Court-appointed Lawyer Threatens to Send Falun Gong Practitioner to Jail
(Minghui.org) Two Beijing residents are facing trials for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Shang Wei, the lawyer appointed by the court to represent Ms. Li Yuhua, deceived her into signing his representation document. Shang said to Ms. Li, “The local court has hired me for 15 years to represent Falun Gong practitioners. I enter guilty pleas on their behalf and most of them have been convicted and sent to prison.”
Ms. Li, 66, and Ms. Liu Zhongmin, also in her 60s, were arrested on May 22, 2019, for talking to people about Falun Gong.
Niu Bo and Song Dongming from the Nanyuan Police Station searched their bags and confiscated Ms. Liu’s 300 yuan banknotes that had Falun Gong information printed on them and other Falun Gong related materials.
The officers took the two women to the police station, tied them in chairs with their hands cuffed behind their backs, and interrogated them. They were left in the chairs, handcuffed, until the next day.
The next afternoon, Ms. Li and Ms. Liu were taken to Fengtai Detention Center, where samples of the blood and pictures were taken. The Nanyuan Police Station officers later returned two more times and interrogated them.
Ms. Li had refused to disclose her name or address during the first two days, but a detention center guard deceived her into revealing her identity on May 24. The Fengtai District Procuratorate then sent people to ransack her home and threaten her daughter and son-in-law.
Ms. Li's daughter had reported her missing after failing to get in touch with her on May 22 and 23. Learning of her mother's arrest from the procuratorate, the younger woman rushed to the detention center to request her mother's release, but to no avail.
Ms. Li developed a medical condition and was emaciated after ten days in detention. On May 31, she was taken to a hospital, where she was found to be in serious condition. Only then was she released on bail.
The Fengtai District Procuratorate prosecutor called Ms. Li’s daughter several times beginning in June 2019, urging her to bring her mother to the procuratorate. Facing tremendous pressure from the authorities, Ms. Li’s daughter provided a statement about her mother’s practice of Falun Gong.
The Fengtai District Procuratorate indicted Ms. Li and Ms. Liu on September 20, 2019, and forwarded their cases to the Fengtai Court. Ms. Li's daughter's statement was listed as prosecution evidence against her.
Ms. Li used to suffer from severe tuberculosis and had a lung removed. She was unable to care for herself and almost died. Shortly after she took up Falun Gong, she recovered her health. She began to do light household chores and could also help her daughter care for her grandchild. Because she shared her story with the public, she was arrested and now faces trial.
Ms. Liu is a native of Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province. She moved in with her daughter in Beijing in recent years. Her latest arrest came only two years after she finished serving eight years in prison, also for her faith.