Imprisoned Man in Guangdong Files Motion to Reconsider Case after Appeal Is Rejected
(Minghui.org) A Zijin County resident serving time for his faith has filed a motion to reconsider his case after his appeal was turned down.
Mr. Zeng Liuming was arrested on September 24, 2016, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. He was tried on January 19, 2017, and the presiding judge adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict.
His family visited Zijin County Detention Center on July 10 and was shocked to learn that he had been transferred to Sihui Prison on June 19 to serve a three-year sentence. The local court had never notified the family of his conviction.
The prison informed the family that they must call and seek advance approval every time they wanted to see him. To date, Mr. Zeng’s family hasn’t been allowed to visit him at the prison even once.
Mr. Zeng filed an appeal against the prison sentence, but Heyuan City Intermediate Court soon rejected it.
Mr. Zeng’s lawyer visited the prison on November 9, where guards did not allow him to see his client using various excuses. The lawyer returned the following morning and was eventually granted a meeting. He noted four guards holding Mr. Zeng tightly as they walked to the meeting room. Mr. Zeng signed the document that the lawyer brought along to file a motion to reconsider his case.
Mr. Zeng was determined to seek justice for himself because no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. He also intended to expose how the police, the prosecutor, and the court violated legal procedures and prosecuted him based on fabricated evidence.
Mr. Zeng’s Own Account of Unfair Prosecution
Claimed Witness Not Present During Home Search
The guilty verdict against me read, “…witnessed by Gan Tingfen, a female, police videotaped the whole process of searching defendant Zeng Liuming’s home on September 24, 2016.”
There was no woman during the home search. I was home that night when more than a dozen male agents broke in. One man in his 50s flashed something a bit bigger than an ID card and said they were police. I didn’t see it clearly and asked him to show it to me again. He refused and began searching my home with other agents without showing a search warrant.
About ten minutes later, three of the agents took me to Lantang Police Station, while the rest stayed at my home and continued the search. Officer Xu Xiaosong, whose name I found out later, began interrogating me as soon as I was taken to the police station. I asked for my handcuffs to be removed so I could use the restroom, but he said he didn’t have the key to the handcuffs. I had to hold it during the more than two hours of interrogation.
Another officer recording the interrogation asked Xu what crime was committed. Xu said, “using a cult to undermine law enforcement” (a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners).
At the end of the interrogation, Xu made a phone call, and I heard him ask if the other officers had finished searching my home. He told the officer recording the interrogation that there were still a lot to go through at my home and that his people needed more time.
70,500 Yuan Reduced to Several Hundred Yuan
Xu later told me, “We returned all the cash confiscated from your home to your mother.” I had 70,500 yuan in cash at my home before my arrest, but my mother said only several hundred yuan was returned to her. Where was the rest of my money?
Xu said that my wife was arrested at a local mall around the same time they seized me, but the verdict said, “…police were unable to locate [Zeng’s] wife.”
My cell phone was confiscated, but the indictment and the verdict made no mention of it.
Change of Trial Location and Failure to Present Key Prosecution Evidence
I was scheduled to be tried in courtroom 1 of the local court, but the hearing was held in the Zijin County Detention Center instead. My family wasn’t informed of the location change in advance. When they found out on the day of my trial, they rushed to the detention center, only to be turned away.
The prosecutor refused to play the videotape of the home search, but the presiding judge cited the video in the verdict as key evidence to convict me.
Past Persecution of Mr. Zeng
This is not the first time that Mr. Zeng has been targeted for his faith. While a college student at South China Agricultural University, he suffered from some stubborn illnesses and had trouble focusing on school. He later began practicing Falun Gong and soon saw his symptoms go away. He was healthy enough to finish school and land a teaching job at a community college in his hometown of Zijin County.
Mr. Zeng’s life was disrupted when the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. He was arrested five times and once given 3 years and 4 months of forced labor. He was tortured nearly to death at the local labor camp. Police never loosened their grip on him after he was released. They kept monitoring him, and he had to move from place to place to avoid their harassment.
Having lost his job because of his arrests, Mr. Zeng made a living by working as a motorcycle taxi driver. His family is struggling to make ends meet after his sixth and latest arrest in 2016.
Related Report:Illegal Trial of Mr. Zeng Liuming Ends Without Verdict