Hebei Woman Detained for Her Faith Released after Court Dismisses Her Case
(Minghui.org) A Xianghe County resident was released 15 days after the local court ruled to dismiss the case against her, which consisted of refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Zhu Xiaomei, 55, credits Falun Gong for returning her to good health. She was targeted, however, for remaining firm in her faith. The local police arrested her at home on November 29, 2016, and took her to Sanhe City Detention Center.
The police warned Ms. Zhu’s family not to contact local Falun Gong practitioners or disclose her arrest to anyone. If they did, she’d face a heavy prison sentence.
Fearing police retaliation, Ms. Zhu’s family didn’t hire a lawyer right away. Then, about four months after her arrest, they learned that another local practitioner, Ms. Zhao Yuxiang, who had been arrested a bit earlier than Ms. Zhu, had been secretly sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Ms. Zhu’s family realized that they had to fight for justice, so they hired a human rights lawyer, Mr. Yu Wensheng, to represent her.
Mr. Yu visited Ms. Zhu at the detention center on April 11, 2017. He received a phone call from the Xianghe County Court as he was wrapping up the meeting. A court official informed him that the scheduled court date of April 14 had been postponed.
Mr. Yu submitted a request to the court on April 19, asking that his client’s case be dismissed because she broke no law by exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
The court issued a decision the following day, ordering the Xianghe County Procuratorate to withdraw its indictment against Ms. Zhu.
By law, a defendant should be immediately released once a court rules to dismiss a case. The local procuratorate, however, returned Ms. Zhu’s case to the local police, who held for 15 more days without providing a reason.
Ms. Zhu returned home on May 12, 2017.