Gansu Engineer Sentenced to 4 Years for Hanging Falun Gong Banners
(Minghui.org) A former engineer of the Lanzhou City Petrochemical Machinery Plant was sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined 2,000 yuan on January 2, 2018.
Mr. Zhou Wei, 54, was seized on September 19, 2016, the moment he and his wife stepped outside their apartment building. Police had been monitoring him for days after learning he had hung banners exposing the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
The couple was taken to the local police station. Mr. Zhou’s wife was driven back to have her home searched hours later. Police confiscated her husband’s Falun Gong books before taking her to the police station again.
Though Mr. Zhou’s wife was released later that night, she was harassed several times during the next few weeks.
She was summoned to the police station days after her husband’s arrest. Police brought out a pile of paperwork along with some photos for her to sign. She refused to comply with the demand after recognizing it was fabricated evidence against her husband. Officers threatened to give her husband a heavy sentence.
Days later, police demanded that she hand over her laptop, threatening to search for it themselves if she refused. Just then, a local Falun Gong practitioner came to visit unexpectedly. An officer questioned the visitor for a few minutes, flipped through a stack of papers, and pointed to the guest, “You’re also Falun Gong!”
It dawned on Mr. Zhou’s wife that police had a roster of local Falun Gong practitioners.
She refused to go to the police station when officers called her again a few days later. She told them she would never sign any documents to incriminate her husband as he had not broken any laws by exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Officer Zhao ignored Mr. Zhou’s wife when she went to inquire about her husband’s case on October 10. She said she found no article in the Criminal Law that criminalizes practicing Falun Gong. Zhao mocked her, “You have no idea of what Falun Gong is.”
Mr. Zhao developed high blood pressure while detained at Xiguoyuan Detention Center. His wife filed a written request to have him released on medical parole, but the Lanzhou City Procuratorate never addressed her concern.
Mr. Zhao’s case was submitted to Chengguan District Procuratorate on November 15, but his wife didn’t learn of the development until November 8. She went to the police station to pick up her husband on December 19 when she heard that his case had been returned to police. The receptionist on duty said she knew nothing about the case being returned.
Mr. Zhao’s wife visited the procuratorate soon afterward and was assured that the case had been returned to police. She returned to the police station but was given the same response.
She made her third visit to the police station in the afternoon but couldn’t find the receptionist she saw in the morning. She then visited the procuratorate and finally found out that her husband’s case was indeed returned to police on December 14, only to have been resubmitted days later.
Mr. Zhou appeared in court on August 24, 2017, and was convicted right after New Year’s Day.