Son Sentenced to Prison for Seeking Release of Parents Jailed for Helping a Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) A resident in Wenshui County, Shanxi Province was sentenced to 3.5 years for trying to seek justice for his parents, who were both jailed for their efforts to help a Falun Gong practitioner. The older couple, who has now been released, is working to seek justice for their son.
Mr. Cheng Weiping and his wife, Ms. Fan Meixiang, both practice Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. As no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, the couple knew that Falun Gong practitioners should never have been arrested or jailed for their faith. So they said yes without hesitation when another practitioner, Mr. Qiao Jianjun, asked for help upon being released from prison for his faith.
The couple's kindness became the reason for their arrest on August 18, 2016. Their son, Mr. Cheng Hao, hired two lawyers to defend his parents, who were later each sentenced to 1.5 years in prison.
As his parents served a sentence for committing no crime, the younger Mr. Cheng studied legal books and documents in his quest to seek his parents' release. He subsequently wrote a total of 23 letters to relevant departments, citing legal evidence and urging them to release his parents.
The letters never reached their intended audiences. Mr. Cheng first tried to mail out 15 of the letters at his local Wenshui County Postal Office on June 19, 2017, but the office turned the letters to the local 610 Office, an extra-legal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given power to override the judicial system.
An agent from the 610 Office called Mr. Cheng and demanded to meet with him. Mr. Cheng went and explained why he wrote the letters to seek his parents' release. The agent admitted that Mr. Cheng had every legal right to appeal to government agencies, but he threatened to have Mr. Cheng arrested if the latter kept writing appeal letters.
The local Wenshui police also asked Mr. Cheng's relatives to relay to him the same message: stop appealing for his parents or else be arrested.
Mr. Cheng went to the neighboring Jiaocheng County Postal Office on July 2, 2017 to try to mail out the remaining 8 letters. His letters were again confiscated, and the postal office said they were instructed to do so.
Hours later, Mr. Cheng found more than ten agents from Jiaocheng County Police Department at his door. Officer Wei Jianping appeared to be the team lead. A woman in plainclothes flashed a criminal detention notice and announced that Mr. Cheng had been indicted for trying to mail out 23 appeal letters.
Wenshui County Police Department transferred the 15 letters they confiscated from Mr. Cheng to their counterpart in Jiaocheng the next day.
Jiaocheng County Police Department ransacked Mr. Cheng's home again on July 12. The newly confiscated items included: a printer, a laptop, a desktop computer, a cell phone, Falun Gong books and materials, 33 copies of an appeal letter, two signature-drive petitions, and three newly written appeal letters.
Mr. Cheng appeared in Jiaocheng County Court on March 8, 2018. Prosecutors Aiping and Zhang Wenting alleged that Mr. Cheng broke the law by trying to mail out 23 appeal letters.
Mr. Cheng's parents had just been released at the time, and his father defended him in court. Judge Kang Jie sentenced the younger Mr. Cheng to prison soon afterwards.
The elder Mr. Cheng and his wife are working hard to seek justice for their son.