Attorney Detained for Exposing Police Torture of Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) Attorney Wang Yu was illegally detained and her lawyer certificate confiscated by the director of a detention center after she went to obtain a signature on a letter accusing police of torturing her client, Mr. Liu Bingbing, who had been arrested because he practices Falun Gong.
Ms. Wang was released on the same day, and her lawyer certificate was eventually returned under public pressure.
Attorney Wang went to the Zaoqiang County Detention Center in Hebei Province on January 28, 2015 to ask Mr. Liu to sign the letter she wrote on his behalf.
A guard saw the letter and blocked Ms. Wang from exiting the building unless she allowed the detention center's director to check the document. When Ms. Wang refused to hand over the letter, she was locked in a dark, windowless room for half an hour. She used her cell phone to send messages to inform others of her situation.
Ms. Wang then spoke to Director Li Maosheng to get her lawyer certificate back and stated that guards did not have the right to examine her client's legal documents.
After Li continued to block her from leaving the detention center, Ms. Wang called the police. However, the responding officers did not intervene.
News about Ms. Wang's detention soon spread, and 32 attorneys from different regions in China called the director to condemn his unlawful actions and show their support for Ms. Wang. She was released later that day, but her lawyer certificate was still held by Li.
After her release, Ms. Wang went to the local Procuratorate, where the chief prosecutor told her that the problem had been resolved, and that she could return to the detention center to collect her certificate.
However, Director Li continued to withhold the certificate and demanded that Ms. Wang hand over the letter. Ms. Wang refused and returned to the Procuratorate, which took no further action. However, she noticed that she was being followed by a car, which she later saw parked outside the local county police department.
Ms. Wang's experience was widely shared on social media. Media from inside and outside of China interviewed the attorney, as well. Under public pressure, Director Li returned Ms. Wang's certificate the next day.
Ms. Wang recalled that Li had a history of interfering in the legal representation of Falun Gong practitioners: she had earlier been denied a meeting with Mr. Liu at the detention center and gained entrance only after appealing to the local Procuratorate.