Beijing Man Not Allowed to Meet with Lawyer after Being Convicted for His Faith
(Minghui.org) A Beijing resident was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his belief in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline persecuted in China. He wanted to file a motion with a judge to have his case reconsidered, so his family hired two lawyers to represent him. When the attorneys went to see him in prison, the authorities refused to allow them to meet.
Mr. Qin Wei was arrested on May 18, 2016, for the eighth time, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. He was tried in Haidian Court on December 2 and sentenced to two and a half years. The Beijing First Intermediate Court denied his appeal on July 11, 2017. He is being incarcerated in Qianjin Prison.
Mr. Qin’s family called the prison on September 28 and asked when they could visit him. The prison authorities told them to wait to be notified. The notice never came, so the family went to the prison on October 11. A guard told them not to encourage Mr. Qin in his faith or no more visits would be allowed. They were also warned them twice not to file any legal documents.
During their visit, Mr. Qin asked about filing a motion. His family told him that lawyers had been hired, but that he had to officially ask for the lawyer to be on his case. That way, the lawyer would be allowed to visit him. Mr. Qin said that he was already working on such a request.
The family also learned that he had never received the letters they'd sent to him and that he could not mail anything out.
After getting approval to visit from the Beijing Administration of Prisons, the family and two lawyers went to the prison to see Mr. Qin on November 2. When the clerk learned that it was about a Falun Gong case, she told them to wait and began to make calls to her supervisors.
As the family waited, the clerk told them that the problem was that Mr. Qin refused to denounce Falun Gong and would not give it up. When his family defended him and Falun Gong, they were threatened with the loss of their visitation privileges and possible arrest.
Police officer Feng came around noon and left with the approval to visit. When he returned, he asked the family and lawyers what they thought about Falun Gong. The family said that what they thought was irrelevant and that Falun Gong practitioners were kind and healthy. The lawyers said they were just doing their jobs.
Feng then declared that Mr. Qin had never turned in a request to file a motion, so he refused to let them visit Mr. Qin. He also refused to acknowledge that the family had the right to hire a lawyer and file a motion on Mr. Qin’s behalf.
He said that the approval to visit wasn’t valid without further approval from the 610 Office, a security force focused on suppressing Falun Gong.
Feng refused to give back the approval to visit.
Hoping to see Mr. Qin, the lawyers have brought the issue to the Bureau of Justice.