This 8-part series explores the role of China’s judicial system in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The facts presented reveal that the judicial system has lost its independence and become captive to the “610 Office” (a special agency created for the sole purpose of eradicating Falun Gong) since 1999. Instead of righting the wrongs against innocent practitioners, the judicial system actively carries out the communist regime’s persecution policies and spares no effort to get practitioners imprisoned for crimes they never committed.
Part 1: Overview Part 2: Who is Pulling the Strings? The 610 Office Part 3: Judges Show Their True Colors Prosecuting Law-abiding Practitioners Part 4: Practitioners Wrongly Accused and Denied Fair Trials Part 5: Groundless Verdicts at the Discretion of Corrupt Officials Part 6: Attorneys Punished for Representing Their Clients Part 7: Families Punished for Hiring Lawyers Part 8: Supporters Arrested for Standing Up for Justice
Former Party dictator Jiang Zemin created the 610 Office on June 10, 1999, one month before he openly launched his attack on Falun Gong. The agency has branches at every government level, from the central government to local cities. Though lacking legal authority, the 610 Office has the final say on all Falun Gong-related cases. This section shows how agents from the 610 Office directly or indirectly interfere with the judicial system and pressure judges to hand down heavy sentences against wrongly accused practitioners.
According to insiders, the 610 Office in a certain city issued a classified document in June 2009 expressly forbidding the local judicial system to ever deliver a “not guilty verdict” regarding Falun Gong practitioners. This document claimed that, “Falun Gong matter is not just a legal issue, but more importantly a political battle.”
The Pingding County Court in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province opened a trial against Falun Gong practitioner Wang Qiaolan on March 27, 2013. The public prosecutor charged her with possessing seven pieces of paper money with the words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good,” “Falun Dafa is Good” and “The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” written on them.
Her lawyer argued, “Can this be counted as evidence? These pieces of paper money are her personal property and she has the right to spend them. Nowadays many people have paper money. Are you going to arrest each and every one of them?”
The judge still gave Wang Qiaolan a prison sentence.
Agent Duan Fuming from the local 610 Office admitted that the illegal arrest and sentencing of Wang Qiaolan was ordered by a higher-level 610 Office.
1. Unidentified Agent Keeps Handing Judge Notes and Threatens Attorney
On February 15, 2012, a Jinping Court in Shantou City, Guangdong Province opened a trial against practitioner Xu Daoming. Two lawyers, Qianyong from Beijing and Chen Wuquan from Guangzhou defended him.
During the court session, an unidentified person kept handing slips of paper to the public prosecutor through the court marshals.
Attorney Dong protested this disruption, and said, “According to Article Five of Chinese Criminal Law, the procuratorate should execute its legal authority independently, without any interference or influence from the administrative branch, social groups or individuals. Moreover, this behavior has seriously disrupted court order. Please investigate that person’s identity and his notes.”
After the court session was over, the person found Attorney Dong and threatened him, “I am here to tell you that I will never reveal to you who I am.”
2. 610 Office Agent Orders Judge to Stop Practitioner from Talking
On May 18, 2009, the Huaiyin District Court in Huaian City, Jiangsu Province opened a trial against practitioner Shen Yang. Presiding judge Guo Zhenxiang tried to deceive him into admitting his “crime,” but Shen Yang was not fooled and explained to everyone why he held firm to his belief in Falun Gong.
A man in his 50s rushed to the front and yelled at the judge, “Stop him from talking!”
Guo replied nervously, “We are determined to fight for Communism for the rest of our lives.” Then he began chanting slogans. It was apparent that the heckler was from the 610 Office and Guo didn’t want to be further chastised by him.
3. 610 Office Vice Head Shouts at Attorney to “Get Out”
On May 13, 2010, the Xichang City Court in Sichuan Province opened a trial against four practitioners. Three lawyers defended them.
Before the court session began, Judge Yang Bo warned the attorneys, “You are not allowed to argue in defense of Falun Gong or question the government's decisions about Falun Gong.”
During the court session, Chen Qi (vice head of the local 610 Office) shouted at one of the lawyers to “get out” while he was arguing the case.
For more details of this story, see 610 Office in Xichang City, Sichuan Province Blocks the Public from Attending Trial of Falun Gong Practitioners
1. Judge Remains Silent when Questioned Why He Denied Attorney Access to Case Documents
In May 2012, retired worker Zhou Yubao of Shifang City, Sichuan Province was arrested in a park for his belief in Falun Gong. The 610 Office pressured the local judicial system to try him and sentence him to prison.
Zhou Yubao’s lawyer filed multiple requests with Li Kaixuan (chief judge of Shifang City Criminal Tribunal) asking to review case documents so he could defend his client. However, Li always had excuses to not grant his wish. When questioned by the lawyer, Li often remained silent. It was learned later that the local 610 Office did not allow him to execute his legal authority as a judge.
For more details of this story, see Chief Judge of Criminal Tribunal Obstructs Lawyer from Representing Falun Gong Client
2. Court Official Says, “How Much Power Do You Think We Have?”
Xinxing Court officials from Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province tried and sentenced Li Xinchun, Jiang Botao and Guo Qizhong in April 2010. The three practitioners appealed their sentences, but Qitaihe Intermediate Court officials upheld the original sentences.
One of the court officials involved in the case asked the practitioners’ families, “How much power do you think we have?”
For more details of this story, see Qitaihe Intermediate Court Officials Conduct a Show Trial and Uphold Original Sentences Against Three Practitioners
3. Ms. Zhao Baoli Is Innocent but the Court Refused to Release Her, Fearing Reprisal from the 610 Office
Shuangqiao District Procuratorate in Chengde City, Hebei Province pressed charges against Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhao Baoli for producing Falun Gong DVDs and informational materials. The court tried her three times, but failed to convict her. However, intimidated by the Chengde City 610 Office, the court is afraid to release her.
For more details of this story, see Ms. Zhao Baoli Is Innocent but the Court Refuses to Release Her Fearing Reprisal from 610 Office
4. 610 Office Pressures Shenyang Court to Sentence Late-stage Cancer Patient to Prison
In August 2011, the Xinqu Court in the Shenbei District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province gave in to the 610 Office and sentenced Ms. Wang Min, a late-stage cancer patient, to four and half years.
For more details of this story, see Primary School Teacher Ms. Wang Min Sentenced Again by CCP Court (Photos)
5. Court Official Feared Taking Place of Falun Gong Practitioners in Prison if He Set Them Free
On October 19, 2012, Suibin County Court in Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province tried five practitioners (Jin Ying, Yang Shuzhen, Gao Yumin, Yuan Yulong and Li Siyuan) and sentenced them to prison. The practitioners appealed their case to the Hegang Intermediate Court, but the higher court upheld the original sentence and closed the case without any trial or statement explaining their action.
One of the court officials admitted, “We know these Falun Gong practitioners are good people. However, if we release them, we would have to go to prison.”
For more details of this story, see Hegang Intermediate Court Forcibly Closes Appeals Cases of Five Practitioners
6. Court Official Vows to Do Whatever the Communist Party Tells Him
In August 2013, Ningjiang District Court in Songyuan City, Jilin Province secretly tried Falun Gong practitioner Wang Jinbo, without informing his family of the trial date.
When they learned of the secret trial, Mr. Wang’s family went to the court and were told by a middle-aged man that he would be given 3-7 years. The man said that they’d do whatever the Communist Party told them to. When the family asked if they could hire a lawyer, he answered, “It’s no use. Do you think we’d allow any lawyers at the trial?”