Court Illegally Extends Prison Sentences of 3 Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Ms. Su Qingling, Ms. Cao Guilan, and Mr. Jiang Tao from Yongning County in the Ningxia Autonomous Region were tried in March 2017 and sentenced to prison. Why? Simply because they practice Falun Gong.
The three appealed and their cases were heard again at Yinchuan City Intermediate Court on June 13. The judge refused their appeals, and on June 21, actually extended their prison terms.
Mr. Jiang was sent to Yinchuan Prison on August 1, and Ms. Su and Ms. Gao were sent to the Ningxia Women's Prison.
Arrested, Tried, and Sentenced
Luo Jian, head of the so-called Anti-Cult Bureau in Ningxia Police Department, instigated the Yongning County and Yinchuan City police to arrest Falun Gong practitioners after he saw Dafa banners hung up at Binhe Road, Yongning County, in June 2016.
A dozen practitioners, including Ms. Su, Ms. Cao and Mr. Jiang, were arrested and detained. Many had their homes ransacked in the following two months.
The three practitioners were tried by the Yongning County Court on March 21and March 23, 2017. Ms. Su was sentenced to two years in prison, Ms. Cao to a year-and-a-half, and Mr. Jiang to two.
While the practitioners appealed their cases to the Yinchuan City Intermediate Court, both the Yongning County Procuratorate and the Yinchuan City Procuratorate pushed to lengthen their sentences.
The Yinchuan City Intermediate Court held two hearings on June 13, 2017, and illegally extended Mr. Jiang's sentencing to three years with a 3,000 yuan fine; Ms. Su's to four years; and Ms. Cao's to two-and-a-half years.
Mr. Jiang's Trial
The Yinchuan City Intermediate Court heard Mr. Jiang's case on June 13, 2017. The judge was Zeng Linqiao and the court clerks were Huang Qiong and Ma Jie. The prosecutor was Wei Hongyu from the Yinchuan City Procuratorate.
Wei first announced the Yongning County's appeal to lengthen Mr. Jiang's sentencing to 3-7 years. Mr. Jiang's attorneys argued that the first verdict against their client was full of contradictions and flaws, so it should be nullified. In addition, it was not illegal to practice Falun Gong according to Chinese law.
While one of the attorneys was still talking, court clerk Huang interrupted, shouting at the lawyer. The attorney objected and asked that the court record Huang’s exact words.
Huang also frequently interrupted Mr. Jiang while he was trying to defend himself.
Mr. Jiang stated that citizens have the right to freedom of belief, as set forth in the Chinese constitution. He also pointed out that the Yongning police arrested him and ransacked his home without a warrant, while the Yongning Procuratorate charged him without validating the accusation according to the law.
The judge ignored Mr. Jiang's defense.
Trial of Ms. Su and Ms. Cao
The hearing for Ms. Su and Ms. Cao was by the same group of court officials. Wei also announced the Yongning County's appeal to lengthen both women's sentencing to 3-7 years.
Ms. Su's attorney pleaded not guilty on her behalf. She also defended herself and emphasized that Chinese law does not forbid people from practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Cao defended herself as well. She told the judge that she did not break any laws and only practiced her basic rights when talking to people about the practice. Only because of her belief was she continuously detained at forced labor camps and imprisoned for over seven years in the past.
Clerk Huang also tried to prevent the attorney and the practitioners from speaking and interrupted them many times.
About 20 people audited both court hearings, which were controlled by the local 610 Office. No verdicts were made at the end of the hearings.
The Yinchuan City Intermediate Court eventually made its verdict on June 21, 2017, in which it chose to lengthen all three of the practitioners’ sentencing terms.
Mr. Jiang, 43, was a middle school art teacher. He was fired by his employer for his belief and sentenced to prison twice—for three-and-a-half years and six years respectively.
His wife Ms. Zhu Haiyan was an employee of Yongning County Environmental Monitoring Agency. She was illegally detained at a forced labor camp for two years and imprisoned for four years for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Su, in her 50s, used to work at the forestry station in Yongning County. She was held in detention centers, forced labor camps, prisons, and brainwashing centers many times. She was subjected to three years of forced labor and over three years in prison.
She was also fired by her employer for her belief. The Chinese communist officials refused to issue her a passport to visit her family in Canada. While she was imprisoned, her father and uncle, both in their 80s, were left alone at home without someone to take care of them.
Ms. Cao Guilan, 65, was held in a forced labor camp for two years in 2000 for appealing in Beijing for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in 2005 for passing Falun Gong informational materials.
Related parties participated in the persecutions on the three practitioners:Wei Hongyu (魏宏宇), head of Persecution Office in Yinchuan City Procuratorate: +86-951-5926879Zeng Linqiao (曾琳巧), judge of Yinchuan City Intermediate CourtHuang Qiong (黄琼), clerk of Yinchuan City Intermediate Court: +86-13995277842Lu Weidong (陆维东), president of Yinchuan City Intermediate Court: +86-951-6922008, +86-13995112777
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