Harbin Man Arrested for Suing Jiang Zemin, Tried for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A Harbin resident was tried on charge of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime to imprison Falun Gong practitioners in its campaign to eradicate the spiritual discipline.
Mr. Zhao Haijun is one of 53 locals arrested on May 6 of this year for filing criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin and accusing the former Chinese dictator of initiating the persecution of Falun Gong that resulted in their past arrests.
During the trial on August 26, Mr. Zhao’s lawyer defended his constitutional right to freedom of belief and refuted the judge’s claim that suing Jiang “was a crime.” The prosecutor recommended 8-10 years of jail time.
Mr. Zhao is awaiting the verdict at Shuangcheng Detention Center.
The lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that his client had every right to practice his faith and distribute information about Falun Gong. He challenged the prosecutor to provide the legal basis for the alleged ban on Falun Gong; the prosecutor had nothing to produce.
Judge Hu Yelin then said suing Jiang Zemin was a “crime.” The lawyer refuted, “The indictment made it crystal clear that my client was charged for his faith. How come you suddenly changed the accusation to his lawsuit against Jiang?”
The judge did not reply. The lawyer went on to argue that his client broke no law by exercising his constitutional right to seek justice against Jiang for infringing upon his freedom of belief.
The lawyer argued that the lack of clarity in the alleged crime showed that the authorities were simply piling up various accusations against his client because they did not have any evidence with which to charge him in the first place.
The prosecution evidence included informational materials about Falun Gong and equipment confiscated from Mr. Zhao’s home.
The indictment alleged that Mr. Zhao used the confiscated equipment to produce more than 500 Falun Gong brochures. The prosecutor, however, failed to produce evidence proving the amount of materials alleged confiscated.
Towards the end of the trial, the lawyer requested that the court take inventory of the confiscated Falun Gong materials so as to reach an accurate tally. The judge threatened to revoke his law license in response.
Courthouse Heavily Guarded
Since Mr. Zhao's arrest, more than 400 local residents have signed a petition demanding his release.
Many supporters gathered outside the courthouse on the trial day, but only 15, including Mr. Zhao’s family members, were allowed inside the gallery. Those denied access were harassed by plainclothes officers, who tried to drive them away. Nevertheless, many chose to stay through the entire court proceeding.
Days before the trial, local Falun Gong practitioners put up bulletins and hung banners in the vicinity of the courthouse with messages about the communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. The authorities ordered all the bulletins and banners removed before the trial began.
As the hearing went on, police vehicles patrolled outside, with at least five uniformed officers in each vehicle.
Jiang Zemin, as head of the CCP, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong in July 1999.
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 is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.
Under his personal direction, the CCP established an extralegal security organ, the 610 Office, on June 10, 1999. This organization overrides the police and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's policy regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
Chinese law now allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are exercising this right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.
Related Reports:Neither Families Nor Attorneys Allowed to Visit Ms. Liu Yanyi and Mr. Zhao HaijunMr. Zhao Haijun from Harbin City Arrested Along with Over 50 Other PractitionersOver 50 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in One Night after Filing Criminal Complaints against Former Chinese LeaderMr. Zhao Haijun from Harbin City Arrested Along with Over 50 Other Practitioners