(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Gao Zhiyong was illegally tried on May 20, 2016, for suing former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for his role in initiating the brutal persecution of Falun Gong.
Mr. Gao's attorney entered a not guilty plea to the Wuqing District Court in Tianjin, stating that it is not a crime to practice Falun Gong, and it is a citizen's right to sue Jiang Zemin.
Mr. Gao's attorney was told by the Wuqing District detention center and Procuratorate that his client did not want to meet with him before the trial. The attorney asked Mr. Gao about it in court and discovered that Mr. Gao did not know anything about it.
Four of Mr. Gao's family members were allowed to enter the court to audit the trial, and many Falun Gong practitioners showed their support for him outside the court.
Mr. Gao's attorney went to the Wuqing District Detention Center on April 29, 2016, and requested to meet with his client. However, the detention center responded that Mr. Gao did not want to meet with him. The attorney repeatedly requested a meeting with Mr. Gao, to no avail.
The attorney again went to the detention center on May 9. The detention center still stated that Mr. Gao did not want to meet with him. The attorney had to talk to the Procuratorate and ask the prosecutor to find out about Mr. Gao. The attorney also asked the prosecutor to get a copy of Mr. Gao's signed statement of his not wanting to meet with him. The prosecutor told the attorney that he went to persuade Mr. Gao to meet with the attorney, but Mr. Gao still refused. The prosecutor also refused to provide Mr. Gao's signed statement, stating it was not part of his job.
In court the attorney asked Mr. Gao about his not wanting to meet with him. “Your family hired me as your attorney,” he said. “I then went to the detention center twice trying to meet with you, but the detention center and the prosecutor both told me you did not want to see me. Your family members were deeply worried about you. Why didn't you want to meet with me?"
“I did not know you came to visit me!” Mr. Gao responded. “No one ever told me anything about it.” He also stated that he only found out that same day that he would be tried.
Officers from the Huangzhuang Town Police Station and the Wuqing District Criminal Squad broke into Mr. Gao's home on November 5, 2015, stating that Mr. Gao had filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin.
The police ransacked his home and confiscated two computers, two printers, and cash valued at thousands of yuan. In addition, they forced Mr. Gao's wife to call him at work and ask him to come home. Mr. Gao was arrested immediately after he arrived home. His wife and over-70-year-old father remained at home. Mr. Gao was detained at the Wuqing District Detention Center.
Gao's family members went to the Wuqing District Detention Center on December 1, 2015, to visit him. However, the guards not only did not allow the visit, but also pushed the family members out the door and verbally abused them. Mr. Gao's family members went to the Huangzhuang Town Police Station, where they found out that his case had already been transferred to the Procuratorate.
Later, Mr. Gao's family members went to the detention center and the police station many times to request his release. The police ignored their requests, and one month later, the police provided the official arrest statement. It was then that Mr. Gao's family hired an attorney.
Mr. Gao Zhiyong suffered from stomach illness and severe duodenal ulcers since 1990. Despite years of medical treatment, he still was unable to work. After he started to practice Falun Gong in 1998, his health greatly improved within a month, and he totally recovered within three months.
Mr. Gao followed the principles of Falun Gong – Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance – and was widely acknowledged at work. He frequently received awards for being an outstanding worker.