Hebei: Lawyers Overcome Barriers to Meet with Falun Gong Clients
(Minghui.org) Several Falun Gong practitioners were illegally arrested on May 30, 2014, so their families hired lawyers to defend them. The lawyers were kept from proceeding with their legal duties smoothly, however, because their clients are Falun Gong practitioners. Officials from the local procuratorates, police departments and detention centers cited various excuses to block the lawyers from meeting with their clients. To their credit, the lawyers refused to back down and firmly pursued the practitioners' legal rights to fair trials.
Lawyer's Persistent Efforts to Meet with 19-Year-Old Client
Mr. Liu Bingbing is 19 years old. His lawyer went to Zaoqiang County Detention Center to meet with him on August 1, but the guard told the lawyer to wait since the director was in a meeting. After waiting a long time and making several phone calls, the lawyer was still not allowed to see his client. The lawyer proceeded to the Zaoqiang County Procuratorate to file a complaint against the detention center.
A prosecutor also blocked the lawyer from meeting with Mr. Liu. The lawyer sincerely told her that his client is a young man who needed help. His words touched the prosecutor, who is a mother herself. After close to an hour of negotiation, the prosecutor told the lawyer that he could go to the police department where he was finally able to meet with Mr. Liu around 4 p.m. that day.
Lawyer Insists on Proper Procedures for Client Meeting
Ms. Zhang Xizhen's lawyer went to the Hengshui Detention to meet with her on July 20. Detention center officials did not allow him to meet with her. The lawyer went to the Hengshui City Procuratorate to complain, where officials told him to come back the following morning.
The lawyer returned the next morning and officials arranged for him to meet his client in their interrogation room. He was told to come back in the afternoon if he objected to the location. The lawyer chose to wait rather than agreeing to meet his client in an interrogation room. Standing up for his right to meet with his client following normal procedures and conditions, he rebuked the officials for disobeying the law.
Lawyers' Persistence Pays Off
Ms. Sun Suying's lawyer went to the Hengshui Detention Center to meet with her on July 30. The guard told the lawyer to go to the Jing County Police Department, about 130 miles away, to go through a procedure there first. The lawyer did as instructed despite the unreasonableness of the request, returned around 2:30 p.m. and finally met with Ms. Sun.
Mr. Zhang Hongguo's lawyer was not allowed to see him when he went to the Zaoqiang County Detention Center on August 5. The lawyer went to the local procuratorate to file a complaint against the detention center, but the procuratorate sided with the detention center. The lawyer refused to back down, returned to the procuratorate, and insisted that his client be granted his legal rights. The officials of the procuratorate then gave in and notified the detention center to give the green light for the meeting.