Belated News: Police Stop Investigating Ningxia Couple Targeted for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) A married couple originally from Shizuishan City, Ningxia Province was arrested about three years ago in Lianyunguang City, Jiangsu Province, where they worked.
Ms. Li Lanfeng and her husband, Mr. Chen Baozong, were targeted because they refused to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Lianyunguang police kept the couple detained for one week before releasing them on bail. Ms. Li paid a bail bond of 1,000 yuan out of her own pocket, while the police forced Mr. Chen’s workplace to pay 9,000 yuan, which was later deducted from Mr. Chen’s paycheck.
The couple’s case was transferred to the police department in their hometown soon after their release. It is recently learned that Ningxia police had issued a decision in September 2016 to stop investigating the couple.
To date, the couple’s impounded car has been returned to them, but their bail bond of 10,000 yuan, Falun Gong books, laptops, printers, and CD burners are still in police custody. It is unclear whether Ningxia police intends to completely drop its case against the couple.
Charges Returned Due to Insufficient Evidence
Police in Shizuishan City tried several times in August 2014 to submit the case against Ms. Li and Mr. Chen to the local procuratorate. However, prosecutors returned the case each time, citing insufficient evidence.
While the case was moving back and forth between the police and the procuratorate, Ms. Li, Mr. Chen, and their two lawyers persisted in telling the responsible parties that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that there is no legal basis for the arrest and subsequent prosecution of citizens for practicing their spiritual faith.
The lawyers also pointed out that the police had violated legal procedures. Lianyunguang officers did not provide a search warrant before ransacking the couple’s rental residence, and the list of confiscated items they produced did not match what was actually taken from the couple’s home.
Ningxia police showed a subpoena only once, even though they summoned the couple for interrogation more than ten times. In addition, some parts of the interrogation records were fabricated.