Jiaoling, Guangdong Province: First Local Falun Gong Case with Defense Lawyer Entering Not Guilty Plea
The Jiaoling County Forest Bureau worker was helping her friends seek justice against Jiang for initiating the persecution of Falun Gong that resulted in their past detentions. A Falun Gong practitioner herself, she firmly believes that no one should have been persecuted for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Ms. Lian hired a lawyer to defend her, which is a first in local Falun Gong cases. Moreover, her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her, which was also unprecedented in Jiaoling.
The lawyer emphasized that there is no law in China that criminalizes Falun Gong; hence the persecution has been illegal from the onset. As such, his client has every right to engage in efforts bringing Jiang to justice, including helping her Falun Gong friends file criminal complaints.
The judge adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict. Ms. Lian remains at Qinhuang Detention Center following her arrest on February 24, 2016.
In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.
The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners over the past 17 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.
Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.