitored and suppressed for their human rights activities.

Specific Cases:

1) Mr. Qiu Baohe

On June 18, 2008, Jiaohe City Court tried practitioner Mr. Qiu Baohe, who had already been detained for three months. Officials from the Procuratorate told the court that police found Falun Gong printing materials and a satellite TV receiver in Mr. Qiu's home. This was cited as criminal evidence for "disturbing social order" and attempting to "overthrow the government." On the basis of this "evidence," the court handed Mr. Qiu a harsh sentence.

The trial was very brief, lasting only an hour. The defendant was not allowed to defend himself. His family was not allowed to hire a lawyer. Family and friends were also barred from the courthouse. According to a reliable source, those in the Procuratorate were reluctant to handle the case. Most officials were trying to stay away from it.

2) The trials of Ms. Shi Xiuzhen and four others:

Practitioners Baochun, Chang Guiyun, Zhang Min, Shi Xiuzhen, and Pang Shuwen were detained for three month before their cases went to the trial.

The government originally planned a court trial on June 23, but later decided to postpone it for 15 days due to inconsistent "confessions." After intensive interrogations, the police brought the five practitioners to the court on July 3, 2008. The trial started at 7:10 a.m. and ended at 11:10 a.m. During the proceedings, each defendant was called into the court three times to verify his or her "confession." The intention was to establish the proper label for their "crimes" and to carry out the sentencing. Using a different tactic, the judge avoided using the term "Falun Gong" as criminal evidence, saying, "We don't care if you practice Falun Gong." But the judge accused the practitioners of producing materials that involved the "Chinese New Year Gala," and Falun Gong activities in the US, emphasizing that these materials came from the US. His intention was to link their activities to treason and politics. The judge wanted to instigate hatred among the Chinese and capitalize on the overzealous nationalist sentiment to justify heavy sentences. According to a police officer, if a practitioner distributed 300 flyers that clarified the truth, the person would be sentenced to several years in jail. An official in the court said that Mr. Liu Baochun's materials production and Ms. Chang Guiyun's distribution of the flyers were equivalent to Mr. Liu supplying a knife to Ms. Chang to kill people, thereby justifying heavy jail terms.

According to the court, the July 3 trial was a preliminary one, and there will be another trial. The defendants will be allowed 15 days to appeal after that trial.