Falun Gong Practitioner Ms. Liu Zhi from Shenyang City Illegally Sentenced
After Ms. Liu Zhi from the Heping District in Shenyang City was illegally sentenced to four years imprisonment, she began to appeal. A few days later, her family entrusted two lawyers to visit Ms. Liu at the detention center, but they could not locate her. Those in charge at the detention center claimed that she had been taken to the women's prison, but staff at the prison said she was not there.
Her family members continued to go back and forth from the prison to the detention center a total of five times. Later, they learned from Zaohua Detention Center personnel that her original verdict was upheld in Shenyang Intermediate Court and that this decision was made without notifying any of her family members. After the detention center received the verdict, they took her to the women's prison, where she refused to voluntarily undergo the required medical exam. Consequently, she was injected with sedatives against her will. Because she did not pass the physical, the Zaohua Detention Center took her back, as per the request of the warden at the center.
Because Ms. Liu's family members were not informed of the court's decision, they of course had not hired a lawyer to defend her. Her family went to the Intermediate Court to try to find out any relevant information on her case. They asked court officials when the second trial would be held and why they had not notified anyone in her family The officials retorted, "Why did we have to let you know?!"
Her family attempted to provide some money for Ms. Liu's living expenses, but it was not accepted. Currently, no one knows how she is doing.
From practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Liu recovered from what were very serious illnesses. After her health was restored, she tried to be a good person by holding herself to the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. At 4 p.m., on October 22, 2009, she was arrested by officers from Xinxing Police Station in the Heping District, Shenyang City. Her home was then ransacked. Police officers also investigated her landlord and even tapped her landlord's telephone and monitored the workplace of her landlord's son. As a result, Ms. Liu was forced to ask her daughter, a second-year university student, to move out. On January 13, 2010, an extremely cold day, her daughter, with the help of others, moved out of her mother's home.
Xu Yongqin, head of the Domestic Security Brigade at Heping District Police Sub-Bureau, accused Ms. Liu of distributing more than 20 DVDs to her family members as well as possessing truth-clarification materials. After her case was taken to the Procuratorate, it was rejected due to lack of evidence. However, Xu insisted on investigating her so that she could be charged with a crime. A month later, he resent her file to the Heping District Procuratorate.
Liu Qiang from the Heping District Court was responsible for Ms. Liu's case. After her file arrived at the court, her family went to the Procuratorate many times, but Liu Qiang refused to see them. Not until three or four days before the trial convened did they finally meet him. After her family members explained their reason for wanting to meet with him, he told them that, because Ms. Liu was a Falun Gong practitioner, she would be sentenced to three to seven years. After hearing this, her family members searched extensively for a defense lawyer for Ms. Liu and also sought out all the financial help they could find to help Ms. Lui's daughter. With others' help, within a few days they finally found a lawyer, Du Li'an, from Daoheng Lawyer's Office in Beijing.
During the lawyer's initial review of Ms. Liu's case, Liu Qiang informed him that he was not allowed to argue against the illegitimacy of the law itself. Heping District Court scheduled Ms. Liu for trial on April 27. Three days before the trial, her family members went through the necessary procedures to enable them to sit through the court proceedings. On the day of the trial, however, court officials used all kinds of excuses to keep any of her family members from sitting in. There was no verdict announced in court that day.
On Friday, May 14, at noon, court officials notified Ms. Liu's lawyer that they would announce the verdict, but the lawyer said that he would not come to court. On the following Monday, her family members went to the court to try to find out about the verdict. After great persistence, Liu Qiang's assistant finally told them that Ms. Liu had been sentenced to four years imprisonment.