Woman Convicted after Her Family Pressured to Forgo Legal Representation for Her
(Minghui.org) A resident of Rui’an City was given a suspended prison sentence even though she had broken no law by exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Ms. Wang Liyun was arrested at home on May 18, 2017, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was taken to the city detention center and interrogated by a 610 Office agent and an officer. She refused to sign the deposition.
Ms. Wang told her interrogators that no law in China deems practicing Falun Gong a crime and urged them to release her unconditionally. The 610 Office agents and police, however, kept pressuring her family to forgo their legal right to hire a lawyer for her. They promised to give her a suspended sentence if she kept quiet during the trial; otherwise she’d face grave consequences.
Wanting the best for her, Ms. Wang’s family didn’t hire a lawyer to represent her.
Ms. Wang appeared in court on August 11 and was pronounced guilty half an hour later. The presiding judge sentenced her to one year in prison, suspended for one year. She was also ordered to pay a 10,000-yuan fine.
She was released on August 15.
Before this most recent incident, Ms. Wang was arrested in 2014 for giving out Falun Gong literature. She was detained for over two months and released on bail. When the Rui’an City Court summoned her in April 2015, the judge had her handcuffed and revoked her bail. Ms. Wang escaped and lived away from home for six months to avoid arrest.