Liaoning Woman Appeals Her Latest Prison Sentence After Being Incarcerated for a Total of Nine Years
(Minghui.org) A woman in Tieling City was sentenced to three years in prison for her continued efforts to expose the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Ms. Zhang Shuxia, 55, is appealing her case with the Tieling City Intermediate Court. In the meantime, she remains detained following her latest and sixth arrest on December 14, 2016. This not the first time that she has been targeted for her faith in Falun Gong – she spent a total of 9 years being incarcerated in labor camps and prisons between 1999 and 2013.
Ms. Zhang’s latest prison sentence came after two court hearings. She was first ordered to stand trial on May 12, 2017, even though her blood pressure had reached dangerously high levels that day. Judge Sun Di didn't allow her shackles to be removed until her lawyers strongly protested against the brutal treatment of their clients.
Prosecutor Bai Ying presented several sets of evidence, including 5 pendants, 8 flash cards, 12 bank notes, and 6 table calendars – all bearing Falun Gong messages and seized during Ms. Zhang’s arrest.
Bai also alleged that five witnesses, including Zhang Aina, Zhang Shuyuan, Ma Shuqin, Su, and Hu, saw Ms. Zhang distribute Falun Gong materials. None of the witnesses, however, were present to face cross-examination.
Sun tried repeatedly, without success, to get Ms. Zhang to admit to her alleged crime, and Bai also threatened to give her heavier sentences if she didn’t admit her guilt.
Ms. Zhang’s lawyers argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that the persecution has been illegal from the onset. As such, their client had every right to inform the public of the persecution.
Ms. Zhang testified against officer Zhao Baifeng, who beat her during the arrest. Judge Sun claimed that no one else ever saw her beaten by police and that the beating, even if it existed, had nothing to do with her case.
Judge Sun soon adjourned the session. When the hearing resumed on May 19, Ms. Zhang’s family was barred from attending the trial. Sun claimed that such a move was to protect witnesses that he called to the stand that day.
It’s unclear when Ms. Zhang was sentenced to prison.