A Family’s Uphill Battle to Get a Falun Gong Practitioner Released
(Minghui.org) Ms. Wang Yu, a resident of Dandong City, was arrested on August 28, 2016, while using her cell phone to send out text messages that exposed the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Her family visited, called, and wrote the local police, the Procuratorate, and the court numerous times in the following nine months. She was scheduled to appear in court on March 24, 2017, but the hearing was canceled. Her family then learned from the police that her case had been dismissed and she would soon be released.
The Procuratorate and court, however, refused to confirm the case dismissal or release her. Ms. Wang remains detained at the time of this writing.
Du Guojun from Dandong City Domestic Security Office led the arrest of Ms. Wang. Deputy chief Zhen Baoxiang of Linjiang Police Station, prosecutor Zhang Youli of the Zhenxing Procuratorate, and judges Tao Zhanhua and Dong Wen of the Zhenxing Court are in charge of her case.
Timeline of Family’s Encounter with Authorities
September 19, 2016
Ms. Wang’s family went to Linjiang Police Station to request the return of items confiscated from her, but officer Li Wenkai said they would be used as prosecution evidence, and must remain in police custody.
September 20, 2016
The family visited Zhenxing Procuratorate and learned that the Procuratorate received the case on September 2 and returned it to police on September 7 for additional information.
October 12, 2016
The family visited the Procuratorate again and learned that the case now rested with a different division within the agency. Zhang Youli, the prosecutor assigned to the case, was not available to meet with the family, and a different section chief named Fan Shitao brushed off their concern that Ms. Wang had been detained beyond the legally permissible term.
October 19, 2016
The family met with prosecutor Zhang, who showed them a one-page indictment prepared by the police. The document stated that Ms. Wang was a repeat offender, as she had once been given forced labor for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Her family refuted the statement, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
Zhang asked the family to not bother him again.
October 26, 2016
The family went to the Procuratorate to deliver a letter that they had written to Zhang, urging him to withdraw the indictment against Ms. Wang. Zhang was said to be in a meeting, and his deputy, Sun Guozhi, claimed that he had no knowledge of the case.
The family tried a few more times later that day but were still unable to reach Zhang.
November 18, 2016
It was the Procuratorate’s visitation day, but Ms. Wang’s family wasn’t able to see the chief prosecutor because they didn’t have their ID with them.
December 21, 2016
The family tried to see prosecutor Zhang again, but he only talked to them on the phone. He again demanded that they leave him alone.
December 28, 2016
Ms. Wang’s sister called prosecutor Zhang and asked if he had received the two letters they mailed to him. He said yes and hung up the phone.
January 18, 2017
The family called prosecutor Zhang to urge him to dismiss the case. He responded that he planned to forward the case to the court the next day.
February 8, 2017
The family visited Zhenxing Court and met with judge Tao Zhanhua. Tao acknowledged that they received the case on January 20. She also admitted that she had no power to acquit Falun Gong practitioners.
February 24, 2017
The family visited Linjiang Police Station and tried to talk to deputy chief Zhen Baoxiang. They were turned away.
They next went to the court and saw judge Dong Wen, who told them that Ms. Wang was scheduled to appear in court on March 24.
Dong, however, called the family later that day saying that the hearing had been canceled. He offered no explanation.
March 6, 2017
The family went to Linjiang Police Station to inquire about Ms. Wang’s case status. Chief Wang Haibin said he just took office and had no idea what the case was about.
March 21, 2017
Judge Dong called the family again, reminding them that the Friday hearing had been canceled.
April 2, 2017
Du Guojun, who arrested Ms. Wang, called her family to say that her case had been dismissed and that she would soon be released.
April 5, 2017
The family called judge Tao to request Ms. Wang’s release, but Tao said the court hadn’t made a decision on whether to dismiss her case.
April 19, 2017
The family called prosecutor Zhang to verify the dismissal of Ms. Wang’s case, but Zhang claimed that he knew nothing about the dismissal and that he had no power to release her.
The family then called police chief Wang and his deputy Zhen. Both refused to confirm the case's dismissal.
April 24, 2017
The family called chief prosecutor Tang Xiguo, who said Falun Gong cases cannot be that transparent. He refused to confirm the case dismissal.
April 28, 2017
The family talked to judge Dong on the phone, and he claimed that the case dismissal simply means the case was returned to police for additional information.
May 19, 2017
The family visited Linjiang Police Station again. Deputy chief Zhen wasn’t there, and they were told to go home and to not bother police again.