Heilongjiang Woman Tried for Her Faith, Family-Run Hotel Forced to Close
(Minghui.org) A Yichun City, Heilongjiang Province, resident was tried on August 19, 2020, for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhang Shuqin attended the hearing remotely from the Yichun City Detention Center. Her lawyer and her daughter, Ms. Liu Chunli, were present in the local courthouse, and they both defended her innocence in practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang testified that she suffered a heart attack and chest pain due to the police violence during her arrest. She also sustained some injuries in her ankles and had excruciating pain. She asked to see a doctor several times, but her requests were denied by the detention center.
According to Ms. Zhang’s lawyer, the judges were chatting with each other during the hearing and didn’t appear to be listening carefully to their defense. No verdict was announced.
Arrest and Family-Run Hotel Forced to Close
Ms. Zhang went to deliver some food to a friend on March 5, 2020. She was stopped at the subdivision entrance after the security attempted to confiscate her entry permit. After she refused to cooperate, the police came and took her to the police station.
The police searched Ms. Zhang’s bag and found some Falun Gong-related materials. They reported her to the Domestic Security Office. While Ms. Zhang struggled to get away, she had a heart attack and collapsed to the ground, only to be kicked and verbally abused by an officer.
As Ms. Zhang still hadn’t returned home or answered phone calls by March 6, her family suspected she must have been arrested. Before they reported her disappearance, two officers came to her family-run hotel and confiscated her business license. Two of her guests were taken to the police station for interrogation. The police ransacked her hotel in the evening and even searched under the beds.
On the same day, Ms. Zhang was put in criminal detention for “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext from Criminal Law Article 300 used by Chinese authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners.
The police returned to her home and hotel the next day and took some pictures.
Ms. Zhang was first detained at the Youhao District Detention Center during the coronavirus lockdown. After the Yimei District Procuratorate returned her case to the police for insufficient evidence, her family went to the Domestic Security Office and urged the police to dismiss her case. They shared with the police some files about the lack of legal basis for the persecution, as well as a notice issued by the Chinese publication bureau that lifted the ban on Falun Gong books in 2011.
The police said they would look into the files Ms. Zhang’s family brought them, but they still submitted her case to the procuratorate for the second time. Prosecutor Yang Xuezhe approved her arrest on April 3.
After Ms. Zhang’s family wrote letters to the procuratorate and urged them to drop her case, prosecutors Wang Shan and Li Xiangbo indicted Ms. Zhang and forwarded her case to the Yimei District Court.
Ms. Zhang’s family hired a lawyer for her in July, and the lawyer visited her at the detention center on July 14.