Three Ningxia Falun Gong Practitioners Suspected of Hanging Up Banners Put on Trial
(Minghui.org) Three Falun Gong practitioners from Ningxia were tried recently, charged 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.
Two lawyers defended Mr. Jiang Tao at the March 21, 2017, trial. They argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, so their client should never have been prosecuted for exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Ms. Su Qingling and Ms. Cao Guilan didn't have lawyers because the court never informed their families of the upcoming trial.
All three practitioners were arrested in 2016 after they were suspected of hanging up banners with messages condemning the persecution of Falun Gong. They’ve been detained ever since.
When Luo Jian from the public security bureau saw the banners hanging by the roadside in June 2016, he ordered police station and police department personnel to find out where the banners came from.
Between June and September, at least a dozen practitioners fell under suspicion. They were arrested or detained, and had their homes ransacked.
Mr. Jiang, Ms. Su, Ms. Cao and her husband, Mr. Wang Shihe were arrested and detained. The arrests of the first three were later approved. Local practitioners learned from the police that their orders had come from Luo Jian.
On June 15, 2016, the police went to Mr. Jiang's home and ordered his son to open the door while his parents were out. They entered the home, ransacked it, and confiscated many items. Next, they arrested Mr. Jiang, who was on his way home, and confiscated his taxi. He was detained, and his arrest was approved on July 20.
The police went to Ms. Su's home the next day. They threatened her, too, but she refused to open the door. They then proceeded to the home of Ms. Cao and her husband Mr. Wang. They tricked their son into opening the door and arrested the couple. Both were released on bail. Mr. Wang was fined 1,000 yuan.
On September 1, Ms. Su was arrested and her home was ransacked. She was taken to the detention center, where her arrest was approved.
Between August and September, Ms. Cao and Mr. Wang were arrested again. Mr. Wang was released on bail, but Ms. Cao was taken to the detention center and her arrest was approved.
Mr. Jiang's Trial
Mr. Jiang was tried on March 21, 2017. His family hired two lawyers to defend him.
The first lawyer argued that no law in China criminalize Falun Gong and that Mr. Jiang therefore had the right to practice and promote his faith.
The second lawyer argued that no notice was given when the house was ransacked, and the items confiscated were not verified by Mr. Jiang. Moreover, there was no evidence that Mr. Jiang had anything to do with hanging up banners.
Mr. Jiang spoke in his own defense, saying that he was wrongfully accused in 2001 and 2006, so those charges should not be weighed against him.
When the prosecutor asserted that Mr. Jiang should be sentenced to three to five years in prison, the first defense lawyer argued that the evidence showed that Mr. Jiang was innocent and should be released. The second lawyer added that Mr. Jiang’s past imprisonment was not sufficient to have him charged.
The trial lasted for four hours. No verdict was announced when the trial ended.
Mr. Jiang was previously detained twice, once for three and a half years and a second time for six years. He was fired from his job as an art teacher and had to drive a taxi to make ends meet. His wife, also a practitioner, was detained previously as well.
Ms. Su and Ms. Cao’s Trial
Ms. Su's family called the court on March 22 to ask about the progress of her case and was informed that a trial would be held the next morning. Because they were not informed earlier, they did not have time to hire a lawyer.
The next day, relatives of both Ms. Su and Ms. Cao appeared at the courthouse for the hearing. The prosecutor announced that Ms. Su and Ms. Cao hung up banners on June 11, 2016. The evidence consisted of items confiscated from their homes.
Ms. Su and Ms. Cao maintained their innocence and defended themselves, but the judge kept interrupting them.
The trial ended in less than two hours and the verdict was not announced.
Both Ms. Su and Ms. Cao was sentenced previously. Ms. Su was sentenced twice, three years in prison and three years of forced labor. She was fired from her job and her husband divorced her. Ms. Cao was sentenced twice, once for two years and again four years.
Parties responsible for the persecution of the three practitioners:Wu Yuanjuan, judge in charge of the case: +86-951-8411018, +86-139-95270376Wang Lirong, clerk: +86-951-8411092Wen Yuan, prosecutor: +86-951-8415040Wang Shuyan, deputy chief prosecutor: +86-951-8415003, +86-139-95411566
(More participants in the persecution contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)