Shanghai Woman Illegally Tried and Sentenced for Refusing to Give Up Her Faith
(Minghui.org) The police took away a Shanghai resident who practices Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline currently persecuted in China, on June 16, 2017 and placed her in a detention center. She was officially arrested a month later. Seven months after that, on February 7, 2018, Ms. Sun Baomei was tried at the Pudongxin District Court and sentenced to ten months. During the trial the judge denied the defense lawyer’s request to cross examine witnesses who presented questionable testimony and did not allow Ms. Sun’s family to be present in court.
During the hearing Ms. Sun was handcuffed and made to stand until her lawyer protested. Ms. Sun pleaded not guilty, stating that she’s committed no crime in practicing Falun Gong.
Her lawyer asked to cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses because their testimonies indicated that Ms. Sun was in two places at the same time. The lawyer also asked to cross examine the owner of the Shanghai Press Publishing Bureau. The bureau had tendered a statement declaring that Ms. Sun’s possession of Falun Gong books was illegal. The lawyer pointed out that the bureau was in no legal position to offer such testimony and there wasn’t a signature of any person responsible. Further, the testimony was inconsequential because Falun Gong books are no longer banned in China. The judge denied both requests.
Ms. Sun's lawyer provided legal documents showing that Falun Gong wasn’t an illegal organization or a cult, a false accusation often used by the state against Falun Gong practitioners. He argued that there isn't a law in China that criminalizes Falun Gong and that Ms. Sun should never have been prosecuted in the first place, as she was merely exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief. The judge interrupted the lawyer’s statement.
Ms. Sun Baomei is a resident of Pudongxin District, where she worked in an elementary school. She began practicing Falun Gong in 1999. Soon after taking up the practice, a long-term skin problem was resolved and a lump in her chest disappeared.
After the persecution began, Ms. Sun was arrested seven times.
The police and agents from the 610 Office broke into her home on March 2, 2017 and ransacked her place without identifying themselves or presenting a search warrant. Ms. Sun was arrested, but was released five days later.