One Banner Leads to a Five-and-a-Half-Year Prison Term
(Minghui.org) A man was sentenced to five and a half years and fined 20,000 yuan after he was suspected of hanging a banner that said, “The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are the core principles of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Mr. Wang Baoshan, a Falun Gong practitioner in Tangshan City, was arrested at work on July 3, 2017, days after the banner was found in a neighborhood on June 29. The police alleged that the man seen in the surveillance video hanging the banner was Mr. Wang, but the Fengrun District Procuratorate twice returned the case, citing “insufficient evidence.”
The police tried a third time and the case was assigned to Zunhua City Procuratorate, which filed an indictment against Mr. Wang before forwarding the case to the Zunhua City Court.
Mr. Wang appeared in court on May 9, 2018, and was sentenced on July 12.
It was noted in the verdict that the allegation that Mr. Wang had hung the said banner lacked proof and was not admissible. However, the Falun Gong books, informational materials, and the printer confiscated from Mr. Wang's home were enough evidence to convict him.
Although court officials attempted to block the appeal, his attorney managed to submit the appeal paperwork on July 30.
The attorney contacted the Tangshan Intermediate Court numerous times afterward, protesting the trial court's violation of legal procedures and requesting an open hearing in the appeal case. It was not until October 18 that the attorney discovered that the intermediate court had reached a decision on September 10 to uphold the original verdict without holding a hearing.
When the attorney went to the detention center on October 22 to visit his client, an officer said Mr. Wang had been transferred to Jidong Second Prison on October 17.
Mr. Wang's wife went to the prison on November 5, but she wasn't allowed to see her husband until she made repeated requests. An officer surnamed Che videotaped the visit and said future visits would be canceled if Mr. Wang refused to give up his belief. His wife learned Mr. Wang had been forced to work in a sewing unit for nine hours a day. The pungent smell of the fabrics made him sick.
Mr. Wang filed complaints against those who arrested and prosecuted him without any legal basis. His family also sent the complaint letters to the Supreme People's Procuratorate. No feedback has been received so far.
Parties Responsible for Persecuting Mr. Wang:
Hebei Justice Department: +86-311-83034886Hebei Prison Administration: +86-311-88607734, +86-311-3634178