A Judge Goes Against His Conscience and Illegally Sentences a Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioner Mr. Liao Zhijun was illegally sentenced to four years in prison on January 8, 2014, for “obstructing justice using an illegal organization.”
Under pressure from his superiors, Judge Xie Xiangchang handed down the sentence even though there was no solid evidence to convict Mr. Liao. He said, “I [know] the sentence is wrong, but it is because of my superiors.”
Sentence Will Be Appealed
Mr. Liao was accused of writing “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” on a wall, which he denied. The prosecutor submitted a blurry video of someone writing the words on the wall. However, it only showed the person's back.
Defense attorney Wu Jianzheng argued that Mr. Liao didn't committed any crime by following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and that he shouldn't be sentenced without any clear evidence that showed it was his client who had written on the wall. Furthermore, even if Mr. Liao had committed the "crime,” it wasn't harmful to society.
Mr. Liao told the court that he didn't write the words on the wall. He also said that Falun Dafa only teaches people how to be kinder and more considerate of others, and that freedom of speech and religion is protected by the Chinese Constitution, so it isn't against the law if someone writes sentences like “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
Mr. Liao and his family are going to appeal to a higher court.
Persecuted for Belief
Mr. Liao is from Chenzhou City, Hunan Province. Since the persecution of Falun Dafa began on July 20, 1999, he hasn't been able to spend time with his family because he has been imprisoned for his belief.
He was arrested and held in a detention center twice between 1999 and 2000 and fined 6,000 yuan. He was subsequently put under house arrest for a year by his employer.
He was sentenced to two years of forced labor on March 5, 2001, and taken to the Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp in Changsha City.
He was arrested again in 2004 in Chenzhou, and sent to a forced labor camp.
He was arrested for helping install independent television receivers and sentenced to three and a half years in prison in 2008.
Mr. Liao's father, Mr. Liao Songlin, has been imprisoned twice for a total of seven years.