Inner Mongolia Man Tried for His Faith, Lawyer Demands Acquittal
(Minghui.org) A resident of Chifeng City was tried on charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Mr. Yang Futian and his wife, Ms. Sun Jing, were arrested at home on May 25, 2017. Though Ms. Sun was released later that night, Mr. Yang remains detained. During the trial on September 7, his lawyer entered a not guilty for him, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
Prosecutor Shan Jiuxiang presented photos of items confiscated from Mr. Yang’s home, including Falun Gong books, reams of blank copy paper, a printer, a paper trimmer, a computer, and a flash drive. Shan alleged that Mr. Yang intended to make copies of Falun Gong informational materials with the confiscated items and thus broke the law.
Mr. Yang’s lawyer countered that those items were his client’s lawful possessions and caused no harm to anyone, let alone did they "undermine law enforcement." More importantly, blank copy paper with nothing printed on it should never have been used as evidence against Mr. Yang.
Shan then claimed that Mr. Yang’s possession of Falun Gong books was illegal. He cited two notices issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication in 1999 to ban the publication of Falun Gong books. The lawyer countered that the notices had already been repealed by the General Administration in 2011.
Shan proceeded to recommend 3-6 years of prison for Mr. Yang, citing the statutory interpretation of Article 300 of the Criminal Law issued by the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate back in November 1999, four months after the persecution of Falun Gong began. The Interpretation directed that anyone practicing or promoting Falun Gong be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.
The lawyer argued that the Interpretation had been replaced by a new statutory interpretation of the Criminal Law, which took effect on February 1, 2017. Moreover, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate are not lawmaking bodies; hence, statutory interpretations issued by them should never have been used as legal basis on which to draw a conviction.
The lawyer further testified that the arresting officers never produced any search warrant while ransacking Mr. Yang’s home. Additionally, the local procuratorate and the court never provided Mr. Yang’s family with any update about his case.
The lawyer demanded an acquittal for Mr. Yang, who also testified in his own defense. Judge Dong Lihe, though, kept interrupting Mr. Yang as he was speaking.
Dong also indicated that Mr. Yang was a “repeat offender” because he was once sent to a forced labor camp for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Yang countered that he broke no law by exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief and that those who arrested him and sent him to a labor camp should be the ones prosecuted. He concluded that his past forced labor term should never have been used against him.
Judge Dong adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict.
Judge Dong: +86-476-3517208, +86-13604762908Prosecutor Shan: +86-18547627533, +86-13514766898