Dehui, Jilin Province: 10 Sentenced to Prison for Resisting the Persecution of Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Ten residents of Dehui City, Jilin Province, were sentenced to prison because they refused to stop telling people about the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
The police had been monitoring the 10 Falun Gong practitioners for months before arresting them all within 12 hours between September 21 and 22, 2016. None of the practitioners was allowed to a hire lawyer to defend his or her constitutional right to freedom of belief. Court-appointed lawyers were instructed to enter guilty pleas on their behalf.
The practitioners first appeared in court on March 24, 2017. When the hearing resumed on July 18, judge Wang Rongfu found all of them guilty and handed down the following sentences.
Ms. Li Ruifeng: 7 yearsMr. Wang Chengshun: 5 yearsMr. Cui Tao: 4 yearsMs. Li Shaozhen and Ms. Hao Jie: 3.5 years eachMs. Yang Jinyu, Ms. Ma Baofang, and Ms. Zhang Fengqiu: 3 years eachMs. Hu Bo: 2 yearsMs. Yang Jinfeng (sister of Ms. Yang Jinyu): 1 year
Ms. Yang Jinfeng was also fined 5,000 yuan, and the others, 10,000 yuan each.
All the practitioners vowed to appeal their sentences.
Elderly Parents Removed from Courtroom
During the second hearing on July 18, prosecutor Sun Yongchao defamed Falun Gong like he did during the first hearing. The Yang sisters’ mother, Ms. Wang Xiuqin, responded, “My daughters are both good people! I am most fortunate to have such good children. Falun Gong is good! The Chinese Communist Party is evil and it’s not going to last long!”
About five bailiffs dragged Ms. Wang out, bruising her left arm and right hand as they did.
Ms. Wang’s husband, in his 70s, was removed from the courtroom shortly afterward.
Families File Complaints against Perpetrators
The day before the second hearing, Ms. Wang and her husband, along with the other nine practitioners’ families, filed a complaint against Dehui City Procuratorate and Dehui City Court with the Changchun City Intermediate Procuratorate.
They accused the Dehui City Procuratorate and Dehui City Court of indicting and trying their loved ones without any legal basis. Because there is no law in China against Falun Gong, the practitioners should never have been arrested.
The families also accused prosecutor Sun and the local police of intimidating and beating practitioners’ family members. Prosecutor Sun directed the police to take the Yang sisters’ mother, Ms. Wang, into custody when she requested her daughters’ release. She was detained for 10 days.
Mr. Cui Tao’s wife, in her 60s, was slapped in the face by the police when she asked about her husband.
A section chief with the Changchun City Intermediate Procuratorate received the family members. He acknowledged that the police were wrong to beat anyone and asked them to report to the Appeals Office within the Intermediate Procuratorate.
Zhao Yongliang in the appeals office had the families fill out a form, but refused to further report their complaint.
The families then visited the Jilin Province Procuratorate Appeals Office. The receptionist said he didn’t dare to take their case for fear of losing his job. He asked them to appeal to the 610 Office, an extra-judicial agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given the power to override the legal system.
The Yang sisters’ parents filed another complaint against prosecutor Sun after the July 18th hearing, this time with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.