Ms. Xiao Lianhong's Sentence Reduced to One Year, After Appeal
(Minghui.org) Ms. Xiao Lianhong from Beijing was arrested and charged with sharing an image related to Falun Gong on social media. Her trial was conducted on December 26, 2016, and she was sentenced to two years in prison by the Chaoyang District Court. She appealed, and the sentence was reduced to one year by the Third Intermediate People's Court, on March 16, 2017.
Although this ruling reflects a change of conscience, it shows that the court system in China continues to violate the law and sentence innocent citizens.
Five officers from the Dongba Police Station broke into Ms. Xiao's home on July 21, 2016. Without showing any identification, they confiscated some of her belongings and took Ms. Xiao to the police station. She was detained at the Chaoyang Detention Center.
The No. 1 Branch of the People's Procuratorate of Beijing issued an arrest warrant on August 26, 2016. Her case was submitted to Chaoyang District Procuratorate by the Chaoyang District Police Department around October 25, 2016. She was tried on December 26, 2016 by the Chaoyang District Court.
Ms Xiao defended herself during the trial by detailing her own experiences, and telling everyone that the persecution of Falun Gong was wrong.
Her attorney, Mr. Yu Wensheng, defended her innocence. He pointed out that the methods used by police to handle Ms. Xiao's case were illegal. He said that they did not mention how they collected the evidence against Ms. Xiao. Mr. Yu also pointed out that the police were using illegal methods to monitor ordinary citizens.
He further pointed out that freedom of belief is guaranteed by the constitution, and means that practitioners have the right to practice Falun Gong. The monitoring, eavesdropping, searching, and arresting of practitioners are all illegal. He concluded that the law enforcement agents should be held responsible.
Ms. Xiao's family received the initial verdict on January 3, 2017. Her appeal to the Beijing No. 3 Intermediate's Court was filed on January 9, 2017.
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