(Minghui.org) The Pingding County Court sentenced Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Qiaolan to six years in prison for her faith on September 22, 2017. Her family has appealed to a higher court.
Ms. Wang Qiaolan lives in Huang'an Village, Pingding County and formerly worked for the Pingding County Commerce Bureau. This was the third time she has been sentenced to prison for her belief in Falun Gong; she had previously been sentenced twice to a total of seven years.
Many police officers were seen inside and outside the court building at approximately 8:00 a.m. on July 8, 2017. Uniformed and plainclothes officers also patrolled the surrounding streets.
Many Falun Gong practitioners wanted to attend the public hearing but were not allowed to enter the court building. However, they stayed in the area and told passersby about Falun Gong and its persecution by the Chinese communist regime.
A female officer in sunglasses from the Yangquan City 610 Office took pictures of practitioners.
More than 20 officers from the Pingding County 610 Office, Pingding Police Bureau, local Domestic Security Division, Anti-Cult Office, Guanshan Police Station and Nanguan Residential Community broke into Ms. Wang Qiaolan's home and ransacked it for two hours on the afternoon of May 19, 2017. They confiscated many of her personal belongings.
Ms. Wang's freedom was restricted when the police ransacked her home. Two female officers even followed her while she was using the restroom. About five officers prevented her from drinking water. She was taken to the Pingding County Police Bureau, where she was interrogated until midnight. Afterwards, she was taken to the Yangquan Detention Center.
At the detention center, she was not provided a cover for sleeping. She went on a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment and was force-fed.
Ms. Wang's husband hired an attorney from Beijing. The attorney submitted formal documents to the police officer who handled Ms. Wang's case, but the officer refused to provide the case file.
The Pingding County Police Bureau transferred her case to the County Procuratorate for review on July 12. The procuratorate transferred her case to the County Court on August 8. Ms. Wang's family was not given any information about court dates or anything else pertaining to Ms. Wang's case.
Ms. Wang's husband and attorney heard that her case had been transferred to the court at 9 a.m. on August 19.
The attorney submitted his documents, including a letter issued by a law firm, power of attorney and attorney's certificate to the court clerk. After the clerk and judge Zhang Xiaojun reviewed his documents, the attorney was given the indictment.
The attorney was shown three files about the case for review. He used his cell phone to take pictures of the files. Judge Zhang Xiaojun claimed that copies could only be made with the court’s permission and demanded the attorney delete the pictures. The attorney refused, citing his legal right to copy case files.
Presiding judge Jia Tangzheng then demanded that the attorney delete the photos. He had brought with him a captain and two judicial officers (#088538 and #141271), who pushed Ms. Wang's husband out of the room.
The attorney then went to the disciplinary committee of the court to complain, but no one was there.
Court President Huang Jisheng said, “This is a political case. Do not argue with me about the law, and I do not execute the law, either. You have to get an approval from the court for taking pictures of the case files. We currently do not allow it, so you have to delete them from your cell phone.”
Huang called five judicial officers (a captain, #141153, #141270 and two with the same number #141267) into his office to watch the attorney. One officer (#141267), recorded a video.
The attorney still refused to delete the photos. He went to Judge Jia's office to review the remaining files and take photos. Jia said that he had to report to the Political and Legal Affairs Committee for approval, but at 3:00 p.m., the attorney was told that the approval had not yet been granted.
According to rules established by the Supreme People’s Court, the attorney has the right to review and copy case files, and the court should provide a facility for doing so.