Zhejiang Man’s Appeal Rejected, Imprisoned for His Faith
(Minghui.org) A Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province resident has been imprisoned to serve time for his faith in Falun Gong, after the local appeals court turned down his appeal.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Zhu Zuoxin was arrested on August 27, 2018, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. The police initially gave him 15 days of administrative detention but changed it to criminal detention seven days later as Mr. Zhu talked to people about Falun Gong while held in the Jinhua Detention Center.
When Mr. Zhu was tried by the Wucheng District Court on August 22, 2019, he submitted a complaint against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its persecution of Falun Gong.
Mr. Zhu’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him. He argued that freedom of belief is a basic right granted by the Chinese Constitution and that it was within his client’s right to freedom of expression to tell people about his faith and urge them to quit the CCP.
“It’s ridiculous if you accuse my client of undermining law enforcement just because he said a few words,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Zhu also testified in his own defense about how Falun Gong improved his health and character. He denied any wrongdoing in practicing Falun Gong.
The judge secretly sentenced Mr. Zhu to three years and three months without informing his lawyer or family on January 8, 2020.
Mr. Zhu appealed the verdict with the Jinhua City Intermediate Court. Judge Fan Jijun of the appeals court rejected his family member’s requests to represent him in the hearing of the appeal case, with the excuse that they had already assigned a lawyer to Mr. Zhu.
Judge Fan ruled to uphold Mr. Zhu’s prison sentence in August 2020, also without informing his family. It’s not clear whether a hearing ever took place.
Mr. Zhu was sent to the Zhejiang Province No. 4 Prison in September 2020.