Ms. Wang Xiangju Is Sentenced to Four Years in Prison As the Court Warns, "The Greater the Defense, the More Severe the Sentence"
Name: Wang Xiangju王香菊
Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 31, 2009
Most recent place of detention: Dandong City Detention Center丹东市看守所
City: Dandong City
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Xiangju was recently sentenced to four years in prison by the District Court of Yuanbao in Dandong City, Liaoning Province. During the trial, her lawyer questioned the witness on the testimony he provided and made reasonable defense for her. However, he was threatened by the judge, who warned, "The more you defend her, the more severe her sentence will be. You have no choice but to have her plead guilty."
During the several months that Ms. Wang was detained by the Chinese authorities, her family overcame many difficulties to try to get her released, but they were ignored and rebuffed by personnel from the Department of Public Prosecution. Desperate, her family hired a lawyer to defend her. When her lawyer tried to gather more evidence to defend her, he was thwarted by Zheng Xiangyang, the Deputy Director of Jinshan Police Station in the Yuanbao District; Li Xiaomei, the pretrial-section officer of the local public security bureau; and personnel from the District Office of Prosecution, who refused to provide any developments relating to the case.
On the morning of July 27, 2009, Ms. Wang's lawyer went to the district court to carry out a court-related procedure. The judge, a female whose last name was "Wang," and Ma Shuhe, the president of the criminal chamber told him, "The more you defend her, the more severe her sentence will be. You have no choice but to have her plead guilty."
Ma put it plainly to the lawyer: "If any counsel attempts to plead on her behalf, we will interrupt him. After three interruptions, he will be expelled from the courtroom. He can only plead on simple matters, and he can do so only if I consent to it." During the trial, Ma repeatedly interrupted the lawyer, greatly hindering the attorney's defense.
The trial was held on July 28, 2009. In the courtroom, Ms. Wang's lawyer defended her by saying, "According to the findings, Ms. Wang's conduct did not constitute a criminal act."
He continued: "First, there is no valid evidence. There is no way to identify the allegation made in the indictment. The witness did not appear in court to be cross-examined. Thus, there is no evidence to determine whether or not it is true and reliable.
"Secondly, the indictment is not applicable to the law. Even if the facts stated in the indictment are true, there is no evidence that proves that the defendant did violate the 300th article of the criminal code."
Ms. Wang raised two objections in the final statement: 1) She wanted to cross-examine the witness. Otherwise, she believed that one rough testimony was not sufficient to clarify the situation. She said that if she was convicted based on this testimony, she would object. 2) She was not told which law she had broken. The prosecutor did not explain this to her clearly.
On the day of the trial, the court didn't make any judgment. However, the District Court of Yuanbao recently announced that Ms. Wang was sentenced to four years in prison.
Since the Chinese Communist Party started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Wang has been repeatedly arrested and sent to jail because of her unwillingness to give up the practice.
In March 2000, she was arrested by officers from Xingdong Police Station for practicing the Falun Gong exercises outdoors. Her house was subsequently ransacked and she was held in a detention center for one month.
In August 2001, Ms. Wang was turned in by her neighbors for telling them, "Falun Dafa is good." She was later arrested and taken to a detention center for five days.
In August 2002, she was turned in while she was handing out truth-clarification materials in public by a person with the last name of "Wang." She was later arrested and her house was ransacked. On August 30, she was taken to a detention center. Shortly after, she was sentenced to five years in prison and taken to the women's prison in Liaoning Province. During her detention, she was repeatedly persecuted by officials who tried to "transform" her, but to no avail.
In August 2007, Ms. Wang was released after her prison term expired. Because she was not "transformed," she was repeatedly harassed by her street committee and the police department. They tapped her phones, attempted to track her whereabouts, and put tremendous pressure on her family.
August 20, 2009