Injustice Is Served: The Court System in Today's China—Attorneys Punished for Representing Their Clients (Part 6 of 8)
(Minghui.org) 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.
Table of Contents
Part 6: Attorneys Punished for Representing Their Clients
Part 7: Families Punished for Hiring Lawyers
Part 8: Supporters Arrested for Standing Up for Justice
Part 6: Attorneys Punished for Representing Their Clients
The judicial system does everything possible to prevent attorneys from representing Falun Gong practitioners. The lawyers are often prohibited from seeing their clients or reviewing case documents. Sometimes they are not even notified of the trial times. Many are arrested and detained for standing up for practitioners.
The following incidents show how the judicial system mistreats attorneys while they exert their rights to defend Falun Gong practitioners.
Qingdao City, Shandong Province: Court Officials Block Attorneys from Attending Trial
When Beiqu Court in Qingdao City held a trial for 13 practitioners at the Qingdao First Detention Center on March 10, 2009, officials dispatched a large number of police and plainclothes agents to guard the detention center.
They set up barriers about 250 yards from the gate and stopped pedestrians from getting any closer. They also had agents videotape passersby.
The defense attorneys were questioned and harassed as they walked toward the gate of the detention center. After they presented their IDs, security guards gestured them to come in. However, they were then stopped by a group of bailiffs, one of whom was holding a gun. Even after repeated requests to see their clients, the lawyers were still denied entry.
Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province: Judge Threatens to Get Attorney Arrested
When Panzhihua City Court held a second trial for practitioner Ms. Gong Shunhui on January 12, 2010, both of her attorneys from Beijing, Li Jinglin and Li Subin, were ready to defend her and enter a not-guilty plea.
However, judge Yao Xiaoshun allowed only one lawyer to defend her at the trial. Ms. Gong pointed out that she had every right to use as many lawyers as she pleased, but Yao stopped her protest.
Attorney Li Subin argued that his appointment by his client did not need to go through any court approval and, as such, he should be allowed to defend Ms. Gong as well.
Qin Yong, assistant judge, threatened him, “If you don't listen to our arrangement, then we'll leave.” Judge Yao indeed stepped out for a while.
In order to allow the trial to proceed, Li Subin gave in and sat among the observers.
Attorney Li Jingli delivered a robust defense argument. Yao threatened to have him arrested.
Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province: Attorney Removed from Courtroom for Not Following Judge's Irrational Demands
After Ms. Wang Pingzhen, a practitioner from Chaoyang City, was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for practicing Falun Gong, she appealed to Chaoyang Intermediate Court. The court held a hearing on February 28, 2012.
Cao Xuechang, deputy chief judge, appeared very nervous upon seeing a defense attorney at the trial. He said, “Since the Communist Party has banned Falun Gong, no one is allowed to practice or believe in it.”
Then he declared that the attorney could only raise questions approved by the judge. He further insisted that whatever he didn't want to hear, the attorney must not bring up. In his words, “You're not allowed to talk about freedom of belief here.”
The attorney insisted, “I will plea not-guilty for my client.” He then spoke about Ms. Wang’s practice of Falun Gong.
Cao Xuechang was furious. “He is promoting Falun Gong. Take him out!” he ordered.
Several bailiffs immediately stepped in to force the attorney out of the courtroom. They cursed at him and threatened to beat him. In addition, they grabbed his briefcase and searched it without any warrant.
Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province: Attorney's Case Documents Confiscated at End of Trial
Chuxiong City Court held a trial for practitioners Ms. Liu Zhiping, Mr. Bai Longjun, and Ms. Deng Liping on November 27, 2012. All three practitioners hired lawyers to defend them.
Mr. Bai and Ms. Liu used the same attorney from Beijing, who agreed to enter a not-guilty plea on their behalf. However, Ms. Deng's local lawyer did not dare to defend his client's innocence. As a result, Ms. Deng fired him during the trial and defended herself.
As soon as the trial was over, court marshals came up and forcibly confiscated the attorneys’ legal files. When questioned, one court bailiff claimed that these documents concerned state secrets.
One of the attorneys shot back, “Had these files been considered confidential, this trial would not have been held publicly.”
One plainclothes agent threatened him: “You have said many things against the government today. We need to search your briefcase.” When the attorney asked his name, the agent refused to answer and walked away.
Lanzhou City, Gansu Province: Judge Holds Secret Trial to Avoid Attorney Involvement
After practitioners Mr. Wang Youjiang and Ms. Chen Jie were arrested in June 2012, they were sent to the Lanzhou City First Detention Center. Their families signed a contract with a Beijing law firm to represent them.
When attorneys arrived at the detention center on November 13, 2012, they were not allowed to visit their clients. Officials at the center claimed that an indictment document was required for the visit. The lawyers pointed out that no such requirement was specified in the Criminal Law or Criminal Procedure Law, but the detention center insisted that they produce such a document.
The attorneys went to the court to seek a copy of the indictment, but were turned down. Having exhausted all of their options, they returned to Beijing.
The attorneys returned to Lanzhou on November 22. They submitted all required documents to the court and again asked for a copy of the indictment. Judge Wei Gongxin refused to accept their documents or grant their request.
The attorneys returned to speak to Wei Gongxin several days later, but he maintained the same stance. The two practitioners' families also called the court asking for a copy of the indictment, but their requests were declined as well.
It was not until December 4 that the families learned by chance that a secret trial of their loved ones had been held on November 24. Judge Liu Dongyu couldn't care less about their protest, telling them, “You can sue me wherever you want.”
Deyang City, Sichuan Province: Attorney Files Complaint Against Judge
Jingyang District Court of Deyang City held a secret trial against practitioner Ms. Jian Yicong in November 2012, sentencing her to 3 years of imprisonment. No family members were notified, and no observers were allowed at the hearing. The verdict nonetheless stated, “A public trial was held for this case.”
Ms. Jian’s family and her attorney decided to appeal. However, they could not schedule a meeting with chief judge Xu Bin, who seemed to have endless excuses to not see them.
When they were finally able to meet with Xu Bin on January 15, he tried to dodge the subject and asked irrelevant questions about the attorney. In the end, he refused to accept the request for a second trial.
The attorney had no choice but go to the Deyang Procuratorate to sue Xu Bin. Deyang Procuratorate staff said they were unfamiliar with the procedure and unwilling to accept the lawsuit.
The attorney threatened that if the documents were not accepted, he would have to go to the Supreme Procuratorate. Deyang Procuratorate staff then agreed to accept them.
Changchun City, Jilin Province: Attorneys Prohibited from Representing Falun Gong Practitioners
On June 3, 2009, practitioners Ms. Gao Shuyu and Ms. Yue Xinlin from Changchun City, Jilin Province, were illegally sentenced to 4 years in prison by Nanguan District Court.
Ms. Gao and her family were surprised that many law firms refused to take her appeal case upon learning that it was related to Falun Gong. A kindhearted attorney told them: “The City Administration of Justice stipulates that attorneys who handle Falun Gong cases must be registered and obtain consent from the Administration of Justice. But in reality, these requests are seldom approved, and so attorneys cannot defend Falun Gong cases.”
With no other option left, Ms. Gao's family called Mr. Wang, an attorney in Beijing, since he had previously defended Falun Gong practitioners. However, Mr. Wang said that the government had revoked his business license due to his past representation of Falun Gong practitioners.
After a week of desperate search, Ms. Gao's family still had no luck in finding any attorneys willing to defend their loved one.
Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province: Heavier Sentences for Practitioners Who Use Defense Attorneys
Following their arrest on September 22, 2009, practitioners Jiang Botao, Li Xinchun, and Guo Qizhong were tried over a two-day period, on April 1-2, 2010. The three practitioners had two lawyers, who entered a not-guilty plea on their behalf. The lawyers' convincing arguments rendered both the judge and the public prosecutor speechless.
On April 30, officials from Xinxing District Court came to the detention center and announced that all three practitioners had been sentenced to prison. The practitioners' families and lawyers were not notified.
When the families went to inquire about the case on May 6, one court worker admitted that they had been told to give heavier sentences to practitioners who used defense attorneys.
Anguo City, Hebei Province: Judge Plays “Hide and Seek” with Attorney in Attempt to Hold a Secret Trial
Anguo City Court was scheduled to hold a second trial for practitioner Ms. Li Ya on the morning of June 6, 2013. When her family and attorney arrived at the courthouse, they couldn't find her. Judge Yuan Jingzhou refused to tell them her whereabouts.
Ms. Li's family and attorney spent the whole morning going back and forth between the detention center and the courthouse trying to find her. However, both places claimed they didn't know where she was.
It wasn't until the afternoon that they learned that judge Yuan had already held a secret trial for Ms. Li in the detention center.
Dalian City, Liaoning Province: Local Judicial System Obstructs and Intimidates Attorneys
An illegal trial for 13 Falun Gong practitioners was scheduled for April 12, 2013, by the Zhongshan District Court in Dalian City. The night before the trial was supposed to start, the five defense attorneys representing the practitioners received a notice that it was canceled.
On the morning of April 12, a large number of police officers arrested family members and other Falun Gong practitioners who had come to attend the trial. Two defense lawyers were also arrested and detained, and one of them, Cheng Hai, was beaten by police.
After hitting the Internet, this case drew broad attention. Not intimidated by the brutality of the communist regime, more attorneys then stepped forward to offer their support.
When the trial was finally held in Zhongshan District Court on the morning of June 21, there were 12 attorneys representing the 13 practitioners and entering not-guilty pleas on their behalf.
Because the case had no legal grounds in the first place, along with improper judicial proceedings and falsified evidence, neither the judge nor the prosecutor knew how to answer the defense attorneys' questions and frequently requested an adjournment. The trial ended without delivering any verdict.
Zhongshan District Court planned to resume the hearing for the 13 practitioners on July 5, 2013. However, in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure and total disregard for the defendants' rights, the court gave the practitioners' attorneys very short notice of the court date, and failed to notify the practitioners at all.
In protest, all of the lawyers decided to boycott the trial, and the court had to reschedule the hearing for August 2.
On August 2, seven attorneys were present in court, pleading not guilty on practitioners' behalf. Judge Chen Xiangzhen intentionally skipped the confrontation clause, a mandatory part of a trial, and directly went to defense, despite objection from practitioners.
When attorney Cheng Hai pointed out that this was unlawful, Chen Xiangzhen ordered bailiffs to take him out of the courtroom and beat him. This was the second time Cheng Hai was beaten. When attorney Liang Xiaojun tried to stop them from doing this, bailiffs also shoved him.
The lawyers protested the mistreatment by quitting the trial.
Frustrated that they had been unable to sentence any practitioner since April 12, the local judicial system began to make even more trouble for the defense lawyers and blocked them from seeing their clients.
The attorneys visited Dalian Procuratorate and other related offices on August 15, hoping to resolve the matter. They were met with hostile staff and closed doors—Dalian police and court officials had colluded with all of these agencies on this.
When the attorneys visited the upper authority, Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate, in Shenyang the next day, staff members there also refused to accept them upon hearing who they were and the purpose of their visit.
In the meantime, the police threatened the practitioners to drop their current lawyers. They were given only two choices: to either defend themselves or use different lawyers. Many practitioners were at a loss for what to do next.
Not long afterward, the court replaced seven of the attorneys with local lawyers, all without the consent of practitioners.
More information available from:
Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province: Family Repeatedly Pressured to Drop Defense Attorney
Ms. Shi Jiandong, a practitioner from Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, was arrested in April 2009. Upon learning that her husband, Mr. Shen Jiandong, had hired attorney Zhang Chuanli from Beijing, Mudu Police Station chief Xu Yongliang and town secretary Wang in charge of political and judiciary matters ordered another official to pressure Mr. Shen to fire the attorney. The official promised to lobby for a lighter sentence and to reimburse the attorney's fees in return. Mr. Shen firmly refused.
Between September and October 2009, policeman Yin Quanyuan called Mr. Shen, informing him to go have a talk with the district 610 Office head and town 610 Office head Zhang Jinfang.
When pressured again to drop the attorney, Mr. Shen said: “As a citizen, I have the right to hire an attorney to defend my wife. If you guys feel confident, let's go to trial. Why should I fire the attorney?”
Seeing that the lighter sentence tactic didn't work, the 610 Office agents then tried to intimidate Mr. Shen, threatening: “Such lack of cooperation will do your family no good! Shi Jianping will only get a heavier sentence, since the court will not listen to the attorney. The court belongs to the government and the CCP [Chinese Communist Party].”
Mr. Shen was harassed for the third time on December 2, 2009. Zhang Jinfang found him and again promised to cover his attorney fees and even provide some financial assistance to his family if he agreed to drop the defense attorney. Mr. Shen replied that he only wanted his wife back, not money.
Despite defense attorney Zhang's convincing arguments, Wuzhong District Court sentenced Ms. Shi Jianping to 4 years of imprisonment on December 16, 2009.
Wuzhong District 610 Office agents threatened the family for the fourth time on December 25, 2009. They wanted to know if the family planned to appeal Ms. Shi's sentence and warned them: “If you want to appeal, don't use any Beijing attorney that will argue her innocence. If you use a local attorney and admit wrongdoing, she may get a lighter sentence.”
More information available from: Wuzhong District Court in Suzhou City Sentences Ms. Shi Jianping
Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province: Court Blocks Attorneys' Access to Case Documents
Following their arrest on March 29, 2013, practitioners Ms. Zhang Huijuan, Ms. Meng Faying, Ms. Duan Shuyan, Mr. Liu Fengcheng, and Mr. Zuo Zhenqi hired attorneys to defend them.
When the lawyers requested to review the case documents on July 24, judge Zhang Anke of Yilan County Court declined their request and demanded that they verify their identity at the Judicial Bureau. The lawyers objected to the judge's unlawful demand.
Zhang Anke turned the lawyers down again when they returned to review the case the next day. “Don't you talk about the law with me!” he yelled.
The lawyers then filed complaints with Yilan County Procuratorate and Yilan County People's Congress.
Qingdao City, Shandong Province: 610 Office Prohibits Attorneys from Seeing Their Clients
In order to arrest Falun Gong practitioners Yang Naijian, Lu Xueqin and their driver, Li Hao (not a practitioner), the Qingdao Public Security Bureau mobilized nearly 100 police officers on May 2, 2013. Subsequently, state-controlled media boasted cracking a “major criminal case,” claiming that the photos the two practitioners had collected of other practitioners' injuries resulting from torture were fabrications.
On June 9, Li Hao's attorney and family tried to visit him in the detention center. They were told that a written notice from the Lichang 610 Office stated that attorneys involved in Li Hao's case were not permitted to see him, since there were “secret issues” associated with the case.
Having been denied visitation, Li Hao's attorney and family went to Qingdao Procuratorate to file a complaint. The guards at the Procuratorate Office repeatedly made things difficult for them.
With much effort on the part of the attorney, they eventually were able to meet with Zhang Zhaocai, director of the Supervision Department. Li Hao's attorney told Zhang that the detention center had denied him the right to see his client. The attorney showed Zhang the trumped-up charges on the notice of criminal detention, confirming that Li Hao's case didn't involve any secret issues. He thus argued that the detention center had no right to prevent him from seeing his client.
Zhang promised to investigate the matter, but admitted that he couldn't make the final decision.
The attorney and Li Hao's family went to visit the Public Security Bureau of Lichang District that afternoon. However, their request to meet with Liu Kebo, head of the 610 Office, was denied.
More information available from: Qingdao 610 Office Denies Lawyer-Client Visitation Rights after Torture Is Exposed
Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province: Court Purposefully Neglects to Notify Attorney of Trial
On February 4, 2013, the Aimin District Court of Mudanjiang City held a secret hearing for practitioners Ms. Han Xiufang, Ms. Liu Chunlan, and Ms. Zhao Lianying in a detention center. However, the case was deemed to lack sufficient evidence and was sent back to the Domestic Security Division. Division police then fabricated more evidence against the three practitioners and submitted it to the Aimin District Procuratorate.
Aimin District Court scheduled a re-trial for 9 a.m. on April 2. The practitioners' families hired an attorney, but the court did not allow him to copy case documents. The trial was then canceled. On April 9, the court mailed a letter to inform the attorney that the trial would be held on April 11. They then called the attorney to say the trial was canceled.
Worried that the court had deceived him, the attorney went to the detention center on the morning of April 11. He searched all of the offices in the building, but could not find anybody. After he left Mudanjiang that afternoon, the practitioners were tried. Neither the attorney nor the practitioners' families were present.
Aimin District Court broke the law that requires courts to inform defense attorneys of the time and location of their clients' trials.
More information available from: Mudanjiang City Practitioners Detained for Almost Eight Months
Longkou City, Shandong Province: Police Block Traffic to Stop Attorneys and Families from Attending Trial
A secret trial was organized by Longkou Detention Center in Shandong Province for Ms. Yang Meijuan and four other practitioners on the morning of September 25, 2012. About 200 police officers were deployed to block traffic around the building.
The court also did not inform the defense attorneys of the trial date in advance.
More information available from: Practitioner Ms. Yang Meijuan from Shandong Province on a Two-Month Hunger Strike
Dandong City, Liaoning Province: Judiciary Officials Stop Attorney's Defense
On July 28, 2009, Yuanbao District Court of Dandong City, Liaoning Province, convened a session to try Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Xiangju. Presiding judges Wang and Ma Shuhe repeatedly warned the defense attorney not to actively defend Ms. Wang or enter a not-guilty plea. They threatened a harsher sentence if the attorney did not comply.
Ma Shuhe, presiding judge of the criminal court of Yuanbao District Court of Dandong City, said: "We will interrupt if the attorney tries to defend his client. After three such instances, the attorney will be expelled from the courtroom. The attorney may only do a brief defense."
Ma also warned the attorney "not to cause any trouble" and to follow the court's requirements.
More information available from: Judiciary Officials of a Dandong Court Stop a Lawyer's Defense
Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province: Court Officials Manipulate Microphone During Trial
Ms. Zhang Huijuan and four other practitioners were put on trial by Yilan Court in Heilongjiang Province on July 31, 2013.
Court officials tried to prevent the practitioners' attorneys from defending their clients by refusing them access to case documents prior to the trial. They also did not inform the attorneys of the trial date.
When one of the defense attorneys spoke during the trial, the judge frequently interrupted him, making it difficult for the attorney to defend his client effectively. The attorney was also given a microphone that did not work properly, so his statement could not be widely heard in the courtroom. The attorney warned the court officials to act according to the law.
Judge Zhang Anke told the attorney after the trial that the 610 Office had instructed him to interrupt defense.
More information available from: Court Officials Try to Prevent Lawyers from Representing Five Practitioners from Yilan County
Pingguo County, Guangxi Province: Judge Forbids Attorney to Talk at Trial
On the morning of December 8, 2005, court officials in Pingguo County held an illegal trial for Falun Gong practitioners Nong Youyue, Huang Ying, and Lan Hongping. The judge did not allow the attorneys to defend the practitioners in court.
After reading the defense statement prepared by attorney Yang Zaixin, the judge forbid him to speak in court. When questioned by Yang, the judge said: “These things can't be made clear with arguments. It's better that you keep quiet. We won't let you speak.”
Attorney Yang insisted that he be allowed to read the defense statement, but the judge and the public prosecutor both claimed that there was no time for that. Whenever Yang attempted to speak, about 7 or 8 people interrupted him by speaking at the same time, and they would not let him continue.
Many plainclothes police and officers in uniform followed attorney Yang until he finally left in the evening. They claimed to be "protecting" him, but were in fact restricting his freedom.
Attorney Yang was dismissed from the Zhongchi Law Firm in Guangxi Province on January 26, 2006, for defending Falun Gong practitioners.
Fushun City, Liaoning Province: Police Beat Attorney During Trial
A vehicle full of police arrived at Dongzhou District Court in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, right before the trial of practitioner Mr. Zhao Jiwei was about to commence in January 2013. Upon arrival, the group leader told the police officers in public: “Today's case is unusual. Use force when necessary.”
At the end of the trial, Mr. Zhao's defense attorney Dong asked the person directing the bailiffs to clear all of the bystanders from the courtroom, “Are you a court official?”
Five police officers immediately rushed over to the attorney. They choked his neck, grabbed him by the hair, and shoved him. Mr. Dong fell down and knocked over rows of chairs and tables in the courtroom. He was then pushed up against the wall. His suit and shirt were torn.
More information available from: Summary of Illegal Imprisonments of Falun Gong Practitioners in 2013
Chengdu City, Sichuan Province: Attorney Beaten While Meeting with Client
In January 2007, practitioner Mr. Tao Yuan from Chengdu City was arrested by officers from the Jinyang Police Station. He was later secretly sentenced and incarcerated in Guangyuan Prison.
On March 27, 2009, his mother, Ms. Zhang, received a call from the prison, stating that Mr. Tao's spine was dislocated and he required surgery. Ms. Zhang hired a well-known human rights lawyer, Cheng Hai, to prepare documents requesting her son's release for medical treatment.
While the attorney was meeting with Ms. Zhang, staff from the Jinyang Comprehensive Administration Office monitoring Ms. Zhang ambushed them both and beat and injured the lawyer.
At the time, Mr. Cheng was assisting Ms. Zhang in filing a lawsuit to sue the Jinyang Street Administration Office for their constant monitoring.
More information available from: Ms. Zhang Shengrong Missing for a Month and Half, Nobody Is Looking after Her Disabled Son
Zhabei District, Shanghai City: Attorney Removed from Courtroom
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Nie Guangfeng was illegally tried by Zhabei District Court in Shanghai on the morning of April 18, 2013. After many recesses during the 2-hour trial, the defendant’s attorney was dismissed from the courtroom. The trial then ended quickly.
Prior to the dismissal, the attorney pointed out that the trial was illegal and refused to sign a court document that the judge wanted him to sign. A bailiff then blocked the attorney and pulled his hand, grabbing his bag strap at the same time and not letting it go.
Mr. Nie's family intervened and got in between the two, saying: “This is our attorney. You should not treat him this way.” When the family pointed out that what the bailiff did was illegal, judge Gong Wen and district attorney Wang Lin both mocked them, “Go ahead and appeal.”
More information available from: Mr. Nie Guangfeng's Lawyer Indiscriminately Dismissed at His Trial in Zhabei District Court in Shanghai
Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province: Attorney Forcibly Carried Out of Courtroom
On April 27, 2007, Shijiazhuang Intermediate Court held a second trial for practitioner Ms. Wang Bo. During the trial, four police agents forcibly carried one of Ms. Wang's attorneys out of the courtroom. Many witnesses were outraged by this anarchic action.
After the trial, Ms. Wang's family was forced into a police van so heavily curtained that people couldn't see anything from outside.
Throughout the proceedings, several dozen police agents were stationed around the courthouse, not allowing anyone to come near the court gate. Many police vans were also parked near the gate. Plainclothes police were on site as well, along with four policemen patrolling around with batons.
More information available from: Police Agents Remove Lawyer from Court During Wang Bo's Second Trial
Hubei Province: Attorney Persecuted for Representing Falun Gong Practitioners
Beijing civil rights attorney Jin Guanghong suddenly disappeared in early April 2011. He was returned to his hometown in Hubei Province on April 19. As it turned out, he had been arrested and brutalized for representing Falun Gong practitioners.
For the same reason, attorney Jin was once held in a detention center and later taken to a mental hospital, where he was beaten, force-fed, and given injections of unknown drugs.
More information available from: Lawyer Jin Guanghong Persecuted and Now Suffering from Partial Amnesia
Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province: Attorney Arrested and Subsequently Released
Officials of Xiangyang District Court in Hegang City commenced a trial against Ms. Liu Liping and four other practitioners on June 13, 2006. Prior to the trial, police had arrested Ms. Liu's attorney, but released him when another righteous attorney intervened.
On May 26, Wang Jidong from Xiangyang District Court called Ms. Liu's family and told them that Ms. Liu wanted them to hire an attorney.
Ms. Liu's sister, Liu Lijuan, then found an attorney, who met with Ms. Liu on May 28. Ms. Liu told him that she had been subjected to severe torture at the detention center. The attorney was moved to tears by her account and indicated that he was deeply shocked—he had not known that Falun Gong practitioners were being treated so badly.
Ms. Liu's sister and the attorney were planning to go to Harbin at 9 p.m. that evening. When the attorney stepped out at 7 p.m. to do some shopping, six officers, including two plainclothes agents, from the Xiangyang Police Department arrested him. They gave no reason for the arrest, showed no ID, and revealed nothing about their identities, simply dragging the attorney into a police vehicle.
The attorney told them: "I am an attorney. I have a proper license and am handling the case according to the law."
One police officer replied: "I do not care if you are acting according to the law or not. Who wants to see your ID? What's the use?"
The attorney explained his position repeatedly, but it fell on deaf ears. He demanded to know why the police had arrested him. One officer mocked him: "We just want to make trouble for the attorney. Do you know the law?"
The attorney was taken to the Riot Division of the Xiangyang District Police Department. After Ms. Liu's sister learned of his arrest, she called the police department, but did not get any assistance.
Subsequently, Ms. Liu's husband hired another attorney from Beijing. This attorney warned the police by phone that he had enough experience to know what they might do, as well as the ability to bring them to justice. Ms. Liu's sister also warned them that their unlawful actions would be exposed.
The police quickly changed their tune. They told the family that they should not worry, and that the arrested attorney would soon be released. Ten minutes later, the arrested attorney was indeed freed.
More information available from: Arrest and Subsequent Release of Falun Gong Practitioner Liu Liping's Attorney in Hegang City
Ziyang City, Sichuan Province: 11 Attorneys Arrested for Investigating Persecution at E'erhu Brainwashing Center
Seven renowned attorneys, including Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian, Liang Xiaojun, Lin Qilei, Guo Haiyue, Zhang Keke, and Tang Tianhao, were arrested on May 13, 2013, for investigating the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners at the E'erhu Brainwashing Center in Ziyang City, Sichuan Province.
The attorneys arrived at the brainwashing center at 10 a.m. While they were waiting for the gate to open, a black car without license plates approached them. Two people jumped out of the car, claiming that cameras were not allowed in the brainwashing center.
They rushed toward the attorneys, grabbed their cell phones, and called 610 Office agents. The attorneys were subsequently arrested.
When attorneys Li Heping, Wang Cheng, Yang Huiwen, and Wen Haibo went to help them, they were also arrested. All 11 were later released, but not before some of them were beaten.
More information available from: Eleven Attorneys Arrested for Investigating Persecution at E'erhu Brainwashing Center
Jingjiang City, Jiangsu Province: Defense Attorney Sentenced to 10 Days of Detention
Jingjiang City Court in Jiangsu Province put 68-year-old practitioner Mr. Zhu Yanian on trial on the morning of April 3, 2013. Mr. Zhu's defense attorney, Wang Quanzhang from Beijing, accused the police of breaking the law in their abusive treatment of Mr. Zhu.
Attorney Wang pointed out that the police had deprived Mr. Zhu of sleep for 3 days straight and made him stand in front of an air conditioner, turned on high, for extended periods of time. Before the court recessed late that afternoon, attorney Wang took out his cell phone and photographed the documents that the court had presented. Presiding judge Wang Pin then ordered him to be taken out of the courtroom. His cell phone was confiscated.
The following day, Jingjiang City Court sentenced attorney Wang to 10 days of detention. The cited reasons were “speaking too loudly” and “disrupting order in the courtroom.”
Several lawyers went to Jingjiang and inquired about the detention of their peer. According to an article in the Canadian press, Edmonton Journal , dated April 5, 2013, numerous attorneys wrote letters to Jingjiang City Court and asked the court to release Mr. Wang, provide an explanation for the detention, and make the video recordings of the trial public. They also wrote to China Bar Association, asking for indemnification of personal safety for human rights attorneys.
Mr. Wang specializes as a human rights attorney and has represented Falun Gong practitioners many times. He was beaten by the judge while defending a Falun Gong practitioner in Dongning County, Heilongjiang Province, in 2012.
More information available from: Jingjiang Court Detains Defense Attorney Wang Quanzhang
Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province: Attorney Zhu Yubiao Sent to Brainwashing Center After 2 Years in Prison
On August 18, 2010, Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhu Yubiao from Guangzhou was arrested at home. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison and sent to Beijiang Prison in Shaoguan.
Mr. Zhu should have been released on August 17, 2012, after serving 2 years in prison. Instead, the 610 Office transferred him to the Sanshui Brainwashing Center.
Mr. Zhu received his master's degree from Zhongshan University. He is an attorney of strong moral character and has often defended disadvantaged people either for very little money or for free. He has received coverage in the local media for his kind acts.
From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Zhu successively defended three Falun Gong practitioners who were illegally arrested and tried. During one of the trials, the prosecutor was at a loss and said, “If you feel the practice is good, then do it at home, but do not practice or speak about it in public.”
More information available from: Guangzhou Lawyer Mr. Zhu Yubiao Sent to Brainwashing Center After Two Years in Prison
Dalian City, Liaoning Province: Attorney Wang Yonghang Sentenced to 7 Years
Mr. Wang Yonghang, an attorney from Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for representing Falun Gong practitioners.
In an open letter dated August 27, 2008, attorney Wang wrote: “I also hope that people of legal backgrounds, both domestic and abroad, or people who are concerned about the regulation of law in China, analyze the crimes imposed upon Falun Gong practitioners from the perspective of the law and the four elements of the constitution of a crime. Within only several minutes, you will likely find that the fallacy of charging Falun Gong practitioners with the crime ... is very obvious.”
More information available from:
Category: Overview of persecution