Appeals Court Upholds Verdict Against P.E. Teacher Convicted on Fabricated Evidence
(Minghui.org) A physical education teacher in Rushan City was sentenced to 4 years in prison for talking to people about the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
The local higher court not only ruled to uphold Mr. Zheng Xufei's original verdict, but also ordered him to pay a fine of 10,000 yuan.
This is not the first time that Mr. Zheng has been targeted for his faith. He was first arrested in July 2014 and detained for 35 days. His employer, Xiachun Town Zhongxin School, withheld a total of 30,000 yuan of bonuses that he earned in the next few years.
Three officials came to his school in June 2016 and tried to make him renounce Falun Gong. He refused and was threatened with salary suspension. Two months later, the local education bureau and his school informed him that his salary would be cut by 1,100 yuan every month. His principal, Wang Guofeng, told him in spring 2017 that he didn't pass his annual evaluation because of his faith.
Mr. Zheng's latest arrest took place on July 14, 2017, and he appeared in court on December 1. The local police fabricated evidence to get him indicted. One of the prosecution witnesses was listed as a normal citizen when he was a guard who arrested Mr. Zheng and worked in the detention center where Mr. Zheng was held.
Prosecutor Gong Xiaoling ignored the facts and alleged that Mr. Zheng passed out Falun Gong materials to several civilians, including the aforementioned guard. Gong also ignored the fact that several key documents lacked required signatures.
Judge Zhu Yiquan of Rushan City Court sentenced Mr. Zheng to 4 years in prison, even though no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
Mr. Zheng filed an appeal, and judge Zhu came to the detention center demanding to take back the verdict. Zhu claimed that he forgot to issue a fine. Mr. Zheng refused to give back his copy of the verdict.
The Weihai City Intermediate Court held a hearing, and prosecutor Gong requested that a fine be added to Mr. Zheng's verdict. Instead of acquitting Mr. Zheng, the higher court sided with the lower court and the procuratorate. It ruled to uphold the guilty verdict against Mr. Zheng and also ordered him to pay a fine.