Falun Gong Practitioner Deprived of Right to Defend Herself in Court
(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Guizhi, a Falun Gong practitioner from Tonghe County, Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was illegally tried by Yilan County No.3 Court in Harbin City on August 23, 2018.
The judge only permitted Ms. Zhang to give a “Yes” or “No” reply during the proceedings, which violated Ms. Zhang's legal right to defend herself.
The trial did not start as scheduled. Judge Zhang Anke stated he was entrusted by the Harbin Intermediate Court to conduct the trial. He also stated that anything regarding Falun Gong was not to be discussed in court.
During the trial, the court clerk would immediately intervene when Ms. Zhang spoke: “I will ask you questions. You are not permitted to ask me any questions,” the judge warned her.
When the trial ended, the court only permitted one family member to meet briefly with Ms. Zhang on the condition that the relative was not a Falun Gong practitioner.
Ms. Zhang Guizhi is from Tonghe County, Harbin City. She was an attending doctor at Tonghe County Women and Children's Hospital. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1999 and lived by its principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” She was considerate of others and refused to accept bribes from patients and pharmaceutical companies, a common practice in China.
Ms. Zhang was sent by her company to Harbin Medical School for continuing education on December 4, 2009. She lived at Daowai District in Harbin.
She was woken up in the middle of the night and arrested by officers from Ewinki Banner Police Department in Inner Mongolia on December 14, 2009. The police took away her money, cell phone, and other personal belongings.
She explained to the police that she was sent by her hospital to further her studies and had medical records in the hospital as proof.
However, the police arrested her and illegally detained her at a forced labor camp, where she was subjected to ongoing torture. The police did not release her until she became very ill due to abuse. She consequently lost her job.
Ms. Zhang continued to write letters to the local 610 Office, police department, police stations, and county government about the communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. The police arrested Ms. Zhang at her bakery shop and sentenced her to five years of imprisonment on August 19, 2011.
Ms. Zhang was incarcerated at Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison, where she was tortured and locked up in shackles while in solitary confinement.
The deputy captain of the Seventh Prison Ward Chang Xiaoli also ordered the prisoners to beat her. Ms. Zhang suffered from a mental disorder as a result of abuse in prison. She was released on August 18, 2016.
Police from Harbin City arrested and detained her for 15 days at the Harbin Detention Center in July 2017.
When Ms. Zhang later tried to send letters about Falun Gong at the Tonghe County Post Office on April 10, 2018, the clerk refused to accept the letters and told her that they would consult the manager. However, they reported her to the police.
She was soon arrested by 610 Office head Zhang Yue and officers from the Domestic Security Division named Zhang Shiguo, Tai Fenghai, Zhang Jiawei, and Zhang Dongxing. Ms. Zhang was detained the same day at Harbin Second Detention Center, also known as Yazijuan Detention Center.
The detention center claimed to be humane in its management. “This is not 1999 anymore (when the Chinese Communist Party first started suppressing Falun Gong). We do not persecute Falun Gong practitioners. We only care about them,” claimed officer Wu Yanli.
When Ms. Zhang started doing Falun Gong exercises inside the detention center, officials immediately stopped and beat her. Her eyes were extremely swollen. The officials then forced her to practice yoga against her will.
Later, Ms. Zhang's case was sent to the Yilan County Court. Her family was notified of her trial date.
Participants involved in the persecution of Ms. Zhang Guizhi:
Zhang Anke (张安克), judge of Yilan County Court: +86-451-57226633, +86-13351817678Zang Xiaodong (藏晓东), dean of the Yilan County Court: +86-451-57239229, +86-13845174977Zhang Yue (张越), head of Tonghe County 610 Office, +86-18946015499Zhang Shiguo (张士国), domestic security police from Tonghe County: +86-15326628122