Man on Bail Taken Back Into Custody to Stand Trial, Faces Prison Time for His Faith
(Minghui.org) A Yanchi County resident faces prison time after being tried on suspicion of having placed informational materials about Falun Gong on a police chief's windshield.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Song Laiping was arrested in April 2018 and released on bail ten days later after being diagnosed with serious medical conditions. He left home in late May to avoid being prosecuted, only to be taken back into custody in August and put on trial in October. The prosecutor recommended a two-to-three-year sentence. Mr. Song is awaiting the verdict in Wuzhong Detention Center.
Arrested on Suspicion of Distributing Falun Gong Materials
Chief Hao Ruigang of Hualianchi Police Station found Falun Gong informational materials on his car windshield in April 2018. He reviewed surveillance videos and ordered his officers to track down “suspects.”
Mr. Song, 67, was walking down the street on the morning of April 15, 2018, when he was arrested as one of the “suspects.”
The police were unable to get Mr. Song to reveal where he lived, even after interrogating him for more than eight hours. They managed to find out his address through other means and took him home late that afternoon. They ransacked his residence without a search warrant and confiscated his Falun Gong books and other items. They didn't give him a list of confiscated items as required by law.
The officers returned the next day to search his home again. Neither he nor his family members were present.
While he was detained, many of his family members, including his 16-year-old grandson who was studying in a city about 100 miles away, were interrogated by the police. None of them were presented with proper legal documents for the interrogation.
Released on Bail
Officers from Yanchi County Domestic Security Division took Mr. Song to the hospital to be examined after another round of interrogation on April 24, in preparation for admitting him to Yanchi County Detention Center.
Mr. Song displayed symptoms of a stroke and high blood pressure, and the detention center refused to admit him. He was released on April 25 after the head of Domestic Security Division forced his family to pay a bail bond of 5,000 yuan.
For about a month after he returned home, Mr. Song remained drowsy and confused, and he had difficulty organizing his thoughts and keeping his balance while walking.
Taken Back into Custody
Instructed by the Domestic Security Division, the social security office in Yanchi County stopped Mr. Song's pension payments in mid-May. When his family went to inquire about the matter, the police and the social security office blamed each other for initiating the suspension and refused to reinstate Mr. Song's pension.
The police submitted Mr. Song's case to the Yanchi County Procuratorate on May 15. He left home two weeks later to avoid being prosecuted.
The police began to search for him after the procuratorate approved his arrest in July. His family members were also harassed and their phones and themselves monitored.
Mr. Song was seized by the police when he returned home on August 20 and taken to Wuzhong Detention Center.
Abused in Detention Center
When his lawyer met with him on September 25, Mr. Song revealed that his blood pressure remained at 220 mmHg during three physical exams and that a CT scan had revealed five blood clots in his brain. The detention center was forcing him to take hypertension drugs.
He also said that the guards occasionally dumped his meals to starve him and didn't allow him to buy daily necessities. The lawyer noticed scars on his wrists from being tightly cuffed.
Mr. Song's family filed a complaint against the guards on September 28 for mistreating him.
Strangers at Hearing Posed As Family Members
Mr. Song appeared in the Yanchi County Court on October 18, 2018. He was charged with “undermining law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the authorities to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
His lawyer defended his innocence and argued that the police had ransacked his residence without proper legal documents and that the Falun Gong items confiscated from his home were for his personal use and posed no harm to society, much less undermined law enforcement.
The court arranged for a dozen people whom they claimed to be Mr. Song's family members to attend the hearing, but Mr. Song's real family said they had no clue who those people were.
Prosecutor Ma Zufei recommended two to three years in prison for Mr. Song. The judge said he would announce the verdict on December 21, 2018. It wasn't clear whether a verdict had been issued at the time of writing.
It was reported that the court staff and the 610 Office agents attempted to force Mr. Song to sign a prosecution-evidence list shortly after the hearing, but he refused to cooperate.