Perspective on the Shanghai Judges' Prostitution Scandal
(Minghui.org) Recently, the case regarding Shanghai High Court judges and officials consorting with prostitutes has been widely circulated in the media and on the Internet in China.
Videos posted on the Internet by a concerned citizen were meant to expose a judge for his disreputable behavior in a nightclub—he believed that the judge had made an unfair ruling against him in a civil lawsuit. Three other judges were also filmed inadvertently.
Due to strong condemnation and pressure from the public, the authorities expelled the four judicial officials from the CCP and dismissed them from their positions. Following the exposure of this disciplinary action in the news media, Internet users responded. One lawyer wrote on his blog: “Are these four the only corrupt judges in Shanghai courts? Of course not. Were these judges corrupt from birth? Of course not. Are these judges only guilty of engaging in prostitution? That's impossible.” The lawyer utilized this case to implicate and ridicule the entire judiciary sector in China. The legal conscience and ethical standards of CCP judges is certainly in question.
Judges enjoy special power and authority, and their deliberate breaking of the law in their legal practice has become a serious problem. In China today, the number of cases which are fairly treated is now of great concern. In many cases, the accused have presented evidence demonstrating complete innocence, but due to policy set by the CCP, judges are obliged to make illegal decisions. There have been many such cases brought against Falun Gong practitioners.
China's Constitution clearly stipulates that citizens enjoy freedom of belief and expression. However, in order to persecute Falun Gong, the CCP first fabricated false evidence labeling it a “cult”, and then suppressed practitioners. The CCP brought forth charges of “sabotaging law enforcement”, “revealing state secrets” or “subversion of the government” without supporting legal evidence. In cases where there was a complete absence of justifiable evidence, CCP judges even sentenced Falun Gong practitioners to prison. In the last 14 years of persecution, more than 10,000 practitioners have been illegally placed on trial, without a single case in which the judge decided that the victim was innocent.
Falun Gong teaches people to be good and upright, while the CCP has notably undermined law enforcement, through misuse and persecution of citizens with proven innocence.
Although CCP judges have demonstrated such low ethics and morality, they've shown a high level of political sensitivity. The judge who illegally sentenced Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Chunsheng from Yiyang, Hunan Province said, “Right now, the Party (CCP) wants to suppress Falun Gong regardless of the law. We have to go through the motions. There is nothing we can do. Don't blame us.” Chief judge Gu Yingqing of Suzhou Intermediate Court shouted in court, “Don't talk to me about the law. I'm talking about politics.” The court staff in Qian'an City Court in Hebei Province openly stated: “Falun Gong cases won't be dealt with according to law.” Changchun Intermediate Court passed sentences against Falun Gong practitioners without trials, and announced: “For Falun Gong cases, there is no need to go through the legal process.”
In mainland China, all Falun Gong practitioners taken to court are illegally convicted, and their prison terms predetermined by the 610 Office, an office formed on June 10, 1999 for the sole purpose of persecuting Falun Gong. There are 610 Offices at all levels of government throughout China, and they manipulate local police departments, the Procuratorate offices and courts in order to persecute innocent people. For example, 610 Office staff in Nong'an, Jilin Province told defense lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners, “In this place, we rule. We only care about politics, not the law. You can go and sue us anywhere you'd like - we don't care.”
Manipulated by the 610 Office, judges knowingly break the law, and personnel in the police departments and Procuratorate offices also act in disregard of ethics and morality. For example, section head Gu in the Domestic Security Division in Baoshan District of Shanghai once said, “What law? What I say is the law!” In March 2000, Futian District court in Shenzhen illegally sentenced practitioner Li Jianhui to four years in prison. He was the first Falun Gong practitioner from that area sentenced on fabricated charges. Earlier, Li Jianhui went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was arrested and the local authorities reported him to the 610 Office in Guangdong Province and the central government, which then escalated the persecution of Li Jianhui. The Shenzhen City Procurator told Mr. Li: “You didn't commit any crimes, but we must sentence you to prison. This is a political necessity. The upper authorities are the ones who want to sentence you.”
Judges should be held accountable for abusing the law. Once the cases are decided by the 610 Office, the judges blindly carry out their decisions. For example, the Yuexiu District Court in Guangzhou illegally sentenced practitioner Wei Peiling to four years in prison. The judge informed her family that the decision was made by the 610 Office, and they were simply reading the decision in court.
The 610 Offices not only determine the prison terms of practitioners prior to trial; judges also change the terms at will, based on the “behavior” of practitioners in court. Ms. Han Yuejuan from Dongshan District of Guangzhou was placed on trial, and declared to the court: “Falun Dafa is good” three times. The judge then added another three years to her sentence. The judge explained: “Han Yuejuan said 'Falun Dafa is good' three times; each time deserved another year of imprisonment.”
Based upon the actions of these Shanghai High Court judges, how can they possibly make fair and just decisions in court? Is it possible that judges who submitted to the 610 Office and illegally sentenced Falun Gong practitioners would engage in other corruption? There have been over 10,000 illegal trials of Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China in the past 14 years, and in all these cases, not one fair decision was delivered based on evidence. Are there any honest judges left in today's China?