(Minghui.org) “The outcome will be the same even if you appeal. We are following directives from senior officials,” said Judge Wang Qian to the family of Mr. Li Zhiqiang (李志强).

Mr. Li was sentenced to fours years in prison for refusing to renounce his belief in Falun Gong, despite a petition drive by his neighbors and a sound legal defense during the trial. Mr. Li's family wanted to appeal after receiving the sentencing notice from the Dexhou Court of Shandong Province on April 1, 2015.

Mr. Li was forced to quit his job in 2012, due to his belief, and start his own business. He followed the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” in his daily life. His neighbors appreciated his service, and the business was doing well.

However, Mr. Li was arrested on January 9, 2014 and again on March 13, 2014. His personal belongings were confiscated as well. Mr. Li was tried on September 19, 2014, but he was denied legal representation. His son, who was still in college, was made to defend his father. His family was assaulted and harassed when they asked for his release.

Support and Petitions

Petition signed by 114 neighbors

Mr. Li's trial angered his neighbors. “The Domestic Security Division is terrible! They don't go after corrupt people. They are only interested in persecuting good people!” Soon Mr. Li's neighbors began a petition drive to secure his release.

People also helped in other ways. One of Mr. Li's customers, a 79-year-old man, went to the local police department and court to speak on his behalf. He provided financial support to Mr. Li's family when he learned of their financial situation. Despite intimidation from the authorities and police officers, he offered to be a character witness at the trial.

A local lawyer wanted to defend Mr. Li, but he was dismissed simply because he wanted to enter a not-guilty plea for Mr. Li. Nonetheless, the lawyer continued to assist Mr. Li's family in other ways.

Parties Directly Involved in the Persecution:Zhang Xikun (张希坤), captain of the Domestic Security Division of Decheng District: +86-13853498626 (Cell)Liu Dawei (刘大伟), officer with the Domestic Security Division of Decheng District: +86-13853495328 (Cell)Wang Qian (王茜), judge with Decheng District Court: +86-13884687351 (Cell)

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