Mother On Trial for Her Faith, Daughter Says Law Has Become Tool to Prosecute Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) A 71-year-old woman stood trial on December 1, 2020, for her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Wu Junping recounted how the police had abused her in custody and argued that she didn’t violate any law in practicing her faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Wu, of Baoding City, Hebei Province, was arrested at home on June 6, 2020, while she was cooking. A group of officers broke in and ransacked her place without a search warrant. Her Falun Gong books, pamphlets, and a printer were confiscated.
At the police station, the police ordered her to sleep on a filthy mat on the concrete floor, while keeping air conditioning at 60 °F without giving her any blanket. Her blood pressure raised to a life-threatening high level on the next day and she fainted while the officers attempted to force her fingerprint on a document. The police later fabricated a medical record of her and forced the Baoding City Detention Center to accept her.
When Ms. Wu’s lawyer visited her at the detention center on July 7, she told him that she felt dizzy every day and wasn’t given any treatment. The guards also forced her to sit during the day and didn’t allow her to lie down to rest.
On December 1, Ms. Wu was tried by the Gaoyang County Court at a police base near the detention center.
She recounted how the police abused her and fabricated her medical record in order to detain her. She also said that the police almost confiscated her 30,000 yuan in cash while ransacking her home, but relented after she said she reserved the right to sue them.
Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. He said it was illegal for the police to search his client’s home and confiscate her personal items without providing a confiscation list. He also pointed out that none of the records for the four interrogations bore Ms. Wu’s signature as required by law and that the police had attempted to induce a confession from her.
The lawyer also said that the prosecution evidence was “authenticated” by the police who arrested Ms. Wu, when in fact the police were not an authorized independent party that could validate forensic evidence.
Ms. Wu’s daughter also defended her innocence in court. She demanded that the judge read out loud the Falun Gong booklets confiscated from Ms. Wu, so as to decided whether they had “undermined law enforcement,” as indicated in the indictment. The presiding judge Li Zhiyong claimed that there were too many pieces of evidence and he didn’t bring those booklets to the court.
The prosecutor Wang Dongfang blamed Ms. Wu for being a repeat offender as she was given a forced labor term in 2000 for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Wu’s daughter argued that based on her mother’s detention notice on September 29, 2000, it said that Ms. Wu’s distributing Falun Gong materials was “disrupting public order.” But 20 years later, she is now given a different charge of “undermining law enforcement.”
“I’m not going to talk about how the forced labor system was illegal today. But based on the two different criminal charges against my mother for doing the same thing, it can be seen that practicing Falun Gong itself didn’t violate the law, but the law has become a tool for the authorities to prosecute Falun Gong practitioners at will,” her daughter said.