Woman on Hunger Strike to Protest Illegal Detention; Defense Lawyers Denied Access to Her Case File
Ms. Du Hexian was seized at home on September 26, 2017 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. As no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, she soon went on a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention. The guards at Baoding City Detention Center force-fed her in retaliation.
Ms. Du’s two lawyers visited her on November 16 and saw her wheeled out to the meeting room. They noted that her face was puffy and she looked very weak.
The lawyers visited the local procuratorate that afternoon to inquire about her case. Prosecutor Fan Ying said the case had been forwarded to the local court on November 10 and asked them to go there instead.
Judge Chen Chunhua, one of the two judges assigned to the case, asked the lawyers to visit the courthouse on November 20 to review the case.
The lawyers came on the said day, but Chen claimed that the case hadn’t been uploaded to the court’s online docket system, and was thus unavailable for review. He refused to listen when the lawyers argued that by law, all cases must be registered with the docket system within seven days of receipt by the court.
Another judge assigned to the case, Dong Fuyin, used various other excuses to also deny the lawyers’ access to the case file.
The lawyers complained to a vice president of the court, Yuan Aimin. Yuan promised to investigate the matter, but in the meantime questioned who allowed the lawyers inside the courthouse in the first place.
The lawyers returned to the procuratorate afterwards. They tried to file a complaint against judges Dong and Chen, but no one there was willing to listen to them.
Related Report:Daughter on Hunger Strike for a Month, Father Sues Police