Woman Sentenced to Three Years of Imprisonment for Delivering Government Documents to Police
(Minghui.org) A 64-year-old woman was given two years of forced labor in 2000 and one year of prison term in 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a mind-body practice being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Ms. Li Xiufen, a resident of Yingkou City, was arrested again in December 2017 when she delivered two government documents to the local police stations. The documents showed that the persecution of Falun Gong has no legal basis, but Ms. Li was sentenced to three years in prison around September 2018.
Arrest and Detention
Ms. Li's latest arrest happened less than six months after she finished serving her first prison term on June 27, 2017. She was seized on December 5 when she went to Dongqiao and Xinxing police stations to deliver two government documents.
One of the documents was a list of 14 cult organizations published by the Ministry of Public Security. Falun Gong was not on the list. The other document was Announcement 50 of the General Administration of Press and Publication on March 1, 2011, that repealed an earlier ban on publication of Falun Gong books.
Xinxing Police Station officers detained Ms. Li and over 20 officers ransacked her home. One day before her term of administrative detention expired, she was given criminal detention and taken to the Yingkou City Detention Center on December 19.
Lawyer Refutes Baseless Charges
Ms. Li appeared in the Zhanqian District Court on August 6, 2018. Her lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf and demanded her acquittal.
The prosecutor charged Ms. Li with “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
The attorney countered that Falun Gong was never on the cult list and that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong. He also pointed out that both documents Ms. Li delivered to the police are publicly accessible government documents, not Falun Gong promotional materials as alleged by the prosecutor. The lawyer argued that Ms. Li's act caused no harm to anyone, much less undermine law enforcement.
He also said that even if Ms. Li were promoting Falun Gong, it would have been legal as Article 36 of Constitution states: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.”
The prosecutor played a surveillance video showing Ms. Li delivering the documents to the police, but it contained no footage indicating that she had talked to them about Falun Gong's health benefits as stated in the indictment.
The police presented Ms. Li's detention notice and a list of items confiscated from her home. The lawyer argued that by law, physical evidence of confiscated items must be presented in court. He further testified against the police for violating legal procedures in arresting his client.
The police didn't show any search warrant before ransacking Ms. Li's home. Her lawyer argued that the police violated the following laws: 1) Article 39 of the Constitution that states: “The residences of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen’s residence is prohibited.” 2) Article 245 of the Criminal Law that states: “Those illegally physically searching others or illegally searching others' residences, or those illegally intruding into others' residences, are to be sentenced to three years or fewer in prison, or put under criminal detention.”
The police also failed to provide Ms. Li or her family with a list of confiscated items. By law, confiscated items must be identified by the defendant before they could be used as prosecution evidence.
The police never gave Ms. Li or her family a copy of her administrative detention notice when they arrested her last year.
No Show from Prosecution Witnesses
The prosecutor listed three witnesses on the indictment, but none of them were in court to undergo cross examination.
The first witness was Bai Zhaoyu, chief of the Xinxing Police Station, who opened the two documents Ms. Li delivered and subsequently ordered her arrest. The other two witnesses were Wang Pinheng and Ding Ruibin, who submitted almost identical written statements. They claimed that Ms. Li talked to them about Falun Gong's health benefits and that she had delivered the documents to the police.
Sentenced Again for Her Faith
The presiding judge didn't issue a verdict at the end of Ms. Li's hearing. Her family members recently heard from the attorney that Ms. Li had been sentenced to three years of imprisonment.