Songyuan City Intermediate Court Sentences Innocent People
(Clearwisdom.net) In the beginning of 2009, the Qianguo County Court in Songyuan City, Jilin Province secretly tried practitioner Mr. Xu Peng. The court issued heavy sentences of 8 to 12 years in prison to six practitioners: Mr. Xu Peng, Ms. Teng Xianru, Mr. Shao Changpu, Ms. Fu Lihong, Mr. Jiang Yuting, and Ms. Liu Baoqin. The practitioners did not accept these sentences and appealed to the Songyuan City Intermediate Court. The practitioners' relatives were not notified of the court's decisions.
After finally learning of the sentences, the relatives of the six practitioners were very angry. They jointly hired more than ten defense attorneys.
The attorneys accepted the case and called the court many times to start the legal process. However, no one responded to their phone calls, and no one notified the attorneys of the second trial date. The court did not provide any documents regarding the case, which has made it very difficult for the attorneys to start the legal process. The relatives went through multiple channels to discover the trial date, and finally, on April 8, they learned that the trial date was set for the morning of April 9. It was all but impossible to notify all the attorneys to come to the court in time; only two attorneys made it to Songyuan overnight.
On the morning of April 9, before the trial began, the two attorneys were not allowed to go into the courtroom. The two attorneys argued with the court, and they were finally allowed into the courtroom.
During their arguments, the two attorneys defended the innocence of the Falun Gong practitioners. They pointed out that Falun Gong is legally allowed to exist in China and that the persecution of Falun Gong is illegal. They defended the practitioners' activities of promoting the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, clarifying the truth, and distributing CDs, pointing out that such activities are their basic human rights and legally allowed, that freedom of speech is guaranteed and is not against any Chinese constitutional law.
During the trial, practitioner Shao Changpu told the judge that the police force-fed him four bottles of mustard oil, and he wanted to charge the police for what they did. The judge asked if he had any witnesses. Two witnesses stood up to verify the story, but the judge said it was not valid, and then prohibited any witnesses from speaking further.
During the defense process, practitioners said that many of the evidential materials were fabricated, obtained under duress, or altered. For example, 100 pamphlets were reported as 500, and, although a CD burner was listed as "evidence," none of the practitioners ever had a CD burner.
Facing the effective defense, the judge ran out of arguments, but he upheld the previous sentences and wrapped up the trial hastily.