Woman Given Heavier Sentence after Retracting Statement Made Under Coercion to Renounce Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A woman in Suihua City was initially given 2.5 years to be served outside of prison after she was coerced into renouncing her faith in Falun Gong against her will. When she retracted her words, her sentence was changed to 2.5 years in prison with a 20,000 yuan fine.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Ms. Liu Xiulian, in her 70s, was arrested on April 23, 2018, after police identified her through surveillance videos as having hung up banners reading “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” around town.
She was released on medical parole about 15 hours later, after Suihua Detention Center declined to admit her due to her high blood pressure.
In July, Ms. Liu's case was submitted to Beilin Procuratorate in Suihua City, which then forwarded it to Beilin Court. Not long afterward, the case was transferred to Hailun Procuratorate and Hailun Court.
Hailun is a city about 70 miles from Suihua. Ms. Liu was summoned to Hailun to be interrogated by procuratorate and court officials at least seven times.
When she went to Hailun Court on August 21, a tall man with a heavy build demanded that she sign some court documents. Li Daming, a court clerk handling her case, threatened to throw her in jail if she failed to secure bail.
A hearing took place on September 10 against Ms. Liu. This was the 6th time that Ms. Liu was required to travel to Hailun.
Both clerk Li and Presiding Judge Bai Changshun asked if Ms. Liu still practiced Falun Gong. They promised to give her a lighter sentence if she said no.
Distressed from her arrest and under the court's pressure, Ms. Liu said no.
The judge immediately announced to give her 2.5 years to be served outside of prison.
As Ms. Liu walked out of the courthouse, she regretted her words.
She went back in to tell Li that she would still practice Falun Gong. Li then held her in a small room for a while before letting her go. He then summoned her to the court on September 18. She was handcuffed upon arrival.
The person who accompanied her and her husband to the court, who is in his 80s, demanded her release, and Li threatened to arrest him as well if he didn't leave right away.
Ms. Liu was sent to the Suiling Detention Center. Her family visited her the following day (September 19), and the detention center director asked them to try to get her out, as she was suffering from extremely high blood pressure.
Her family immediately went to see Li, who dismissed their request for her medical parole, “It's none of my business if she dies there.” Hours later, the Hailun Court issued a new verdict saying that Ms. Liu had been sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan.
She was sent to Heilongjiang Women's Prison on October 16. When her daughter visited her ten days later, she learned that Ms. Liu continued to suffer from high blood pressure and dizziness. Though the prison has been monitoring her blood pressure, it is unclear whether she is being given any medical treatment.
Key Responsible Personnel:
Cui Youwei: officer from Beilin Court in Suihua City, +86-18697088955Zhang Liansheng: officer from Beilin Procuratorate, +86-17745516030Bai Changshun: Presiding Judge from Hailun Court, +86-455-5723162Li Daming: officer from Hailun Court responsible for Ms. Liu's case, +86-455-5723162, 15646572952
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