Jiangsu Woman Set Free after Higher Court Overturns Guilty Verdict
(Minghui.org) A Yancheng City resident was recently released after a local appeals court revoked the guilty verdict against her for distributing materials about the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang Sufang, 72, was arrested on July 9, 2016 and sentenced to 2 years in prison on December 23. She filed an appeal, and the higher court ruled in March 2017 to overturn the original verdict, citing insufficient evidence.
Below is the timeline of Ms. Zhang’s arrest and prosecution.
July 9, 2016
Ms. Zhang was arrested while distributing Falun Gong materials at a local fair. One officer slapped her on the face after she was taken to the police station.
She reminded the police that the persecution of Falun Gong has lacked legal basis from the onset. She urged them to not prosecute innocent people for their faith.
That night, she was taken to a local hotel, where she was held for 10 days.
July 29, 2016
Ms. Zheng was moved to Yancheng City Detention Center.
September 3, 2016
Ms. Zhang was issued a formal arrest warrant.
September 14, 2016
Ms. Zheng received the indictment against her.
October 25, 2016
Ms. Zhang was tried by Yandu District Court. She testified in her own defense and argued that she should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief and freedom of the press.
December 23, 2016
Ms. Zheng received the verdict against her. She was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined 8,000 yuan.
December 27, 2016
Ms. Zhang filed an appeal to Yancheng City Intermediate Court.
February 9, 2017
Several people from the higher court interrogated Ms. Zhang at the detention center. She urged them to acquit her, as she broke no law.
March 6, 2017
Several people from Yancheng City Intermediate Procuratorate interrogated Ms. Zhang. She again said she had every right to practice and spread information about Falun Gong.
March 10, 2017
The higher court issued a decision to overturn the guilty verdict against Ms. Zhang, citing insufficient evidence.
March 13, 2017
Ms. Zhang received the decision.
March 29, 2017
The detention center released Ms. Zhang unconditionally.