(Minghui.org) A 75-year-old Wuhan City resident was tried on April 8, 2018, and fined 3,000 yuan for talking to people about Falun Gong. Her Falun Gong informational materials were also confiscated.
Ms. Guo Shujun was arrested on November 2, 2016, and released that night. She was later told to go to the police station to sign documents relating to her arrest without knowing that she was about to be indicted.
Shortly after Ms. Guo was released on November 2, 2016, Wujiashan Street Police Station officers told her daughter and son-in-law to bring her to the police station. They were informed that everything would be fine after signing a few documents as part of “formalities.”
The Public Security Bureau, procuratorate, and the court later told them the same thing. Ms. Guo only realized that she had been deceived after a Dongxihu Court judge asked if she wanted to hire a lawyer and that she would be sentenced if she signed the documents.
In early March 2017, the court contacted Ms. Guo's family and said that, because Ms. Guo was getting older, they would amend the document and hinted that everything would be fine after they signed the amended document. This turned out to be a lie.
Believing the authorities, Ms. Guo's younger daughter signed the document without knowing that, in actuality, Ms. Guo had been indicted on February 9, 2017, by Feng Jun, acting prosecutor for the Dongxihu Procuratorate, and that the indictment stated that she was released on bail on November 2, 2016.
On March 26, 2018, judge Yang Zhidan of the Dongxihu Court informed Ms. Guo's family that they needed to pick up Ms. Guo's summons from the court.
The summons stated that Ms. Guo's trial was scheduled for April 3, 2018, and that the court had assigned a local lawyer.
Unsure of the lawyer's stand on Ms. Guo's case, her family met with him and learned that he did not intend to plead “not guilty” on Ms. Guo's behalf. They decided to dismiss the court-appointed lawyer and hire another one.
On the morning of Ms. Guo's trial, a dozen young men dressed in black were seen sitting in two vehicles stationed outside the courthouse. Practitioners who went to the courthouse to support Ms. Guo were stopped, checked, and monitored by the plainclothes officers standing outside the building.
Ms. Guo and her lawyer pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer argued that Ms. Guo had not violated any law nor was she “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement” (a fabricated charge commonly used against Falun Gong practitioners) and therefore should not be prosecuted.
Her lawyer pointed out that there is no law in the country that deemed Falun Gong a “cult” and no evidence was presented that showed that Ms. Guo had committed a crime.
Her lawyer added that Ms. Guo's constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of belief should be protected.
An hour later, judge Yang adjourned the proceedings and Ms. Guo's family immediately went to the Dongxihu Procuratorate to file a complaint against acting prosecutor Feng.
Ms. Guo started practicing Falun Gong in July 1998 and her ailments were resolved. However, she stopped practicing when the persecution of Falun Gong started a year later because her family was fearful that she would be subject to persecution.
She resumed the practice when her previous health problems returned. After they were once again resolved, Ms. Guo was determined to tell people how she benefited from the practice.
Ms. Guo was first arrested on May 18, 2012 for talking to people about Falun Gong, and her house was ransacked. A few hours later, she was taken to Wuhan First Detention Center.
The second arrest happened on the morning of September 7, 2015, when Ms. Guo was reported to the police for distributing Falun Gong informational materials.
She was taken to the police station, where brochures and DVDs containing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party were confiscated.
That morning, Ms. Guo's daughter had received a call from the neighborhood committee asking for Ms. Guo's residential address.
When Ms. Guo didn't return home by 2 p.m., her family made several calls to try to find her. The neighborhood committee then called, asking where Ms. Guo was.
At 2 p.m., Ms. Guo's family went to the police station to seek help in finding her and learned that she had been detained and was interrogated regarding the source of the materials she had with her.
When the police station did not give Ms. Guo anything to eat, her family bought a bowl of noodles and sent it in at 3 p.m.
Three hours later, the police ransacked Ms. Guo's house and took away a number of personal items. She finally returned home at 8 p.m. that evening.