77-Year-Old Woman Deceived Into Going to Court to Be Tried—Sentenced to Jail Two Months Later
(Minghui.org) A 77-year-old woman in Mishan City was taken away at 8:00 a.m. on March 27, 2018, moments after she stepped out of her apartment building. Ms. Zhang Chenghua's family received a phone call at 4:00 p.m. from the Jixi City Detention Center. They were told that Ms. Zhang had been sentenced to one year in prison and fined 10,000 yuan.
Ms. Zhang's family visited the detention center two days later and were told to come back on April 3 to see her. They were also informed that Ms. Zhang had waived her right to file an appeal.
Ms. Zhang was targeted because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Her prison sentence stemmed from her earlier arrest on May 11, 2017, when she was walking on the street, and Wang Haiying (vice head of Mishan Domestic Security Office) suddenly grabbed her from behind. She refused to go with him, and he called in three agents to drag her into his police cruiser. They proceeded to ransack her home, with four more agents arriving to guard the hallway so that no one could see what was going on inside.
Ms. Zhang refused to answer questions while being interrogated at the Mishan City First Police Station. She was let go that afternoon after her grandson and granddaughter signed paperwork for her to be placed under house arrest.
Li Gang of the Domestic Security office, along with two other agents, showed up at Ms. Zhang's home on January 22, 2018. They were not in uniform, and claimed to be from the local natural gas company. Ms. Zhang was deceived into opening the door and the three officers arrested her immediately.
The agents drove her straight to Mishan City Court, where she was tried without any legal representation. The judge did not issue a verdict, and she was allowed to go home afterwards.
She heard nothing from the court for the next two months. Her family was shocked that police would come to arrest her on March 27 and announce a guilty verdict against her hours later. They also didn't believe that she would forgo her legal right to appeal for her justice. They suspected that either the detention center was lying to them or that she had been coerced into giving up her right to appeal.
This is not the first time that Ms. Zhang, a retiree from Mudanjiang Farm, has been targeted for her faith. Two months after the persecution began in July 1999, her supervisor tried unsuccessfully to make her give up her belief. They forced her son to pay 5,000 yuan and her son-in-law to sign a guarantee statement promising to keep an eye on her.
Ms. Zhang went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in December 1999, and was arrested. She was then brought back to Mudanjiang and detained for two weeks. She was arrested again on April 25, 2000 and detained for more than two months. She was arrested a third time in December of that year and given one year of forced labor.
Ms. Zhang was arrested a fourth time on March 13, 2016, though she was released hours later.