(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Chen Shufen from Faku County, Shenyang City was tried on May 30, 2016 for “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a charge routinely used by the Chinese communist regime to sentence Falun Gong practitioners in its brutal campaign that has lasted 17 years.

Her lawyers rebutted the charges and protested that the prosecution evidence was extracted through coercion.

The supposedly open trial was closed to the public, and only one of the defendant's family members was allowed to attend the hearing. All other supporters were barred from entering the courthouse. One Falun Gong practitioner was detained for the duration of the trial.

The lawyer argued that no Chinese law criminalizes Falun Gong, so the persecution has been illegal from the outset; he added that Ms. Chen Shufen should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief

Questionable Prosecution Evidence

During the trial, the prosecutor presented three pieces of evidence: a statement made by Ms. Chen Shufen that she “owned” two copies of Minghui Weekly, additional Falun Gong materials confiscated from her home, and a statement made by her friend Ms. Yi Shuxian saying the copies of Minghui Weekly were Ms. Chen's.

On October 23, 2015, Yang Haiqi, chief of the Yemaotai Township Police Station led a group of officers and went to the home of 77 year-old practitioner Ms. Yi Shuxian after she filed criminal complaints against former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. They found two copies of Minghui Weekly at her home. When they asked if they belonged to her, she denied it.

Ms. Chen Shuxian happened to be at Ms. Yi’s home. Yang forced Ms. Chen, under threat of arrest, to admit that the two copies of Minghui Weekly belonged to her. Considering that her husband was still recovering from a recent stroke, and nobody would take care of him if she were arrested and detained, Ms. Chen said that the two copies of Minghui Weekly were hers. Yang then forced her to sign her name on the two copies.

Yang did not arrest Ms. Chen until October 30, when she was on her way home from shopping. Ms. Chen was taken to the Faku County Domestic Security Division. Ms. Chen’s husband received two notices about her arrest and detention on November 11.

Ms. Chen's family reported to the procuratorate and the police department about Yang's extracting evidence by force. The procuratorate returned the case to the police department. The Domestic Security Division officers from the Faku County Police Department ransacked Ms. Chen's home to gather more “evidence” prior to the Chinese New Year. They found two Falun Gong calendars and a DVD as additional ”evidence” and submitted the case again to the procuratorate on February 16, 2016.

Police chief Yang also made Ms. Yi provide a statement saying Ms. Chen owned the two copies of Minghui weekly.

Families Threatened Before Trial

One day ahead of the trial, on May 29, Ms. Chen Shufen’s younger sister Chen Shuyan’s husband received a call from police chief Yang Haiqi. Yang threatened them and said that if Chen Shuyan went to the court, she would be arrested.

Ms. Chen’s older sister Chen Shuyuan also received calls a few days ahead of the trial from her village Party Secretary Tao Bing and director Zhang Deqiang, telling her not to attend the trial. Chen Shuyuan and another practitioner attempted to take a bus to go to the court on the day of the trial, but they were intercepted on the way by the village party secretary and director.

Main parties responsible for this persecution case:

Liao Guogang (廖国罡 ), Faku County Domestic Security Captain: +86-13840300304, +86-24-87123736 (Office), +86-24-87032955Yang Haiqi (杨海奇), chief of the Yemaotai Township Police Station: +86-15002431177, +86-15502619379

Related article in Chinese: 沈阳市法库县警察杨海奇陷害无辜