64-Year-Old Hebei Woman Appealing Wrongful Conviction Based on Fabricated Evidence
(Minghui.org) Because she handed out calendars that had messages about Falun Gong, a 64-year-old woman in Langfang City, Hebei Province, was recently sentenced to two years in prison.
Ms. Kong Xianglian noted that the prosecution evidence stated on the verdict included items that had allegedly been confiscated from her home but that she had never owned. She is now appealing the wrongful conviction based fabricated evidence.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. Practitioners often distribute pamphlets, calendars, or other items to counter the hate propaganda put out by the Party.
Arrest, Bail, and Involuntary Displacement
When Ms. Kong handed out the calendars at a farmer's market on November 27, 2016, officers from Dongfang Police Station arrested her and confiscated about 500 yuan in banknotes with Falun Gong messages written on them. Officers then ransacked her home and took Falun Gong books, a printer, computer hard disks, and about 5,000 yuan in Falun Gong-message-bearing banknotes.
Ms. Kong was held in the police station for 24 hours and then taken to a detention center, which declined to admit her due to her poor health. Even though she was released on bail, the police continued to harass her at home. They threatened to put her on the "wanted" list whenever she refused to report to the police station or wasn't home when they showed up to check on her.
Ms. Kong was later forced to live away from home for a long time to keep her and her family from being harassed.
Ms. Kong was taken back into custody on April 17, 2018. Her husband, who was not a Falun Gong practitioner, was seized at the same time. When their son tried to stop the authorities from taking his parents away, an officer threatened to “destroy” his job.
At the police station, Ms. Kong was restrained on a chair with her feet chained. Her arrest was formally approved the following day, and she was later transferred to Langfang Detention Center.
Officers Xu Yufeng and Li Hui sent Ms. Kong's case to the Anci District Procuratorate, but it was rejected due to insufficient evidence.
Xu summoned Ms. Kong's husband, who had been released shortly after his arrest, to the police station to be interrogated again. Although Ms. Kong's husband did not provide any new information, he was nonetheless ordered to sign the interrogation record without being allowed to read it first.
Prosecutor Wu accepted the case and forwarded it to the Anci Court. The attorney hired by Ms. Kong's family contacted Wu and officers Xu and Li many times, but they all refused to discuss Ms. Kong's case with him.
Hearing and Sentence
After being detained for over four months, Ms. Kong had an hearing on September 12, 2018. Her attorney pleaded not guilty on her behalf and emphasized that freedom of belief was protected by the Chinese Constitution. That meant that distributing calendars and owning banknotes with Falun Gong phrases were not a crime.
The lawyer demanded Ms. Kong's acquittal. The presiding judge sentenced her to prison several months later.
When she received the verdict sentencing her to two years in prison, Ms. Kong was astounded to see that the list of confiscated items was so much longer. Many items that she had never had in her home had been added.
Ms. Kong has filed an appeal with the Langfang City Intermediate Court.
Key Party Responsible:
Li Shufen, judge, Langfang City Intermediate Court: +86-13833608391