17 Arrested for Possessing Falun Gong Truth-Clarification Currency; 10 Sentenced
(Minghui.org) When all legal channels are deliberately closed off to Falun Gong practitioners, they look to creative ways to inform the public of the Chinese Communist Party's groundless persecution of the peaceful self-cultivation system.
One thing practitioners in Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province do on a large scale is to circulate Falun Gong truth-clarification currency - paper bills with messages printed on them exposing the persecution of Falun Gong.
The local authorities have gone to great lengths to stop the spread of such truth-clarification currency. A group of seven practitioners were arrested at a toll booth and had their vehicles searched on June 10, 2013. Police arrested another ten practitioners from their homes the same night, again confiscating their personal property.
All 17 practitioners were charged, and 10 were recently sentenced to prison, their terms ranging from 20 months to seven years.
According to court records, the police confiscated a total of 1,502,721 yuan from the 17 practitioners. 605,258 yuan was in truth-clarification currency with messages exposing the persecution of Falun Gong printed on it, while the remaining 897,463 yuan had no messages printed on them.
The police pocketed an additional 200,000 yuan looted from the practitioners, but that amount was not included in the court's tally of confiscated property. The practitioners have filed requests asking for the return of their hard-earned income and savings of 1.7 million yuan. In the meantime, the ten sentenced practitioners have also sent in their appeal letters to Qinhuangdao Intermediate Court.
Months of Monitoring Lead to Arrest, Detention and Sentencing of Practitioners
After months of internet monitoring, telephone tapping, and GPS tracking, Qinhuangdao Police sprung into action on June 10, 2013. They first arrested 7 practitioners at Shanhaiguan Toll Booth, and took away another 10 practitioners from their homes later that day.
The police confiscated a total of 1,702,721 yuan and 7 motor vehicles from the 17 practitioners.
Among the cash was 100,000 yuan that Mr. Lian Baochang had just withdrawn from a bank and placed in the back of his minivan. When he asked about the money during a police interrogation, Fu Xiaobing (Domestic Security Chief of Haigang District in charge of the arrest) denied any knowledge of the unaccounted-for sum.
Fu interrogated Mr. Lian for 29 hours. He slapped Mr. Lian in the face, elbowed the back of Mr. Lian's head hard, and forced him to sign fabricated documents.
All of the practitioners were later sent to Qinhuangdao First Detention Center.
At the trial of Mr. Lian and other practitioners in April 2014, their lawyers pleaded not guilty on their behalf and affirmed the practitioners' right to believe in Falun Gong and inform the public about its brutal persecution at the hands of the Communist regime.
The lawyers also pointed out the illegality of the police actions: the arresting officers never produced any arrest or search warrant, and interrogated practitioners using torture.
Mr. Lian testified for himself by citing the the health benefits he gained from practicing Falun Gong.
Haigang District Court issued the following sentences in September 2014:
Lian Baochang: 7 years; Zhang Xiaojie: 5 years; Pang Shuyue: 4.5 years; Li Xueying and Hua Zhikai: 4 years each; Gao Jihong: 2.5 years; Wang Xin, Li Lili, Ye Shuxia, and Zhang Shuzhen: 20 months each.
Details of Practitioners Arrested and Money Confiscated
Lian Baochang (廉宝昌), Zhang Xingang (张鑫钢), Gao Jihong (高纪红), Li Xueying (李学颖), Wang Yong (王勇), Jin Caifeng (金彩凤), and Fang Hongxia (房红霞) were arrested at a toll booth.
Zhang Xiaojie (张晓杰), Pang Shuyue (庞舒月), Wang Xin (王欣), Li Lili (李丽丽), Ye Shuxia (叶淑霞), Wang Yongzhen (王永珍), Zhao Guohua (赵国华), Sun Guozhong (孙国中), Zhang Shuzhen (张淑珍), and Bo Changcheng (薄长城) were arrested from their respective homes.
The court ordered the formal confiscation of the following amounts of cash:
Pang Shuyue: 85,380 yuan of “truth-clarification currency” and 156,773 yuan of “regular currency”;
Wang Xin and six other practitioners: 47,976 yuan of “truth-clarification currency” and 121,236 yuan of “regular currency”;
Zhang Xiaojie: 437,100 yuan of “truth-clarification currency” and 615,067 yuan of “regular currency”;
Mr. Lian: 14,862 yuan of “truth-clarification currency” and 4,387 yuan of “regular currency”;
Zhang Xingang: 11,190 yuan of “truth-clarification currency”;
Wang Yong: 8,750 yuan of “truth-clarification currency.”
The total tally was 1,502,721 yuan, including 605,258 yuan of “truth-clarification currency.” The judge contended that the remaining 897,463 yuan was evidence that the wrongfully accused practitioners were preparing to turn more bills into ways to expose the persecution of Falun Gong.
Contact information for Qinhuangdao Intermediate Court:
1 Zhenglian Street, North Wenhua RoadHaigang District, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei 066000Telephone: +86-335-3078649
Yan Wuyi (闫五一): Court chiefWang Juntao, presiding judge for the trial against Mr. Lian Baochang, +86-335-7673057Kang Dongqiang, presiding judge for the trial against Zhang XiaojieZhang Guosen, presiding judge for the trial against Pang Shuyue