Hebei Man Sentenced to 21 Months After 11 Years of Imprisonment for His Faith
(Minghui.org) After serving 11 years in prison, losing his mother and grandparents, and being forced to divorce because of not giving up practicing Falun Gong, a resident from Li County, Hebei Province was sentenced to 21 months in prison again for his faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Wang Xianghui received the 21-month prison sentence with 10,000 yuan fine on December 25, 2018 issued by the Li County Court. His family is appealing the verdict.
Mr. Wang appeared at Li County Court on November 21, 2018, after nearly 1.5 years of detention following his arrest for writing letters to top government officials seeking financial compensation for the ordeal his family suffered in the past decade, as well as demanding information disclosure about the 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong.
Both of his lawyer and father defended his innocence. Three police officers testified in court, but they gave contradictory accounts in describing whether they showed the proper legal document before arresting him and ransacking his home.
Arrested Five Days after Mother Died from Persecution of Their Shared Faith
Mr. Wang was arrested on June 16, 2017, five days after his mother, Ms. Liu Guipu, passed away from the persecution of their shared faith in Falun Gong.
According to Mr. Wang's neighbor, they noticed a white car parked outside their apartment building a few days before his arrest and then disappeared afterwards. They suspected that the police had begun to monitor Mr. Wang days before arresting him.
The police submitted Mr. Wang's case to Li County Procuratorate on August 23, two months after his arrest, on the charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the communist regime to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.
The procuratorate forwarded his case to Li County Court on October 16, 2017.
Lawyer at Pretrial Hearing: Police Induced Confession from My Client
The court scheduled a pretrial hearing for February 8, 2018 but canceled it after the presiding judge suddenly became ill.
The pretrial hearing was later held on July 10, 2018. Mr. Wang appeared at the court handcuffed and shackled. At his lawyer's demand, a bailiff removed the cuffs from him.
According to the lawyer, Mr. Wang appeared pale and weak after more than one year of detention. Having lost most of his molars due to the tortures during his previous 11 years of imprisonment, he was having trouble eating and was emaciated.
Mr. Wang's lawyer accused the police of ransacking his client's residence without proper legal documents, failing to provide a copy of ransacking record or list of confiscated items afterwards, and inducing a confession from him by deceit.
Mr. Wang recounted how the police deceived him into making a confession. He said that during the interrogation, officer Wang Junchang asked him: “Did you mail a letter to governor Xu Qin? If you admit having mailed the letter, I would guarantee your release and would fight those who want to sentence you just because you mailed a letter.”
Having believed him, Mr. Wang admitted that he wrote to Governor Xu and other officials to request financial compensation for the lost wages he suffered during his past imprisonment for his faith. Hours later, he was given criminal detention and transferred to the county detention center. The police soon submitted his case to the procuratorate.
After the pretrial hearing, both the presiding judge and the prosecutor in charge of Mr. Wang's case were changed by the authorities.
Only three family members of Mr. Wang were allowed to attend his hearing on November 21, 2018. Most of the gallery was filled with police and government officials.
Three officers, Wang Junchang, Zhang Shichao, and Chen Lining, who arrested Mr. Wang, showed up in court as prosecution witnesses.
When asked by the prosecutor whether they showed any search warrant and a summon certificate before arresting Mr. Wang, the three officers gave contradictory answers to each other.
Officer Wang Junchang admitted that the search warrant and record were filled out after the arrest. He blamed Mr. Wang's father for obstructing them and causing chaos such that they were unable to fill out necessary documents in a timely manner.
When the prosecutor asked him where was Mr. Wang when they ransacked his home, officer Wang replied that he had been taken to the police car. He said they showed the search warrant to Mr. Wang's father before returning to his home and search it.
Officer Zhang Shichao appeared next. He stated that they showed all necessary documents, including their police I.D., to Mr. Wang's family before searching his home. He said that Mr. Wang was in the front yard while they searched his home.
Officer Chen Lining, who testified last, said they showed the search warrant to Mr. Wang before searching his place.
When asked whether they were wearing the recording devices required for the police while performing tasks, all three officers said they couldn't remember.
Mr. Wang's lawyer argued that the device is very important for outside sources to confirm that the police didn't violate legal procedure in completing their tasks.
The lawyer also pointed out that according to the police's record, the search warrant was issued at 12: 55 pm, while the ransacking record was filled out at 12: 50 pm. When he questioned officer Chen about the time discrepancy, he was speechless.
Mr. Wang's father also testified that he did ask the officers why they arrested his son without legal documents, and he explained the facts about Falun Gong to them. The officers listened quietly for more than ten minutes and the situation wasn't chaotic as officer Wang described.
Mr. Wang's father also argued that Falun Gong wasn't on the list of cult identified by the Ministry of Public Security and the prosecutor failed to provide detailed information on what damages his son had caused or what law enforcement was obstructed by him in writing the letters.
The judge sentenced Mr. Wang to prison one month later, on Christmas Day.
Tortured During Prior Imprisonment
Mr. Wang's latest prison sentence was preceded by repeatedly arrests and an 11-year prison sentence in the past.
He was fired from his workplace in 2001 and later subjected to brutal tortures during his 11 years of imprisonment because of not renouncing his faith. Some of the scars resulted from the tortures are still visible on his hands.
In the freezing winter, the prison guards poured cold water onto him and left him standing outside for three days. His feet suffered from severe frostbite, his left arm became disabled, and four of his molars fell off.
The guards shocked his hands and feet with electric batons. He felt extreme discomfort in his heart and passed out. When he didn't wake up after a long time, the inmates burned him with cigarette butts.
The guards had also burnt his nails with cigarette butts, stepped on and crushed his toes.
His wife, a police officer, was forced to divorce him after he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He found he had no home to return to when he was released from prison.
After he was met with rejections while seeking financial compensation from his previous workplace, he decided to write letters to top government officials, including premier Li Keqiang, but was arrested and sentenced to prison again.
Family Repeatedly Persecuted for Their Shared Faith
Mr. Wang is not the only person in his family who has suffered for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.
His mother, Ms. Liu Guipu, was once detained for more than seven months and subjected to intensive tortures. She became paralyzed and bedridden for more than five years before passing away.
His sister was also arrested and sent to forced labor camp for her faith in Falun Gong.
His father, Mr. Wang Pingjun, in his late 60s, was arrested three times and given two labor camp terms for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The police ransacked his home several times and confiscated everything from him. He was fired from his workplace 16 years ago and denied pension payment. His own parents passed away one after another after being horrified and traumatized by the repeated arrests, home-ransacking and detention of his family.