(Minghui.org) Several Falun Gong practitioners from Songyuan City, Jilin Province were arrested in December 2013. But when their families hired attorneys to defend the practitioners, the Songyuan judicial system, including the police department, Procuratorate, and court, obstructed the attorneys from working on the cases.

I. Police Arrest People and Confiscate Property without Due Process

Practitioner Mr. Cui Hongwen from Songyuan City drove to Erqingshan Village in Jilin Province on December 5, 2013. While he was distributing truth-clarification materials about Falun Gong, the village patrol reported him to the Chaganhua Police Station. Police arrested Mr. Cui, took his car, and handed him over to the Qian Gorlos County Domestic Security Division.

That evening, the domestic security division ransacked Mr. Cui's home. Four police officers, including Wei Yushan, Wang Jinglong, and Wang Jin'gang, forced Mr. Cui to take them to his home so they could ransack it. They confiscated many personal items, including a Canon laser printer worth 3,000 yuan, a Canon inkjet color printer valued at 1,900 yuan, a CD burner worth 1,000 yuan, two computers, a monitor, and a satellite dish. They didn't provide Mr. Cui's family a list of the items they took away.

Later that night, the police put Mr. Cui in the Qian Gorlos County Detention Center. On December 17, 2013, the Qian Gorlos County Procuratorate issued an arrest warrant.

Mr. Cui's family hired two attorneys to represent him. When they met Mr. Cui at the detention center on the afternoon of January 13, 2014, they learned that the domestic security division had also confiscated his Dafa books and 120 sets of satellite dish equipment worth 18,000 yuan from a storage room that Mr. Cui rented.

Mr. Cui's family went to the domestic security division to look for Wei Yushan, who was in charge of this case, to inquire about the status of the case and retrieve Mr. Cui's belongings. Each time they went to see Wei, they were told he was not in the office. They tried to call him. Wei answered once and told them that he would contact them a week later. After that, Mr. Cui's family was unable to contact him.

Mr. Cui's family went to the domestic security division again on January 26, 2014. They were stopped by the police officer on duty. When they called Wei from the on-duty office, Wei told them to come back two days later.

Mr. Cui's family went back again to retrieve Mr. Cui's belongings on January 28, but were unable to get the car key and rented storage room key. Wei said that the car was an accessory to a crime and was in the possession of the Chaganhua Police. Mr. Cui's family asked for the list of property the police took. Wei said the list was in the case dossier, which had been handed over to the Procuratorate. When Mr. Cui's family asked why Wei didn't inform them of the status of the case, including handing it over to the Procuratorate, Wei said, “Who should notify you? It's not my job to notify you.” Mr. Cui's family didn't get anything on that day.

II. The Whole Judicial System Obstructed Mr. Cui's Attorneys

On February 8, 2014, an attorney and Mr. Cui's family went to the Qian Gorlos County Procuratorate to inquire if they received the dossier for Mr. Cui's case. Zhang Wei from the Procuratorate told them that the case had been sent to the court already. The attorney asked Zhang why they didn't follow legal procedures. When an attorney is involved, the Procuratorate should ask for the attorney's opinion before filing an indictment. They are also required to inform the attorney before sending the case to court.

Zhang answered, “Should the attorney be informed? I don't know.” A person appearing to be a manager entered the office. He told Mr. Cui's family and his attorney, “If you want to ask questions, go to the court. We have nothing to do with this case. We don't know anything!” The attorney asked, “When you received the case, why didn't you bother to read it? Instead, you just handed it over to the court? This violates legal procedure. How can you say that you know nothing while processing the case!”

The attorney and Mr. Cui's family went to visit Mr. Cui at the Qian Gorlos County Detention Center on the afternoon of February 8. A note was posted outside the visitors' room: “As requested by the Songyuan Political and Legal Affairs Committee, any attorney who wishes to visit Mr. Cui Hongwen (Falun Gong), who is in room 105, must obtain the permission of detention center Director Liu Guojun or the Lawyer Division of the municipal bureau of justice. Signed and dated January 23, 2014.”

The attorney argued with Liu Guojun and Procurators Liang Baicheng and Li Jiwen who were stationed at the detention center. He said that, according to the law, an attorney just needs to present his ID to visit his client. Requiring permission of the bureau of justice violates the law. Liu said that he was just following instructions from above. The two procurators did nothing to stop this illegal action.

Liu would not allow the attorney to see Mr. Cui. The attorney then tried to get permission from the municipal bureau of justice. But Deputy Section Chief Bai, who was in charge of the bureau's seal, was not in. Thus the attorney didn't obtain the permission and was unable to meet with Mr. Cui.

The attorney and Mr. Cui's family went to the municipal bureau of justice on the morning of February 10. Again, deputy section chief Bai was not in. Once again, they didn't get the permission.

Another attorney went to the Qian Gorlos County Court to register presentation for Mr. Cui on February 12, 2014. The court, just like the detention center, requested the attorney to get permission from the municipal bureau of justice. They said this was required to verify an attorney's qualifications. The attorney insisted that the court's approach violated the law and that there is no requirement to verify one's identity at the bureau of justice. For two hours he argued with Xu, President of the Criminal Court, Geng, Vice President of the Criminal Court, and Judge Hu Fangquan.

The court called both the municipal office and the provincial office to ask about the permission requirement. Each time they were told that the attorney had to go to the bureau of justice to verify his identity. Finally, they told the attorney, “We don't have a say here. The order from the top is to handle Falun Gong cases this way. We can only follow orders. If you don't like it, you can sue us.”

Mr. Cui's family called Bureau of Justice Section Chief Gao Lianfeng to see if he was in the office. Gao's message said that he was out and didn't plan to be back that day.

The two attorneys went to the bureau of justice and finally obtained the required permission on February 13. They brought the permission to the court but were allowed to read Mr. Cui's dossier. Judge Hu Fangquan told them they were not allowed to defend Falun Gong practitioners in court.

In the afternoon, the two attorneys visited Mr. Cui at the detention center. Mr. Cui told them that Wei Yushan brought his cell phone, wallet, and keys to the detention center. Wei also told him that his car had been confiscated.

The two attorneys have submitted a complaint letter to the Songyuan City Intermediate Court, reporting malfeasance by Wei Yushan of the domestic security team and Zhang Wei of the Procuratorate.

The Qian Gorlos County Court notified the attorneys that the court hearing would be on February 25. At the attorneys' request, the hearing was moved to March 3. Later it was changed to 9 a.m. on March 4. A couple of days later, the attorneys were told that the hearing had been postponed and they must wait for notification of the actual date.

III. The Power Behind the Scenes Is the Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office

After the arrest of Mr. Cui, several other practitioners were arrested, including Ms. Li Yinghui from Changshan Town, Qian Gorlos County. Ms. Li's family went to the Songyuan City Domestic Security Division to ask for her release, but they were insulted and threatened by Manager Du of the domestic security division. Later, Ms. Li's family hired an attorney. Again, the attorney was prevented from visiting Ms. Li and reading her case dossier.

An attorney for another arrested practitioner, Ms. Wang Yuxia, was told by the Songyuan City Bureau of Justice that cases involving Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to be read by the practitioner's attorney.

There are at least eight practitioners from Songyuan City detained in the Songyuan City Detention Center or the Qian Gorlos Detention Center.

Individuals involved in this persecution: Sun Hengfei (孙衡飞) , manager of the Songyuan Domestic Security Division: +86-13804389697 (Cell) Zhao Hongqi (赵红旗), director of the Songyuan Police Department: +86-13943820116 (Cell) Wei Yushan (魏玉山), police officer with the Qian Gorlos County Domestic Security Division: +86-18004380766 (Cell) Zhang Wei (张伟), Qian Gorlos County Procuratorate: +86-438-2281069 Liu Guojun (刘国军), Qian Gorlos County Detention Center: +86-13159585208 (Cell) Liang Baicheng (梁柏成), procurator Stationed at the Qian Gorlos County Detention Center: +86-13904384916 (Cell) Li Jiwen (李吉稳), procurator Stationed at the Qian Gorlos County Detention Center: +86-15944828128 (Cell) Cheng Fengyi (程风义), President of Songyuan Court: +86-13154384215 (Cell) Liu Huimin (刘慧敏), Chief Judge of Songyuan Court: +86-13894985088 (Cell)

Please refer to the original Chinese text for more names and telephone numbers.