(Minghui.org) A Zhangbei County, Hebei Province resident had been denied family and lawyer visits since she was arrested nearly two years ago for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang Xia was later sentenced to five years in prison and fined 30,000 yuan on May 6, 2022.
Her daughter, Ms. Dong Qian, was finally allowed to see her recently, after making complaints against the Zhangjiakou City Detention Center. Ms. Dong said the visit brought much needed support and encouragement to her mother.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Dong said her mother’s out-of-town lawyer travelled to Zhangjiakou multiple times in June 2022, but their visitation requests were always rejected by the detention center.
Ms. Dong said she then repeatedly called the report centers of the Ministry of Public Security and Hebei Provincial Public Security Department in the past few days, and the latter agency finally ordered the Zhangjiakou Detention Center to arrange a visit.
Upon learning of the news, Ms. Zhang’s lawyer immediately booked a ticket to fly in the next day to join the visit. The detention center, however, attempted to deny the visit using the excuse of temporary power outage. With the lawyer’s mediation and Ms. Dong’s calling the report center again, she and the lawyer were finally allowed to meet with Ms. Zhang in the afternoon.
According to Ms. Dong, since Ms. Zhang’s arrest on September 22, 2020, the authorities at the Zhangjiakou Detention Center had been using pandemic lockdown policy to block her lawyer and family from visiting her. No mail or phone correspondence was allowed either. As a result, the lawyer was unable to communicate with Ms. Zhang or represent her during her trial.
After she was sentenced, the detention center deceived her into believing that only by providing formal documents could she file an appeal. Since she wasn’t allowed to meet with her lawyer to discuss her appeal, she didn’t know how to prepare formal appeal documents herself. As such, she gave up her right to appeal. By the time her daughter and lawyer were finally allowed to see her, the appeal deadline has also passed.
Her daughter said the detention center should be held liable for dereliction of duty.