Falun Gong Practitioners Recently Released after Charges Against Them Dropped
(Minghui.org) In recent months, Falun Gong practitioners have been released after charges against them were dropped, thanks to their lawyers’ and supporters’ efforts to seek justice on their behalf.
Those arrested were targeted because they worked tirelessly to expose the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Because no law in China says that practicing Falun Gong is a crime, they were determined to defend their constitutional right to freedom of belief. Their lawyers entered not guilty pleas for them and called for their unconditional release.
The practitioners’ supporters reminded the government entities involved that the persecution has lacked legal basis from the onset and urged them to not prosecute innocent people for their faith. As a result, at least 10 Falun Gong practitioners have been released in recent months.
Procuratorate Withdraws Indictment at Lawyer’s Insistence
Ms. Wu Jingqing, a resident of Hefei City, Anhui Province, was arrested on May 19, 2016. The local Procuratorate twice returned the case to police, citing insufficient evidence, but it ultimately issued an indictment against Ms. Wu when the police tried a third time. Her lawyer didn’t give up and was successful at getting the Procuratorate to drop the charge on February 3, 2017. Ms. Wu was released six days later and received the formal indictment withdrawal document on February 21.
Anhui Woman Released on Bail, Case Dismissed Shortly Afterward
Ms. Huang Yuqing, also a Hefei City resident, was arrested on July 15, 2016, after being reported for distributing Falun Gong materials. Her daughter filed a bail request for her on September 19, and she was released around February this year. It’s been confirmed that the local Procuratorate has withdrawn its indictment against her.
Two Liaoning Practitioners Released after Court Dismisses Case
Li Shijin and Lin Youyan, both residents of Tieling County, were arrested on November 2, 2016, while distributing Falun Gong materials. Their lawyers explained to the local court that the persecution of Falun Gong was illegal and that there were no grounds for their clients to be prosecuted. The court returned the case to the Procuratorate, which then issued a decision to not indict the practitioners. On February 17, 2017, both Li and Lin returned home.
A Jianping County resident was recently set free after his lawyer urged the local Procuratorate and the court to drop the case against him.
Mr. Wang Huaxue, 55, was seized from his home on July 5, 2016, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. He was issued a formal arrest warrant a week later.
Mr. Wang’s lawyer met with him on July 18 and noted he had a lot of scrapes on his body. Mr. Wang explained that officers had roughed him up during the arrest.
A total of 373 local residents signed a petition calling for Mr. Wang’s release. The signatures were delivered to the local police, Procuratorate, court, and detention center.
Mr. Wang was tried on November 17, after which his case remained dormant.
His lawyer recently mailed supplemental materials to both the Procuratorate and the court. He urged the Procuratorate to drop the charges against his client and the court to drop the case.
The lawyer told both agencies that the Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong has lacked legal basis from the onset and that his client should never have been prosecuted for exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Mr. Wang was set free days later.
A Langfang City resident was released on February 1, 2017, after nearly two months of detention.
Ms. Chao Dongmei was arrested on December 5, 2016, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. The local Procuratorate issued a formal arrest warrant 11 days later.
Ms. Chao’s family wrote letters to the police, reminding them of the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong and urging them to release her.
Ms. Chao’s lawyer also told the police that she broke no law by spreading information about Falun Gong. The police ultimately issued a decision to release her.
A Wu’an City, Hebei Province resident was released on January 8, 2017, when the local Procuratorate withdrew its indictment against him.
Mr. Bai Jingjie was arrested on August 13, 2016, for spray painting “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” The local Procuratorate issued a formal arrest warrant.
Supporters of Mr. Bai made numerous phone calls to the police, the Procuratorate, and other departments, reminding them of the illegality of the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa).
The Procuratorate ultimately decided to dismiss the case on January 8. Mr. Bai became the second local Falun Gong practitioner to be set free after being arrested for their faith. Back in February 2013, another practitioner, Mr. Wang Hongliang, was released after his case was dismissed.
The Jizhou District Procuratorate in Hengshui City withdrew its accusation against Mr. Jiu Changying on February 10, 2017. Mr. Jiu was released, free of any charges. However, the Procuratorate still ordered Mr. Jiu to report to the Jizhou Town Police Station every 3 months.
Mr. Jiu, in his 70s, and another practitioner were reported on October 20, 2016, for hanging banners with information about Falun Gong. They were arrested by officers from the Jizhou Town Police Station and their homes were ransacked. They were taken to the Jizhou City Detention Center.
The Jizhou District Court tried both practitioners on January 17, 2017. The two defense attorneys pleaded not guilty on their behalf.
While in the detention center, Mr. Jiu was forced to do hard labor for 10 hours every day.
Mr. Jiu lives in Jiuyang Village in Jizhou Town. He has been arrested several times and sent to forced labor camps twice since the communist regime started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999. Mr. Jiu was brutally tortured during one incarceration and nearly lost the ability to work.
Two local women in Dandong City were arrested in October 2016 for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong. Officers at the Jinshan Police Station submitted their cases to the local Procuratorate.
The prosecutor at the Yuanbao District Procuratorate dismissed Ms. Ji Lijun's case a month later for insufficient evidence of any wrongdoing and released her on bail.
In February of this year, the prosecution dismissed the case against Ms. Ren Ping and released her unconditionally.
The police refunded Ms. Ji her bail money and exonerated her.
China’s constitution promises citizens freedom of belief. Practicing Falun Gong is thus within one’s constitutional rights. There is no law in China that says that practicing Falun Gong is illegal, although the Party has had a policy of persecuting those who practice it nonetheless.
A young woman and her mother detained for their faith were set free after the local Procuratorate twice returned their case to the police, citing insufficient evidence.
Ms. Jing Huan was arrested on June 1, 2016, for distributing literature about Falun Gong. When her mother, Ms. Zhou Xiaoli, and her uncle, Mr. Zhou Faming, also Falun Gong practitioners, went to her residence to check on her, police officers who were ransacking the home seized them.
Ms. Zhou and Ms. Jing were taken to Mianyang Detention Center the next day, while Mr. Zhou was transferred to Santai Detention Center. Ms. Jing’s husband had to quit his job to take care of their 1-year-old child.
Mr. Zhou, a high school teacher, was released on bail on July 6. Prior to his latest arrest, he was twice sentenced for his faith and served 10 years in prison. His sister, Ms. Zhou, was once detained in a labor camp for a year and a half.
Upon his release, Mr. Zhou worked with other local practitioners to seek the release of his sister and niece. They made phone calls and wrote to the appropriate agencies, reminding them that no law in China deems practicing Falun Gong a crime.
Ms. Jing’s and Ms. Zhou’s husbands also went to the police station to call for the release of their wives. They hired a civil rights lawyer to defend them.
The Procuratorate returned the case to the police in late September after hearing the defense lawyer’s argument. The police them resubmitted the case to the Procuratorate two months later.
Mr. Zhou and local practitioners kept talking to officials at the Procuratorate and urged them to release Ms. Zhou and Ms. Jing.
The Procuratorate returned the case for a second time in January 2017. On February 25, the police withdrew the charges and set Ms. Zhou and Ms. Jing free.
A Suzhou City resident detained for her faith was released on February 14, 2017, after a local court announced that the charges against her had been dropped.
Ms. Xuan Xiaomei and four friends were arrested on March 30, 2016, while waiting to pass a highway toll booth on their way from Zhangjiagang City (an administrative subdivision of Suzhou) to Suzhou City.
They were tracked because they all refused to renounce Falun Gong.
While her friends were released, Ms. Xuan was detained for more than 10 months.
Zhangjiagang City Procuratorate indicted Ms. Xuan on October 18, charging her with “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Xuan’s family hired a lawyer to defend her constitutional right to freedom of belief. They and local practitioners visited the police station, the Procuratorate, and the court many times to urge them to stop participating in the persecution of Falun Gong.
The Procuratorate returned the case, citing insufficient evidence. Chen Zheng and He Xiaodi, both Zhangjiagang police officers, then threatened to take the case to court.
The Procuratorate gave in and forwarded her case to the Zhangjiagang City Court. Ms. Xuan’s family and local practitioners continued to encourage the Procuratorate and the court not prosecute innocent people for their faith.
The Procuratorate finally decided to withdraw its indictment against Ms. Xuan. The court issued its decision in mid-February of this year to set Ms. Xuan free.