Chinese Regime Prevents Mr. Cao Dong's Family from Hiring a Lawyer
(Minghui.org) Mr. Cao Dong is a graduate of Beijing Foreign Studies University. He was illegally arrested for practicing Falun Gong and recently released from jail. He was again arrested in Beijing on June 8, 2012, and sent to a labor camp. His family wanted to hire a lawyer for him, but the Chinese regime did everything it could to prevent them.
Mr. Cao Dong
On the morning of August 24, Lawyer Li Xiongbing went to the Dongcheng District Police Department Detention Center in Qiliqu so that Mr. Cao could sign the “Application to Hire a Lawyer ” that Mr. Li wrote for him. The police refused to let Mr. Li meet Mr. Cao, saying that, in order for them to meet, the Beijing City Forced Labor Camp Commission had to first approve of the meeting.
The deadline for the “Application for a Lawyer” was September 7. Both the police station and the Labor Camp Commission said that the other party was responsible, thereby delaying time so that the deadline would pass.
Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhang Yisu, who was arrested for helping Mr. Cao, was also arrested and held in Dongcheng District Detention Center. Her family hired lawyer Li Dunyong, who went to the detention center twice to see Ms. Zhang, and both times he was refused entry.
Six years ago, Mr. Cao met European Parliament Vice President Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott and told Mr. Scott about the persecution suffered by his wife Ms. Yang Xiaojing and many other Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Cao was arrested soon after and sentenced to five years in prison. His wife passed away on October 1, 2009, after a long period of persecution and harassment. After Mr. Cao's term ended on September 28, 2011, he went to Beijing to finish the funeral arrangements for his wife and to find a job in Beijing.
Mr. Cao was temporarily staying in Ms. Zhang Yisu's home. Around 8 p.m. on June 8, 2012, Ms. Zhang had just returned home from work. As she opened her door, seven or eight police officers suddenly forced themselves inside to arrest Mr. Cao.
The Chinese Communist Party has a proviso that after sentencing someone to a labor camp, there is no need to notify the family; they only need to send the decision letter to the detainee's local police station. Another proviso allows the detainee to bring up the request for a lawyer, but the lawyer cannot get involved in the case until a decision letter arrives. Within these rules, the Chinese regime has a lot of wiggle room to prevent detainees from hiring a lawyer. This has certainly been the experience for Mr. Cao's family.
Following the rule, Mr. Cao's detention decision letter was to be sent to Qingyang Police Station in Gansu Province. On August 1, 2012, Mr. Cao's family went to Dongcheng District Police Department's “Letters and Visits Office” on Beijing Xingfu Street. The person on duty there did a search and said the letter had not been sent. He said that the ones to Beijing local areas were to be sent before the ones to other places and told Mr. Cao's family to wait.
On August 8, the family again went to the “Letters and Visits Office” and on that day no one was on duty. A section director with the last name Zhao said that the family had to go to Beijing Tuanhezi Men's Forced Labor Camp's Office of Legislative Affairs to inquire. He also gave a phone number for the family to call. They called and no one answered. The next day, someone answered the phone but said they were not responsible for sending the decision letters and told the family to go to Dongcheng Detention Center in Qiliqu to ask the Office of Legislative Affairs there.
The family called the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Dongcheng Detention Center, and a police officer with the last name Zhao said he could not answer the question at the time and had to do some searching before answering it. He told the family to ask again the following week.
One week later on August 16, the family went to the Office of Legislative Affairs of the Dongcheng Detention Center. The response they got was that the letter had sent in, but they did not know how long it would take to get to the local police station in Gansu. When the family said that the lawyer needed the decision letter as soon as possible to be able to work on the case, the office said that Mr. Cao had to apply himself. The family asked how Mr. Cao could apply for a lawyer when he was in the detention center. The police could not answer that.
The decision to sentence Mr. Cao to forced labor was made on July 8, 2012. However, neither Mr. Cao's family in Gansu nor Beijing was notified. On August 20, Mr. Cao again called Dongcheng Police Station's Office of Legislative Affairs, and the answer was still the same, “We've given it to the post office.” The family asked, “When will it get to the local police station?” They slyly said, “That's a secret.”
Over this time, Mr. Cao's mother repeatedly went to the local police station to ask. Finally she saw the decision letter on August 21.
It is not hard to see that the Chinese Communist Party's Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office control the persecution of Falun Gong and practitioners' access to a lawyer. They know that they could not just blatantly take away the “Administrative Reconsideration” rights of Falun Gong practitioners, so they use stalling tactics. They do this so they can avoid the condemnation from the international community and avoid any legal accountability. In fact, their attempts are in vain. It only helps to accelerate and expose the evil nature of the Communist Party. Falun Gong practitioners and human rights defenders all over the world know about these heinous crimes committed by the Chinese Communist regime and will hold them accountable.
Dongcheng Police Station Office of Legislative Affairs: 86-10-84081774
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