Practitioner Sentenced in Secret to Two Years in Prison for Publicizing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhang Jihong was recently sentenced to two years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan during a secret trial. He was charged with “breaching the enforcement of law” for posting a Falun Gong banner in public two years ago.
The Suizhong County Court issued the verdict on June 30, 2016, following the secret trial on June 20, 2016.
Mr. Zhang's lawyer called the presiding judge on July 1 but was falsely told that the court had not made a decision. He then went to see his client, and Mr. Zhang told him about the verdict.
The judge misled the lawyer about the verdict. According to Chinese law, if a defendant does not submit an appeal within 10 days after a guilty verdict, the defendant is sent to prison without any right to further appeal. The judge was clearly trying to avoid an appeal.
The verdict documents contained six pages of the prosecutor's accusations but contained only two lines about the defense the lawyer had presented.
Another suspicious aspect of the case is that it was not given any docket number, which is required by law.
Mr. Zhang appealed to the mid-level court of Huludao City, who ruled to uphold the original verdict on July 26, 2016. Mr. Zhang was sent to the Jinzhou Prison of Liaoning Province the same day.
The Arrest of Mr. Zhang
Mr. Zhang was arrested at his home and sent to a detention center on May 20, 2016. Without a search warrant, the police confiscated his laptop and Falun Gong books and materials.
His wife attempted to stop them but was flung to the ground.
She later went to the police station and questioned officers about her husband's arrest. An officer told her he was arrested because he had posted Falun Gong banners during a fair in 2014. They demanded she signs a warrant about her husband as if they had presented it during the arrest. She refused and said the police had violated the law by arresting him.
Mr. Zhang went on a hunger strike to protest his arrest on the day he was sent to a detention center. The guards force-fed him through a tube that was inserted through his nostril into his stomach.
Prior to this arrest, he had been in a forced labor camp for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Zhang was in a feeble condition during the trial after many days of being on a hunger strike. Nevertheless, he defended himself and said that he had not committed any wrongdoing by practicing Falun Gong.
“It would be shameful for the judge to convict me, because I am innocent,” he said.
Shifting responsibility, presiding judge Guan Shusen said, “You will not blame me. It is the prosecutor that charged you.”
The defense lawyer then pleaded not guilty on Mr. Zhang's behalf: “By posting Falun Gong information, my client practiced his right of freedom of speech, which is protected by China's constitution. Posting Falun Gong materials is not a crime.”
The court tried to attack Mr. Zhang’s character by mentioning that he had previously been sentenced to forced labor for practicing Falun Gong. The lawyer objected to the remark, saying it was irrelevant to the current charge since the labor camp system was abolished by the Chinese government in 2013.
Sister Forced to Slander Falun Gong
A bailiff stopped Mr. Zhang's sister and asked if she was a Falun Gong practitioner before she entered the courtroom.
The bailiff told her to denounce the founder of Falun Gong as proof that she did not practice. She refused and was detained for several hours.
Prior to that, judge Guan had refused to approve her application to be a defense witness for Mr. Zhang.
People Involved in Persecuting Mr. Zhang
1. Guan Shusen (关树森), criminal court judge of Suizhong County Court, Huludao City, who has sentenced over 20 Falun Gong practitioners: +86-429-6779938, +86-429-6779935, +86-429-6779937, +86-429-6779936, +86-429-6779992 (Office)
2. Cao Haiying (曹海英), chief of Suizhong County Court: +86-429-6779999 (Office), +86-138-98991999
3. Liu Zhu (刘铸), chief of Suizhong County Politics and Law Affairs Committee: +86-429-6138955 (Office), +86-137-09897111 (Cell), +86-429-2316666 (Home)
4. Hou Tienan (侯铁男), chief of Suizhong County Police Department: +86-429-6124999 (Office), +86-138-98798088 (Mobile)
5. Wang Baomin (王宝民), chief of Suizhong County Domestic Security Division: +86-13942906360, +86-429-6136126
6. Liu Haibin (刘海彬) , chief prosecutor of Suizhong County: +86-429-6123556, +86-13804295477 (Mobile), +86-429-7997767 (Home)