Older Practitioner Persists in Appeal After Being Illegally Sentenced for Practicing Falun Gong
Officers from the Nanhenglinzi Police Department, at the Hongxinglong Agricultural Reclamation Bureau, went to Mr. Hao's workplace at 8:00 p.m. on August 10, 2009. They arrested him while he was on duty in the guard room of the Power Supply Bureau. The police proceeded to ransack his home. Mr. Hao was detained at the Hongxinglong Detention Center.
Officials from the Hongxinglong Agricultural Reclamation Bureau Court sentenced Mr. Hao to five years in prison on December 28, 2009. Even though practicing Falun Gong is not illegal in China, the reason they gave for his arrest and sentencing was that Mr. Hao practices Falun Gong and talked about the practice with others. Upon receiving the court's decision on January 22, 2010, Mr. Hao immediately appealed. The Agricultural Reclamation Bureau Intermediate Court officials upheld the original verdict and sentence.
Mr. Hao continued his appeal to the Supreme Court of Heilongjiang Province. He stated in his appeal letter that the Chinese Constitution stipulates that citizens have the freedom of belief, and that practicing Falun Gong does not constitute a crime. He also said that he will maintain his right to appeal until his case is given a just decision. He will persist until he gets a fair decision from a court, including international courts.
Mr. Hao suffers from a serious lower back problem, but is being forced to do hard labor at the workshop in Jiamusi Prison.