Changchun Police Arrest Husband to Pressure Practitioner Wife; Coerced Into Pleading Guilty in Court
(Minghui.org) When police from Changchun came for a housewife targeted for her faith in Falun Gong - and failed to find her at home - they arrested her husband instead, holding him at multiple detention facilities for months.
After a recent trial with questionable proceedings, he could face a prison sentence and further separation from his family.
On June 21, 2018, police from the Jilin Street Police Station rushed in unannounced on Mr. Feng Biao, 52, while he was at home. They were targeting his wife Li Hongyan for being a practitioner of Falun Gong, as they had done in the past. She was not at home at the time.
To protect his wife, Mr. Feng - who is not a practitioner - claimed that he also practiced Falun Gong. Police arrested him, promising to release him when his wife turned herself in.
Mr. Feng was held at the Zizigou Detention Center for five days before being taken to the Jilin Street Police Station. It was there that his conditions for release were suddenly changed. He was told that he would be released upon writing a statement guaranteeing not to practice Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Mr. Feng wrote the statement, only to be sent immediately to the Third Detention Center.
On Sept. 21, 2018, Feng's wife, Li Hongyan, went to the Third Detention Center to check on him and deliver fresh clothes. She was immediately arrested.
After police detained her at the Zizigou Detention Center for five days, she was transferred to the Fourth Detention Center, and her case submitted to the Erdao District Procuratorate on October 22.
She remains detained, her fate uncertain.
Health Concerns, Case Paperwork Withheld
According to Mr. Feng's family, in September they were contacted by Guo Qifeng from the Jilin police station, urging them to visit the Pre-trial Division of Erdao District Public Security Bureau Branch the next day and speak with the division chief.
Guo claimed he was contacting the family regarding Mr. Feng's health. Over the preceding months, no one had received information as to Feng's status.
However, when they contacted the chief, Jin Chenglong, he claimed he had no knowledge of the case or Mr. Feng. This only heightened concerns of family members, as they did not know what had happened to him.
Mr. Feng's lawyer learned on October 10 that his client's case had actually been submitted to the procuratorate more than a month earlier. When he attempted to review the case documents, he ran into obstacles repeatedly.
In his first encounter with prosecutor Tian Yuan, he was told that case documents were with the chief prosecutor, who was not in the office at the moment.
When family visited Tian a week later, they were told by the prosecutor that the case would end badly for Feng because of the lawyer assigned to defend him. He then sent them home to wait for updates.
Feng's lawyer went to the procuratorate again on October 26, requesting access to case files, but was blocked by security from entering the facility.
He later learned that the case had now been submitted to the court. The defense had yet to review the prosecutor's case documents and was still being denied access.
Mr. Feng's lawyer went directly to Wang Dixun, the judge in charge of the case, in a final attempt to gain access to case files. Wang turned down the request, saying that the case had moved out of its pre-trial phase, and was now being processed in the court system.
The lawyer later tried to visit Mr. Feng but was denied a meeting with his client. After filing a formal complaint, he received a call from the director of the detention center, telling him that he would be allowed to visit Mr. Feng.
He just wasn't allowed to defend him in court.
Feng's family was first notified of his trial on the night of Jan. 23, 2019 – hours before it started at 9 a.m. the following day. By law, the court should have announced the trial date three days in advance.
Rather than share the room with Mr. Feng, family members were reduced to watching him and the proceedings conducted via video conferencing.
Attending were Mr. Feng's mother, his two daughters, and a few relatives.
During the trial, the public prosecutor asked Mr. Feng twice if he pleaded guilty to the charges against him, which he denied, adding that he did not commit any crime.
He clarified that the Falun Gong books in his home were read only by his wife, and neither he nor she had passed the books around.
The judge, the prosecutor, and the court-appointed lawyer kept reminding Mr. Feng that his sentence would be reduced if he pleaded guilty.
After months of detention and separation from his family, and under intense pressure, Mr. Feng finally broke down during the proceedings. He openly cried and pleaded guilty.
Once Mr. Feng had pleaded guilty, the judge asked him if he would be appealing, even though a verdict hadn't been reached yet.
The trial took one hour, and court was adjourned at 10:00 a.m., without the judge issuing a verdict.
Based on the tone and conduct of the trial, Mr. Feng's family members suspect a verdict of "guilty," as predetermined, to be announced in the near future.
Parties Involved in Persecuting Mr. Feng:
Wang Dixun, criminal court judge at Erdao District Court: +86-431-88559448
Zhao Junfeng, president of criminal court at Erdao District Court: +86-431-88559449, +86-431-84612775, +86-176-43107033, +86-135-96088838
Tian Yuan, person in charge of the case at Erdao District Court: +86-185-84308062
Guo Qifeng, officer, Jilin Street Police Station: +86-153-04302992
(Contact information for other participants involved is available in the original Chinese article.)