Authorities in Qingdao Manipulate the Legal System to Exploit Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Lu Xueqin, Mr. Yuan Shaohua, Ms. Liu Xiuzhen, Mr. Yang Naijian, and Ms. Cui Luning, among others from Qingdao City, were illegally arrested on May 2, 2013. They are still detained.
The practitioners were arrested for taking photographs demonstrating the various means of torture used on Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese prisons and labor camps. Many similar photos have been posted on Minghui.org.
To prevent any intervention by the defense attorneys, the charges against the practitioners were suddenly altered.
Deputy chief of the Shuiqinggou Police Station, Yan Zuoshun (ID 024644), bluntly told the attorneys, “Detainees charged with 'inciting rebellion and attempting to overthrow the government' are not allowed to meet with their attorneys because there is no need for an attorney in such a case.”
Until June 9, 2013, the arrested practitioners were charged with “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of law.” This charge appeared on the arrest warrants for Ms. Lu, Mr. Yang, Ms. Liu, and Mr. Yuan. The warrant for Ms. Lu was issued by the Shuiqinggou Police Station, while the warrant for Mr. Yang came from the Liutingbianfang Police Station.
Such charges have been levied by Chinese legal agencies against Falun Gong practitioners for the past 14 years.
Ms. Lu's attorney attempted to meet with Ms. Lu in person three times from May 14 to 16, but without any success. Many excuses were given by the detention center to prevent the two from meeting.
Ms. Lu's family and the attorney then sent complaints to various legal agencies and authorities, including the inspectors of the Qingdao Police Department, the Qingdao Municipal Government, the Qingdao Municipal Public Security Bureau, as well as others. They have yet to receive a reply from any of the agencies.
Sudden Alterations of the Charges
Chinese Central TV, Xinhua, and other state media declared that the Qingdao police had “cracked” a case involving the production and distribution of fabricated pictures of Falun Gong practitioners being tortured in prison.
Soon, Ms. Lu's family and the family members of the other arrested practitioners noticed that the local legal authorities were changing the charges in a unified manner.
Ms. Lu's family went to the Shuiqinggou Police Station and talked to officer Wang Wei (ID 024639). The family wanted clarification on the law preventing them from seeing Ms. Lu. Wang declared that Ms. Lu had been arrested for “leaking national secrets, inciting rebellion, and attempting to overthrow the government,” which legally denied her the right to meet with an attorney.
On the same day, the charges against Ms. Liu, Mr. Yang, and Mr. Yuan were also changed to “inciting rebellion and attempting to overthrow the government.”
Soon, the 610 Office at both the Qingdao Police Department and its Sifang Branch Office began asking the families of the arrested Falun Gong practitioners to sign the new arrest warrants. The officers claimed that the police station had filled the original arrest warrants incorrectly. However, they refused to explain how multiple police stations had made the same error.
Ms. Liu's brother signed the new arrest warrant, but Ms. Lu's and Mr. Yuan's families refused to sign.
The practitioners' attorneys submitted a joint letter of complaint to the relevant agencies, asking that the charge of “inciting rebellion and attempting to overthrow the government” be revoked.
Fabricating New Charges on the Fly
Ms. Lu's husband and sister submitted a letter of complaint to the Shibei District Procuratorate. An office staff member with ID 005 said the letter would be reported to higher officials, and that the family would receive a phone call the next day about the matter. The family never received a response.
Ms. Lu's husband and sister then went to the Sifang Branch Office of the Qingdao Police Department and asked to see Wang Mingzhe from the 610 Office. A guard phoned the office and then said that Wang was not in.
Mr. Lu's husband said, “Then we will talk to some other personnel in the office.” When he opened the door to the office, he saw Wang sitting there.
Wang said angrily: “What are you doing here? Why did you publish my office phone number on the Internet? I received calls from people overseas [demanding release of the arrested practitioners].” He then told them to leave.
Ms. Lu's sister said, “We've come here to report a complaint. How can we talk to you if we leave?” Wang then called in another officer to escort Ms. Lu's sister out.
When Ms. Lu's husband asked why Ms. Lu had not been allowed to meet with a lawyer, Wang said, “The police station has already told you to pick up the notice.”
Ms. Lu's husband explained that the notice he had picked up alleged that Ms. Lu was “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of law,” which was simply not true.
Wang replied that the police station must have made a mistake. He then drew up the newly drafted charges drummed up by the Shibei Procuratorate.
Ms. Lu's husband exclaimed, “I did not sign this! You cannot just do whatever you want!”
The families and lawyers of Ms. Lu, Mr. Yuan, and Ms. Liu went to the Pudong Detention Center to visit them. The guards told the lawyers that those accused of such charges were not allowed to have visitors.
Upon returning to his hotel room, Ms. Lu's lawyer, Mr. Wang Yu, noticed that his computer had been messed with and would not turn on. He went to the hotel receptionist and asked to see the surveillance video; his request was refused.
The hotel staff eventually offered to replace the computer.
Mr. Wang said, “I don't want compensation; I just want to see the surveillance video.”
Refusing to Sign New “Charges”
Wang Mingzhe called Ms. Lu's husband and told him to come to the Shuiqinggou Police Station at10 a.m. the next day. Wang said he would meet him there.
Ms. Lu's husband and sister, Mr. Yuan's son, Ms. Lu's lawyer, and Mr. Yuan's lawyer, all went to the Shuiqinggou Police Station. Many plainclothes police officers were waiting outside when they arrived.
Deputy chief of the Shuiqinggou Police Station, Yan Zuoshun (ID 024644), asked to speak with Ms. Lu's husband alone. The husband was then taken to a windowless room where five others were waiting. They told him that they were in the process of changing Ms. Lu's charge and that he needed to sign off on it.
A month prior, Ms. Lu's husband was beaten by police at the very same police station. Thus, he did not feel safe staying there. He quickly got up and left to find his lawyer.
Yan Zuoshun followed him out, saying: “Do you think I would trick you? One of them is from the Sifang Branch Office, two are from this station, and the other two are from the Neighborhood Committee. They are here as witnesses.”
Ms. Lu's husband replied: “My lawyer is here. Let's talk here so I can have a witness, too. Wang from the branch office told me to come here, so I want to talk to him.”
When Wang Mingzhe finally showed up, the practitioners' lawyers submitted documents requesting the implementation of proper legal procedure. They also requested that all charges against their clients be revoked.
Wang claimed that Ms. Lu's current physical condition was the same as before she got arrested. He claimed that she had not suffered any physical torture, and that the original charge (“using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of law”) had simply been printed wrong.
Wang then instructed Yan Zuoshun to write out the new charge of “inciting rebellion and attempting to overthrow the government.” Wang asked Ms. Lu's husband and Mr. Yuan's son to sign this document; both refused. Wang then slammed his fist and said: “Then there is nothing more to talk about. We are leaving.”
The lawyers again stepped in to present documentation entailing proper legal procedure. Yan then said, “Those charged with the crime of 'inciting rebellion and attempting to overthrow the government' are not allowed to meet with their attorneys because there is no need for an attorney in such a case.”
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