Liaoning Man Requests Expungement of Wrongful Conviction
(Minghui.org) A Dandong City resident recently filed a request to have his criminal record expunged.
Mr. Sun Zhongren and his wife, Ms. Fan Yuqin, were seized at home on January 25, 2013. Police released Ms. Fan on bail days later when her blood pressure shot up to dangerously high levels. Mr. Sun was sentenced to 4 years in prison on April 1, 2014. Seven months later, his wife was re-arrested. She was tried on April 8, 2015 and soon sentenced to 3 years in prison.
The couple were targeted because they both refused to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Sun submitted his request for expungement to Dandong City Court on August 22, 2017, seven months after he was released from prison. He argued that he had been wrongly convicted for two reasons.
First, the conviction was based on Article 300 of the Criminal Law, which states that anyone using a cult to undermine law enforcement should be punished with a minimum of three years in prison. Mr. Sun argued that Article 300 did not apply to Falun Gong practitioners like him, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult. Moreover, the verdict failed to specify which law he broke or how he undermined law enforcement.
Second, the verdict cited the statutory interpretation of Article 300 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.
Mr. Sun argued that the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate are not lawmaking bodies; hence, their interpretation should not have been used as a legal basis on which to draw convictions.
Mr. Sun also filed criminal complaints against the authorities involved in his case for breaking the law and violating his legal rights. The police arrested him and his wife without showing a search or arrest warrant. The procuratorate charged him and the court sentenced him without any legal basis. The prison guards denied him phone calls and in-person meetings with family and also ordered inmates to monitor him around the clock.
Mr. Sun is also calling for his wife’s immediate release since she was sentenced on the same charge.