(Clearwisdom.net) The Chinese communist regime keeps interfering with the independence of the judiciary involved in criminal complaints filed against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its persecution of Falun Gong. After the complaints were filed with the UN, the UN expressed deep concern over them. Several UN special rapporteurs have mentioned relevant complaints and accusations of the CCP's interference, and also jointly questioned the CCP about its interference with the judiciary.
The UN Committee Against Torture considered China's report on its adherence to the UN Convention against Torture at its 844th and 846th meetings, held on November 7, and 10, 2008. On November 21, 2008, the UN Committee Against Torture released its concluding observations of China's report on its adherence to the UN Convention against Torture, stating, "The State party (the CCP) should abolish any legal provisions which undermine the independence of lawyers and should investigate all attacks against lawyers and petitioners, with a view to prosecution as appropriate." "The State party should take immediate action to investigate acts of intimidation and other ways of impeding the independent work of lawyers." The released report has been filed to all State parties to the Torture Convention.
Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, stressed in his report submitted to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) on March 10, 2006, "Although access to a lawyer is guaranteed by Chinese legislation, this safeguard is seriously limited." He said in his report that China's Criminal Law is like the "sword of Damocles." He said,"This 'sword of Damocles,' as it is known, can be invoked to harass, intimidate and sanction lawyers."
"Finally, witnesses rarely appear in court, and the prosecution generally reads out their statements, depriving the accused of the opportunity to cross-examine them, as per the 1996 CPL revision." He pointed out the situation of courts in China in the report, "Rules of evidence are rudimentary, and illegally obtained evidence is often admitted in practice." (See http://www.falunhr .org/reports/UNCHR/E-CN.4-2006-6-Add.6/(2006)NowakChinaMission_CH.pdf)
Since the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, many lawyers have been threatened and harassed because of defending Falun Gong practitioners.
In August 2004, lawyer Wei Jun's case was presented to the United Nations. Mr. Wei Jun, a lawyer from the Baicheng Law Firm, defended Dafa practitioner Ms. Liang Changying at the Second Criminal Court of Youjiang District Court in April 2003. In the afternoon of that same day, Attorney Wei's home phone, cell phone and office phone were monitored. After a few days, the police went to the Judiciary Bureau and asked the bureau to suspend Mr. Wei's license to practice law and sentence him to three years of forced labor reform.
After attorney Wei's case was submitted to the UN, it caused much attention. Mr. Leandro Despouy, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, directly questioned the Chinese Communist regime regarding the case on August 27, 2004. The inquiry was recorded in Mr. Despouy's annual report submitted to UNCHR in 2005.
"On 15 October 2004 the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Special Rapporteur on the right to everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health , the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, to express their concern at reports of systemic repression against the Falun Gong," the report said.
The report also pointed out, "According to the information received, those prosecuted have been unfairly tried and many have received lengthy prison sentences. In this respect it is reported that on 5 November 1999, a notice issued by the Supreme People's Court instructed all local courts to do their "'political duty"' in bringing to trial and punishing "severely" those charged with "heretical organization crimes", "particularly Falun Gong", and to handle these cases "under the leadership of the Party committees".
Caption: Mr, Leandro Despouy, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers (left 2) is reporting to the Human Rights Conference in Geneva in 2005. Falun Gong representatives attended the conference and met relevant special rapporteurs. (from "Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group" )]
The above seven UN Special Rapporteurs jointly inquired into the CCP's interference with the independence of the judiciary and focused on the persecution of Falun Gong.
UN Special Rapporteurs keep inquiring about the issue of the independence of the judiciary in China. After visiting China in 2004, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention pointed out in their report submitted to UNCHR, "[China's] Article 306 of the Criminal Law makes 'a defender or agent ad litem' who destroys or fabricates evidence, or forces or incites a witness to change his or her testimony or to commit perjury punishable by a sentence of up to seven years of imprisonment...It appears that these provisions have occasionally been used to intimidate, harass, or sanction lawyers who made use of their freedom of expression in order to defend their clients before the courts." (See: http://www.falunhr.org/reports/UNCHR/E-CN.4-2005-6-Add.4/(2004)ADChinaMissionReport_CH.pdf ) ...
As more and more human rights organizations continue exposing the CCP's interference with the judiciary, there are more and more responses from the international community. After visiting China, Mr. Nowak said in the news conference held in Beijing on December 2, 2005 that what he felt deeply in his visit to China is "China's Widespread Use of Torture." He also exposed the judiciary issue in China.
After the press conference, many media in Beijing quickly published the results of the investigation in different languages. Meanwhile, newspapers in different languages in major cities worldwide also reproduced the report.
Radio and TV stations in many countries broadcast Nowak's speech and broadcast pictures of torture and of Chinese labor camps. The issue of the CCP's interference with the judiciary is thus widely known.
Caption: Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, is reporting to the UN. (from "Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group")]
Influenced by the CCP's policy of persecution, the authorities in other countries have been reported making alleged threats against lawyers representing Falun Gong practitioners. For example, the case of Lawyer Ravi is recorded in the 2008 Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. On September 19, 2006, Mr. Ravi was arrested by the police at a restaurant. At that time, Mr. Ravi was serving as the defense counsel for 11 Falun Gong practitioners in four separate cases. On October 27, 2006, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal together with the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Representative of the Secretary- General on the situation of human rights defenders concerning Mr. Ravi.
By international convention, State parties have to respond to the appeal sent by the UN Special Rapporteur. The Singapore government replied to the joint urgent appeal that Mr. Ravi was arrested by the police for "disorderly behavior in public" and for "being barefoot in public." Mr. Ravi was released later. (For details of the case of Mr. Ravi, refer to the 2008 Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers http://www.falunhr.org/reports/UN2008/Lawyer-08.pdf)