China's Courts Should Not Be Used to Sentence the Innocent
(Minghui.org) Several high ranking officials in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have recently been arrested or sentenced. However, their true crimes—involvement in the persecution of Falun Gong—are covered up in the official announcements.
Illegal sentences are still abundant in China. On February 2, 2015, alone, the Minghui website reported the imprisonment of four Falun Gong practitioners. The terms ranged from three to seven-and-a-half years.
These were only the reported cases. Many more haven't been able to be exposed due to the oppressive environment in China, where regular avenues of communication are either closed or heavily censored.
In his book Hitler's Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich, jurist Ingo Müller analyzed how some German lawyers and jurists willingly cooperated with the brutal regime of the Nazis and passed regulations that spelled out Nazi policies. Judges enforced the Nazi euthanasia program and did not interfere with what went on in concentration camps. People's Courts and Special Courts were formed to implement severe sentences along the Nazi Party line.
By citing this moral lesson, Müller reminds us that judges should not blindly follow popular movements, or be immersed in a culture that deviates from the requirements of their professional responsibilities.
Unfortunately, similar happenings are occurring in today's China. The CCP's persecution of Falun Gong is not too dissimilar from the persecution of the Jews during World War II.
When former head of the CCP Jiang Zemin started the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, he acted on his own will, although six out of the seven Politburo Standing Committee members were opposed to the suppression.
The persecution targets a practice that believes in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and the suppression is severe. The court system has been used as a weapon to sentence innocent Falun Gong practitioners to prison, resulting in countless personal tragedies.
One example is the case of Ms. Liu Zhimei, a talented student from Shandong Province, enrolled at Tsinghua University, one of China's top universities. After getting to know Falun Gong as a sophomore, she was drawn by the mind and body improvements the practice offered.
When the persecution started in 1999, college officials forced Ms. Liu's parents to take her back home and barred her from registration the following academic year.
Shortly after being expelled by the college, Ms. Liu was arrested in Beijing and was severely tortured. She was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in November 2002, where she was repeatedly injected with nerve-damaging drugs, forced to listen to programs slandering Falun Gong and was sexually abused.
Ms. Liu was released in 2008 on medical grounds. Sadly, she could not recover from the years of physical and emotional trauma, and passed away on February 13, 2015.