Name: Jiao Xuemei (焦雪梅)
Gender: Female
Age: Unknown
Address: Unknown
Occupation: Employee of Tangshan Thermal Power Company
Date of most recent arrest: June 16, 2008
Most recent place of detention: Hebei Province Women's Prison (河北省女子监狱)
City: Tangshan
Province: Hebei
Persecution suffered: Illegal sentencing, imprisonment, extortion, home ransacked, detention
Defense Attorney: Tang Jitian (唐吉田)

( Ms. Jiao Xuemei learned Falun Gong so that she could improve her health. Soon after she began the practice, her sinus infection and vitiligo were healed. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has persecuted her for the past 10 years for her belief in Falun Gong and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Ms. Jiao was arrested for her belief four times between 1999 and 2009. She has been detained at the Hebei Provincial Women's Prison since April 1, 2009.

On June 16, 2008, right before the Beijing Olympics, Ms. Jiao was illegally arrested at her workplace by officers from the Xishandao Police Station in Tangshan. In September 2008, the Lubei District Court held a trial and sentenced her to three years in prison on charges of “obstructing justice and utilizing cult organizations.” The sentence was based entirely on the prosecutor’s statement and no physical evidence was provided. Ms. Jiao immediately appealed the ruling after the hearing.

When Ms. Jiao's attorney, Tang Jitian, went to meet with Ms. Jiao in the Tangshan First Detention Center, he was told to use visitation room No. 3, which had faulty lighting. When he asked the officer on duty (badge No. 083306) for a room change, the officer replied: “Do you want to meet with her or not? If you do, do it here. I have the authority to not let you meet with her at all.” Mr. Tang repeatedly explained to the officer that the right for the defendant to meet with her lawyer is protected by law. The officer, however, demanded the attorney's registration from the case.

The presiding judge of the appeals court, Li Fuqiang, asked Mr. Tang to submit the defense argument, but then avoided meeting with him under all sorts of excuses. He also made the decision that the case would not be tried in an open trial, which Mr. Tang protested. Mr. Tang indicated that the trial in the lower court had “confused the facts and lacked evidence,” that the “evidence” had all been destroyed in the investigation phase and was not examined by the prosecutor, and that no cross-examination took place during the trial. He stated that because the trial seriously violated the legal process and the law, the superior court must try the case in an open trial. The judge in the Tangshan Superior Court, however, disregarded the law and upheld the lower court's verdict.

Partial Summary of Prior Persecution

Ms. Jiao was sentenced to one year of forced labor in September 2004. The CCP authorities pressured her family and workplace to spend significant amounts of money for her medical treatment outside of the labor camp.

The company she worked for succumbed to the pressure and deducted her salary and benefits. Between 2001 and 2008, Ms. Jiao was denied a salary raise three times. Between June 2007 and June 2008, she was paid only 580 yuan, the minimum welfare amount in Hebei Province. (Her monthly salary was 1,700 yuan.)

Police ransacked Ms. Jiao's home on April 30, 2007, arrested her on May 2, and detained her in the Tangshan First Detention Center. She was released on May 9, 2007. She, her family, and her employer were constantly harassed by the authorities. Out of fear, her family gave the officer handling Ms. Jiao's case 5,000 yuan with the hope that the harassment would cease, but authorities continued to harass them after taking the money.

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