(Minghui.org) After Ms. Jian Yicong and Mr. Zhou Yubao were arrested, she was taken to Sichuan Province Women's Prison and he was taken to Wumaping Prison in Leshan. Their original unjust sentences, three years each, was recently upheld by the Deyang City Intermediate Court.

The Court Ignores the Law and Upholds an Unjust Sentence

In November 2012, the Jingyang District Court in Deyang City sentenced Ms. Jian Yicong to three years in prison without notifying her family in advance. Her family and friends hired a lawyer to appeal to a higher court. The appeal was accepted on December 14 after many setbacks. Xu Bin, the Deyang City Intermediate Court judge, tried to delay the case by refusing to answer the lawyer's calls or meeting with him so that he could access certain documents and follow the appeal procedures. On March 7, 2013, the lawyer eventually accessed and read the documents and filed a defense statement the same day, but it was already too late, because the two-month deadline for the "second trial" had expired.

Thereafter, the family continued to inquire about the results of the second trial, but Xu Bin refused to reply, saying, "Family members are not litigants."

In the middle of April, the family was surprised to discover that the second trial had been held and the sentence was handed down on March 29. The court informed neither the family nor the defense lawyer and upheld the original sentence. Furthermore, they continued to lie to the family and have yet to notify them.

The family knew that, during the first trial, many court employees were present in the courtroom, but no one else was allowed to attend. In fact, the court officials did not inform the family of the trail. However, the sentence stated that a "public trial was held." When the sentence was upheld at the second trial, it was stated, "After investigation, it is confirmed that the court conducted the first trial publicly."

At the first trial, Gong Xueqiang, the defense lawyer assigned by the Jingyang District Court, did not verify any evidence presented by the public prosecutor, nor did he request that the prosecutor explain the relationship between the evidence and the alleged crime. According to the law, evidence not verified by a cross-examination is invalid.

At the second trial, the defense lawyer hired by the family said in his statement, "The wrong law was cited and an inappropriate sentence was levied. The Procuratorate accused Ms. Jian Yicong of 'utilizing a cult to breach the law.' Yet, the Procuratorate could not say how she utilized it nor, specify, what and where this cult is; the structure of this organization; or what position Jian Yicong held in that organization or what were her responsibilities. Nor did the Procuratorate explain what laws she breached and how.

"Jian Yicong tried to be a good person in line with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She did not intend to undermine or damage the society or breach the law. She simply does not understand why practicing Falun Gong became illegal after 1999, yet is legal in other countries. She also cannot understand why she is targeted for 'breaking the law' when she tries to be a good person. As for her distribution of Falun Gong materials, that is an exercise of her freedom of speech and religion, which is not a crime, either."

Nevertheless, the verdict handed down at the second trial stated: "The original sentence was accurate, cited correct laws, called for appropriate penalty, and complied with legal procedures."

The Court Commits Countless Evil Deeds and Colludes with the Detention Center to Deceive the Families

Ms. Jian Yicong's family also learned that detention center officials had taken her to a hospital for an examination. It was discovered that she had atrophy in her right calf and a prolapse of a lumbar intervertebral disc, which could easily lead to paralysis. The doctor at the detention center reported her condition to the judges many times, but they simply ignored it.

On January 15, the defense lawyer accused judge Xu Bin of denying him his legal rights as an attorney. Thereafter, Xu Bin had no choice but to see Ms. Jian. When he asked her if she was still practicing Falun Gong, she answered, "Yes," which caused Xu Bin to immediately turn pale.

After the second trial, somebody from the court told Ms. Jian to sign a statement, which mentioned that "the defense lawyer was an accomplice." She adamantly refused to comply.

When her family got the message that the Intermediate Court had upheld the original sentence, they asked where Ms. Jian Yicong was so that they could visit her. Neither court nor detention center staff told them. The eventually found out that she had been sent to Longquanyi Women's Prison. When they were ready to visit her, they received a call from the Sichuan Women's Prison, telling them that Ms. Jian had been sent there.

Another case very similar to this one began on December 6, 2012, when practitioner Mr. Zhou Yubao was sentenced to three years in prison by the Shifang City Court. Over four months later, his family filed an appeal at the same court and with the same judge as Ms. Jian. Judge Xu Bin avoided the family members' inquiries in collaboration with officials from the Shifang City Detention Center and avoided their visits with excuses such as "visits are only allowed after the leaders have left," "visits are only allowed after the festival," "no visits before the second trial," etc. They intentionally deceived this family, who then went to the wrong prison, Guangyuan Prison. In actuality, Mr. Zhou had been taken to Wumaping Prison in Leshan City. Even though, the family wanted to visit him, they had to apply for permission with the Political and Legal Affairs Committee!