(Minghui.org) "The judicial system is the last line of defense for social justice," said Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2014, echoing the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary passed by the United Nations in 1985 that recognizes an independent judicial system as a basic necessity.
In China, however, the judiciary effectively operates under the directives of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), an organization of the Communist Party's Central Committee (politburo). This becomes especially apparent in the Communist regime's 15-year persecution of Falun Gong, as it uses the nation's courts as another tool with which to carry out its suppression campaign.
Below are some quotes from Chinese judges as they passed sentence against Falun Gong practitioners:
“Each word from you is one more year you will stay in prison.”“The Party forbids it [hiring non-government lawyers]!”“Don't talk to me about the law!”“Yes, we’re bandits. So what?”“We are determined to fight for Communism for the rest of our lives.”
Although the Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of belief and freedom of speech for all citizens, tens of thousands of cases have been reported on Minghui in which Falun Gong practitioners were imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their beliefs, or for telling others about the persecution.
“Saying 'Falun Dafa is good' is leaking state secrets” After a practitioner called out “Falun Dafa is good” at Tiananmen Square, the judge decided to sentence him to 7 years of imprisonment. When the defense lawyer questioned the judge's decision, the judge replied, “I made this judgment because he was leaking state secrets. Saying 'Falun Dafa is good' is leaking a state secret.”
“As a judge, I listen to the CCP and I am not afraid of consequences.” Wang Dejiu, chief judge of the Yi County Criminal Court in Liaoning Province, sentenced Ms. Zuo Lizhi to three years of imprisonment in October 2008. He then made the above remark to Ms. Zuo's family.
“With backup from the CCP, there is nothing you can do to me.” Yang Dongsheng, deputy chief judge of the Lushan County Court, sentenced Mr. Shi Dashao to 10 years of imprisonment in 2009. After Ms. Tian Congling was arrested at home in July 2009, many practitioners told Yang to stop making bad judgments.
Yang refused to listen and said, “With backup from the CCP, there is nothing you can do to me.”
He also ignored their warning that “good is rewarded with good, and evil meets evil” by citing Mr. Shi's case.
“I sentenced him to 10 years and he has to stay in jail for 10 years. Look at me! I'm just fine!” he said.
Yang died later in a fatal traffic accident on August 14, 2011, which killed three and injured seven. Many attribute his untimely death to his corruption against Falun Gong practitioners as a judge.
“Stop it! Don't talk to me about a conscience.” “My client is an ordinary housewife. She speaks from her heart and wanted to share her joy with others, including the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Fobearance,” said Ms. Jiang Fengli's lawyer.
When Ms. Jiang Fengli and another practitioner were put on trial in December 2014, her lawyer defended her, saying that these practitioners had no political pursuit.
“There is no need to drag her into political campaigns similar to the Cultural Revolution and turn her into a victim.” The lawyer said to Pan Shuqin, deputy chief judge, “I am fulfilling my responsibility as a lawyer and acting based on my conscience. I hope you could do the same.”
“Stop it! Don't talk to me about a conscience,” said the judge.
“Because China is ruled by the CCP, whoever tells others about Falun Gong is violating the law.” Shifang City court held a trial against Mr. Zhou Yubao on December 6, 2012, in which he told of the torture he suffered during interrogation. His lawyer presented the CT examination result of his head injury and requested an audiovisual record of the interrogation.
Judge Tang Xinhe interrupted the lawyer.
“Because China is ruled by the CCP, whoever tells others about Falun Gong is violating the law,” he decreed.
He then sentenced Mr. Zhou to three years of imprisonment.
“Why do you even hire lawyers? You'd best spend the money taking us to restaurants; I can always make judgments at will regardless of what the lawyers say.” This remark was from a chief judge in the Jiangchuan County Court, Yunnan Province.
“This is an oral notice. I will not show you or give you anything in writing.” Zhao Yan, chief judge of Dongchang District criminal court in Tonghua City, said to Jilin practitioner Ms. Luo Xizhen's family, “There is a notice from the court system as well as Political Legal Affairs Committee that Falun Gong practitioners cannot hire lawyers; their lawyers have to be appointed by the court.”
Upon requesting a written response, Zhao replied, “This is an oral notice. I will not show you or give you anything in writing.”
“The court operates under directives of the Party. It is not up to me.” Ms. Yang Hemei, a practitioner in Pingdingshan City of Henan Province, was charged with “sabotaging the implementation of the state's laws.” She was put on trial at the Weidong Court in July 2014. Her lawyers said that Ms. Yang was not someone in power.
“Could you help explain, how can an ordinary elderly woman sabotages the implementation of the state's laws simply by giving another person information about Falun Gong?” asked her defense.
Judge Li Xifeng replied, “The court operates under directives of the Party. It is not up to me.”
“You can call it a crime, but I will not correct it.” When Laixi City practitioner Ms. Jiang Shue was detained at the Wangcun Labor Camp in 2002, Judge Wang Qingyun tricked her into signing a property condition assessment report. He and Xiang Guangjun (another judge) then secretly transferred the signature to Ms. Jiang's divorce settlement document, as if she had agreed to divorce.
Ms. Jiang could not enter her home after release, and she soon found out what had happened. She told Wang that it is illegal to do so.
Wang, who was nervously playing with his cell phone, replied, “You can call it a crime, but I will not correct it.”
“No admission, no hearing, and no explanation.” After Laishui County practitioner Mr. Li Dezhi was detained, his family hired a lawyer. When they went to the Xicheng District Court in Baoding City to discuss the case in September 2010, the chief judge refused to work with them.
“Officials from the Political and Legal Affairs Committees in Hebei Province attended a conference this June. We were told that the policy regarding Falun Gong cases was: 'No admission, no hearing, and no explanation,'” said the judge.
The lawyers questioned the legal basis of this statement, and the judge responded, “I cannot speak on this matter any further—because they told me 'no explanations.'”
“If you want to continue practicing the law, you have to to stay out of this.” Ms. Liu Yujuan from the Chaoyang District of Beijing was on trial in December 2014. The judge threatened her defense lawyer, by telling him, “If you want to continue practicing the law, you have to to stay out of this.”
He then sentenced Ms. Liu to three years of imprisonment.
Under the CCP's totalitarian rule, many officials were forced to join its campaigns that targeted the innocent, especially during the persecution of Falun Gong. Many judicial officials admitted in private that they did so to make a living. But from the quotes above, the situation is much worse: driven by the nationwide campaign from the CCP, as well as self-interest and moral degeneration, the judges willingly discard their morals in order to please the Party.
This persecution has brought unimaginable suffering to tens of millions of practitioners and their family members.
The contempt and denial of the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the foundation of the mankind's moral standards, casts a real and serious uncertainty on both our own future and the futures of our progeny.
People have to pay for what they have done, as we have learned from history.
After the collapse of Berlin Wall, it wasn't only the higher officials (such as Heinz Kessler) that were convicted for their crimes. Former East German border guards were also sentenced for shooting and killing refugees. One defendant said in the court, “At that time I was following the laws and commands of the German Democratic Republic.”
But the judge, Theodor Seidel, disagreed.
"There is a central area of justice which no law can encroach upon,” he said. “The legal maxim 'whoever flees will be shot to death' deserves no obedience."
He continued, “At the end of the 20th century, no one has the right to ignore his conscience when it comes to killing people on behalf of the power structure.”
David Matas, an international human rights lawyer based in Canada, gave a speech on January 27, 2017, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most notorious concentration camp. Of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, only 210,000 were Germans and Austrians. That indicates that the Nazis relied heavily on the police and officials in those regions to execute the Holocaust. Had those ordinary people—ordinary Germans—not been involved, the Holocaust would have been much less damaging.
By reviewing the background of various Holocaust participants, Matas noticed that “neither education nor culture nor intellect can immunize us from evil.” Similar to the persecution of Falun Gong in China, he found that, advanced techniques did not prevent them from harming the innocent.
The reality is, as Matas concluded, “Once human rights violations are the norm, no one is safe.”