Chinese Human Rights Defense Attorney Calls Those Who Abuse the Law to Prosecute Falun Gong Practitioners “The Real Enemy of the State”
(Minghui.org) An attorney in China has filed a complaint against the judges, prosecutors, and police in Shenbei New District, Shenyang Province, on behalf of Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Niu Guifang, citing multiple violations of China's criminal laws. The violations include unlawful detention (article 238), deprivation of her freedom of religious belief (article 251), misinterpreting the law and subjecting her to criminal investigation when they knew her to be innocent (article 399), and abuse of power, thus causing heavy losses to the interests of the state and the people (article 397).
The complaint was filed after Ms. Niu's appeal trial in May. Three Shenbei District Court judges cited article 300 to sentence her to three years in prison in February. The attorney, who shall not be identified publicly in this article, called the investigation and the trial unconstitutional.
In his complaint, the attorney called any officer or functionary of the state who violates Falun Gong practitioners' constitutional right of freedom of spiritual belief the real enemy of the state.
The attorney highlighted the baseless accusations that Ms. Niu used “superstitious sects to undermine the implementation of the law” (article 300). He said that, from an objective perspective, she did nothing to violate the law and she should be free to follow her spiritual belief under China's Constitution.
He said the police should have known not to arrest any citizen without evidence, the prosecutor should not have prosecuted her for her religious belief, and the judges should not have convicted her when there were no legal grounds.
The attorney added that, as representatives of the state, the police, the prosecutors, and the judges should know that article 300 does not apply to Ms. Niu Guifang and that they should not have knowingly misrepresented the law and abused their power in this case.
China has long feared Falun Gong as a threat to its one-party rule and declared it a cult. The attorney said that the police, the prosecutors, and the judges should know that Ms. Niu and all other detained Falun Gong practitioners are innocent, especially when they knew there was no real evidence against her and that the entire criminal investigation and legal proceedings were seriously flawed. He named Chief Justice Jin Weimin, Chief Prosecutor Hu Chengshan, and Police Chief Feng Yan in Shenbei New District responsible for the illegal arrest, prosecution, and indictment of Ms. Niu Guifang in his complaint.
It is wrong for a handful individuals in the Chinese government who think they are above the law to twist the constitution and laws. The attorney maintained that, as representatives of the state, the police, the prosecutors and the judges should know right from wrong and should use their conscience as the highest principle to decide what is the best for the people and society. In the case of Ms. Niu, he says they have an obligation to defend her and uphold justice against those who think they can bend the law to their favor.
Human rights attorneys in China have taken grave risks to represent Falun Gong practitioners in the courts. Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reported that at least 18 human rights attorneys lost their licenses in the first half of 2009 alone. Gao Zhisheng, perhaps the most renowned rights attorney in China and celebrated for representing China's most vulnerable, was accused of subversion when he expanded his work to include Falun Gong. Like many human rights attorneys in China who represented Falun Gong practitioners, he was convicted, arrested, and tortured before he disappeared.
The attorney representing Ms. Niu had a taste of the difficulty his predecessors have long faced. No one at the Shenyang City prosecutor's office would allow him to file the complaint. He went up to the prosecutor's disciplinary division instead to file it, only to be told to “be realistic.”
The judges have not announced their verdict in Ms. Niu's appeal in May.