(Minghui.org) At least 31 local residents have been sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong between 2015 and 2022 by the Dongying District Court in Dongying City, Shandong Province. One more Falun Gong practitioner is now awaiting a verdict following a hearing on March 10, 2022.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Meng Yu, an employee of Shengli No. 1 Middle School, was arrested at work on April 23, 2021. At least 20 other practitioners were arrested on the same day and had their homes ransacked. The police monitored and tracked the practitioners’ daily activities for months before the group arrest.
When the police ransacked Ms. Meng’s home, they also confiscated her husband’s work computer, cellphone, and portable drive, even though he doesn’t practice Falun Gong. The police held his computer for months before finally returning it, despite his repeated requests to have it back. None of the officers were wearing their police uniform during the raid or showed their police badges.
Ms. Meng’s son, who had just returned from finishing college study abroad, was still sleeping when the police arrived. He was deeply terrified when the police forcibly removed his comforter. He suffered digestion problems afterwards and often vomited after meals.
The police never issued Ms. Meng’s detention notice after her arrest. Not until four days later, on the afternoon of April 27, did the police tell her family that she had been put in criminal detention and taken to the Binhai Detention Center. The police also brought her husband to the police station and interrogated him for six hours.
The police only created a case against Ms. Meng after arresting her and ransacking her home. All of the Falun Gong related materials confiscated from her were used as prosecution evidence against her.
Even though none of the materials confiscated from Ms. Meng’s home could demonstrate how she had violated the law or undermined law enforcement as alleged by the police, prosecutor Ren Yaohai of Dongying District Procuratorate still indicted her.
Ren also failed to hire a third-party agency to review the evidence submitted by the police, and instead directly adopted the police’s own assessment that the materials were “cult promotional materials,” ignoring the evident conflict of interest when the police arrested her and determined that she was guilty. The police provided no legal basis when labeling Falun Gong as a cult.
Article 193 in the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law stated that “Where a witness, without good reason, fails to appear before a people’s court to give testimony upon receipt of notice from the people’s court, the people’s court may compel the witness to appear, unless the witness is the spouse, parent, or child of the defendant.” As such, the court can’t force a defendant’s spouse to testify against them. But the deposition forcibly collected from Ms. Meng’s husband was nonetheless included in her case document by the prosecutor.
During Ms. Meng’s virtual hearing on March 10, judge Yan Xiaohui, who just sentenced three Falun Gong practitioners to from 1.5 to 3.5 years, didn’t allow her to testify in her own defense. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her.
Ms. Meng’s husband applied to defend her in court, but the judge rejected him with the excuse that he was a prosecution witness to her case. The judge also used the same excuse to prevent him from attending the hearing, despite the fact that he hadn’t been allowed to see his wife for nearly a year.
Despite Ms. Meng and her lawyer’s request, neither the judge nor the prosecutor presented the prosecution evidence in court. They never went over the Falun Gong booklets or played the content saved on the memory cards used against her, to demonstrate how she used the materials to “undermine law enforcement.” Instead, the amount of materials was used as the reference in determining her prison sentence.
A Kindhearted Teacher
Ms. Meng has been known to be caring and giving. In October 2018, her father-in-law, who had severe Alzheimer’s disease, took a fall and was hospitalized. He completely lost the ability to care for himself and became incontinent. His four children took turns caring for him.
When Ms. Meng and her husband went to care for him, she often had to remove his feces by hand. She never complained, but always cleaned him well, making sure he could rest comfortably.
Ms. Meng’s older sister had a mental disorder and stayed in a psychiatric hospital for decades. She was later discharged for repeatedly stealing her roommates’ food and relieving herself in the hospital room. She stayed at her parents’ home. Ms. Meng and her younger sister went there every week to cook for them and clean the house. Especially after their mother passed away, they went there every few days to care for their mentally ill sister and their father, who was in his late 80s, and also clean the room of urine odor. As Ms. Meng’s younger sister has some health issues, she did most of the labor-intensive work.
When Ms. Meng’s son was studying abroad, her husband’s two sisters borrowed hundreds of thousands of yuan from them to pay off debts and a house mortgage. Even though her own family also needed money, especially given her son’s study abroad, she didn’t hesitate to lend the money to her sisters-in-law, without charging any interest when they returned it many years later. While buying goods at a local community fair, Ms. Meng also never bargained with the vendors.
Ms. Meng used to work as a history teacher, but was barred from the classroom and forced to work at the school’s copy room, due to the persecution. She was the only one working there, but she always finished the work with high efficiency and high quality.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
An Maosen (安茂森), head of Domestic Security Office: +86-18205461695, +86-18654600788, +86-546-8268076Ren Yaohai (任耀海), prosecutor of Dongying District Procuratorate: +86-546-3012109Yan Xiaohui (闫晓辉), judge of Dongying District Court: +86-546-7035198
(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)
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