Two Elderly Practitioners Imprisoned, Judge Threatens Heavier Sentence if Lawyer Present
(Minghui.org) With the persecution of Falun Gong still rampant in China, even elderly practitioners are not spared from imprisonment for their beliefs.
The Haizhou District Court in Fuxin City sentenced Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Wang Jie and Ms. Geng Sufeng to prison in May. They are both approximately 70 years old.
Ms. Wang Sentenced to 7 Years
Ms. Wang was sentenced to seven years in prison under a generic charge often used against practitioners: “using a cult organization to sabotage law enforcement.”
Ms. Wang was tried on December 8, 2015, and charged with possessing five hundred Falun Gong banners. Ms. Wang's attorney demanded to see the evidence, yet nothing was presented in court.
The prosecutor then claimed that someone had reported Ms. Wang. The defense attorney demanded that the witness appear in court, but the court denied the request. The hearing ended without a verdict, and Ms. Wang was tried again on May 16, 2016.
She was arrested at home on July 9, 2015 by officer Cao Xu and others from the Xitie Police Station. The police ransacked her home and confiscated over 40,000 yuan in cash.
Her family went to the police station to find out the reason for her arrest. They were told that it was because she had sued Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president who launched the persecution of Falun Gong. However, the police denied this accusation the next day.
During the entire process, the police did not provide an arrest or search warrant, nor did they show a list of the items they had confiscated.
Ms. Geng Sentenced to 4 Years, Threatened by Judge
Ms. Geng, the owner of a renowned local restaurant, was arrested in October 2015, after she picked up a Falun Gong informational sticker from the ground and pinned it up.
Her family was forced to dismiss her attorney the day before the trial. Judge Hu from Haizhou District Court told her family, “The sentence will be lighter if you dismiss the attorney. Otherwise, the sentence will be heavier.”
Ms. Geng was tried on May 24, 2016 and was forced to defend herself in court.
Ms. Geng has been repeatedly persecuted since the persecution of Falun Gong was initiated in 1999. She was sentenced to three years in prison in 2011.
Perpetrators' contact information:Cui Yi (崔毅), presiding judge, Criminal Court, Haizhou District Court: +86-15042558858, +86-418-6281363Zhou Zhiyong (周志勇), captain, Domestic Security Division, Haizhou Police Department: +86-13604981800Wang Jialei (王家雷), Haizhou District Procuratorate: +86-13941878511
(More perpetrators' contact information available in the Chinese article.)