63-Year-Old Widow on Trial for Her Belief Not Allowed to Defend Herself
(Minghui.org) Ms. Li Jing, a 63-year-old resident of Changchun City, Jilin Province, was tried on November 8 for her belief in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. Her family was not notified of the hearing.
When judge Zhang Yuhui referred to Falun Gong as a cult, Ms. Li took offense and wanted to explain Falun Gong. But Zhang stopped her and did not allow her to defend herself. When the hearing concluded, prosecutor Chen Yaping threatened to have Ms. Li sentenced to seven years in prison.
Ms. Li was arrested outside her rental apartment on March 14, 2018, by officers from the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone Police Department and Shenzhen Street Police Station. They ransacked her apartment and confiscated a computer, five printers, 16 cell phones, and Falun Gong books and informational materials.
Ms. Li was taken to the police station for interrogation in handcuffs and shackles. The interrogation lasted 36 hours, during which time she was deprived of sleep and given no food or water. Officers demanded to know the source of the Falun Gong informational materials confiscated from her home, but Ms. Li refused to provide any information.
While she was being interrogated, Ms. Li learned that the police had located her phone number and tracked her location from calls she had made from home telling people about Falun Gong.
Because all legal channels to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong are closed to its practitioners, they have to come up with creative ways, such as making phone calls to the public, to raise awareness of the persecution.
By the time the interrogation was over, Ms. Li's legs and feet were in pain. She was taken to the Changchun Fourth Detention Center and it took over a month for her legs to recover.
Additional interrogations took place in the detention center, but Ms. Li insisted the confiscated Falun Gong informational materials were hers and refused to turn in other practitioners. She also told inmates about Falun Gong and the persecution.
After the procuratorate classified her arrest as “criminal detention” on March 28, her case was forwarded to the prosecution division on May 25 and handed over to the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone Court on August 16.
Ms. Li was previously arrested in 2000 and spend a year in a forced labor camp and again in 2003 and sent to a labor camp for two years. Her husband and son had already passed away and she lived by herself. After Ms. Li was arrested on March 14, 2018, her 85-year-old mother and other family members did not know where she was until March 19. By then, she was already in the detention center.
Parties Responsible for Persecuting Ms. Li:
Zhang Yuhui, presiding judge of the Criminal Division of the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone Court: +86-431-88559811, +86-13596163336
Yao Huaili, chief of the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone Police Department: +86-431-84643943, +86-13354308123
Xu Anhuai, director of the Changchun Economic and Technological Development Zone Procuratorate: +86-13756209999
Wang Xihong, director of the Shenzhen Street Police Station: +86-13354308889, +86-431-84645889