Artist Faces New Charges While Serving 3rd Jail Term for His Faith
(Minghui.org) A 66-year-old man imprisoned for his faith appeared in court to face new charges against him.
Mr. Si Deli, an artist in Xinyang City, was last arrested on March 17, 2016 for filing a criminal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for initiating the persecution of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Mr. Si credits Falun Gong for returning him to health, but his pursuit of health landed him in police custody many times. He was twice given forced labor, in July 2000 and March 2001, respectively. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison in 2005 and another 5.5 years in prison in 2011.
Mr. Si tried to hold Jiang responsible for his ordeal, only to be arrested again. He was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months after two court appearances on August 29, 2016 and April 14, 2017.
He appealed to Xinyang City Intermediate Court, which ruled on August 14, 2017 to uphold the original verdict. The appeals court didn't inform his family or lawyer. When the lawyer finally found out what had happened, he rushed to the court to seek his client's acquittal. Judge Xu Dali said that the ruling had long been determined by the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, both non-judicial agencies tasked with carrying out the persecution policy and given power to override the judicial system.
A few days after the ruling, Mr. Si, who was still held in Xinyang First Detention Center at the time, was brought to Zhengyang County Procuratorate to face a new indictment. He was charged with repairing computers and printers for some Falun Gong practitioners in Zhengyang.
Mr. Si was admitted to Xinmi Prison not long after the indictment. He appeared in Runan County Court on May 28, 2018. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. The lawyer also refuted the prosecution evidence and argued that it was his client's constitutional right to use his technical skills to help others with repairs.
Mr. Si was returned to prison after the court appearance.