Name: Zeng Yuxian (曾玉贤)
Occupation: Former chief accountant at Cangxi District Business Bureau in Sichuan Province (原四川省苍溪县商业局主办会计师)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 26, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Cangxi District Detention Center (苍溪县看守所)
Persecution Suffered: Sleep deprivation, illegal sentencing, beatings, imprisonment, torture, dismissal from work, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of restroom use
Key Persecutors: Domestic Security Department and 610 Office at Guangyuan City and Cangxi District, Cangxi District Court at Sichuan
(Clearwisdom.net) During proceedings at the Cangxi District Court in Sichuan at 8:30 a.m. on August 13, 2010, Mr. Zeng Yuxian, formerly an accountant with the Business Bureau, was illegally sentenced to seven years in prison.
Court Proceedings Closed to the Public, Courthouse Heavily Guarded
Officials took pictures of passing pedestrians and vehicles
Officials took pictures of passing pedestrians and vehicles
The area around the courthouse was heavily guarded
Pedestrians were not allowed to walk in front of the courthouse
Domestic Security officers and 610 Office agents gathered outside the courthouse
Family and friends were kept out of the courtroom
Thirty minutes before the court session, Domestic Security officers, 610 Office agents, and plainclothes policemen from Guangyuan City and Cangxi District gathered outside and closed the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. They closely monitored anyone who went near the courthouse, and took photos of passing pedestrians and vehicles.
Anyone attempting to go inside the courthouse was questioned, and those who wanted to attend the hearing were not allowed inside. Even Mr. Zeng's 70-year-old mother was not allowed inside.
Family Threatened, Legal Representative Harassed
Prior to the hearing, on the afternoon of July 16, 2010, Mr. Zeng's parents hired their first defense lawyer. The lawyer went to Cangxi courthouse to see Mr. Zeng's file. Upon requesting the file however, a courthouse staff member stated that lawyers defending Falun Gong practitioners require a background check. The lawyer asked what law stipulated this requirement, but the staff member could not give an answer, as no such law exists.
The lawyer later went to the detention center to see Mr. Zeng, but the guard on duty said he was not at liberty to allow the visit and needed to ask his supervisor for approval. Upon his return, he said that the supervisor would not allow the visit. The lawyer insisted that visiting Mr. Zeng was a routine matter and must be allowed, by law, since all the paperwork was in place. However, he was still not allowed in.
Mr. Zeng's lawyer then went back to Beijing and his office received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Shunyi District. The caller alleged that Mr. Zeng's lawyer was involved in a financial dispute. The office staff felt suspicious about the caller and decided to call the number back. The number turned out to be the Guangyuan City 610 Office.
According to an insider, Cangxi District's Public Security authorities and local 610 Office personnel had done a detailed investigation of Mr. Zeng's lawyer and flagged him in their files because he was known to often accept overseas interviews. Shu Shaolin, the judge in Mr. Zeng's case, reportedly said that it was very easy for them to censure any lawyer. Due to the pressure and harassment by the authorities, this lawyer decided to withdraw from the case.
A few hours after Mr. Zeng's lawyer went to the courthouse, Mr. Zeng's parents had also been threatened and harassed by the local 610 Office, who pressured them to give up using a lawyer.
Mr. Zeng's family then hired a new lawyer. When he went to the courthouse to view Mr. Zeng's file, he found out that the the court was planning a hearing of the case the next day. Mr. Zeng's family was not notified about this hearing in advance, and the family had to insist that the courthouse allow Mr. Zeng's new lawyer to view the case file.
Ignoring Lawyer's Defense, Framing via False Accusations
Mr. Zeng's lawyer used the following defense arguments in court:
1. The Chinese Constitution does not give the government the authority to label a belief good or bad. Falun Gong practitioners do not disrupt the implementation of any law, nor does the practice condone behavior that violates the law. Therefore, using Criminal Law Article 300, Section 1 to label Falun Gong practitioners as "using a cult organization to disrupt the implementation of the law" is wrong.
2. Falun Gong practitioners have no intention of disrupting the implementation of the law. Defendant Mr. Zeng Yuxian's purpose of practicing Falun Gong is to improve his physical and mental well-being.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights uphold freedom of thought and freedom of religion as fundamental rights, and China entered into both of these agreements. Article 36 of The People's Republic of Chinese Constitution also stipulates religious freedom for the people. Thus, any governmental agency that endeavors to force citizens not to practice Falun Gong is breaking the law.
3. Mr. Zeng's behavior has not harmed society and he has not committed any crimes. He has acquired health and wellness from the practice of Falun Gong, and his efforts to introduce the practice to others only benefit society.
4. The lawsuit document accused Mr. Zeng of making propaganda materials at home since 2009, but there is no evidence to support this accusation.
Falun Gong-related materials confiscated from Mr. Zeng's home cannot be used as evidence because they were obtained without a warrant. The home search and confiscation of Mr. Zeng's property were illegal. Furthermore, possessing Falun Gong materials does not break the law.
The first set of confiscated flyers were about philosophy and cultivation, with the purpose of introducing cultivation and traditional Chinese culture to the general public, and there is not anything illegal about them.
The second set of materials contained the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which criticize current policies and the Communist Party. Article 41 in the Chinese Constitution says, "The citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any national agency and government employee," so Mr. Zeng was exercising his legal right with these materials, as well.
During the defense, the lawyer was interrupted by the judge multiple times. In the end, he requested that the court pronounce Mr. Zeng innocent and release him immediately.
After an hour-long recess, the judicial committee announced that Mr. Zeng would be sentenced to seven years in prison.
The Judicial Committee was comprised of the court chief, political affairs committee members, members of the 610 Office, and other court personnel.