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Changsha City Court Sentences Ms. Song Fangming to Three Years in Prison without Evidence

April 26, 2010 |   By a correspondent from Hunan Province

Name: Song Fangming (宋放鸣)
Gender: Female
Age: 53
Address: Sanwang Street, Tianxin District, Changsha City
Occupation: Retired worker of a produce company in Changsha City
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 28, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Changsha No. 1 Detention Center (长沙市第一看守所)
City: Changsha
Province: Hunan
Persecution Suffered: Persecution Suffered: Forced labor, brainwashing, illegal sentencing, beatings, extortion, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
Key Persecutors: Feng Ping from the Tianxin District Procuratorate; presiding judge Huang Jueping
Defense Attorney:
Zhang Chuanli (张传利)

(Clearwisdom.net) On September 28, 2009, police from the Domestic Security Division of the Tianxin District Public Security Bureau and the Pozi Street Police Station, as well as officers from the Community Service Center, broke into Ms. Song Fangming's mother's home. They arrested Falun Gong practitioner Song Fangming, her mother Zou Guihua, who is blind, and their maid. They also confiscated two cars on their property. The maid was released on the same day. Zou Guihua was not released until fifteen days later. Ms. Song, however, was prosecuted by the Tianxin District Procuratorate for crimes she didn't commit and sent to a detention center in Changsha City.

The Tianxin District Court in Changsha City opened a court session against Ms. Song on March 5, 2010. Her lawyer, Mr. Zhang Chuanli from Beijing, defended her innocence. He argued that Ms Song had committed no crime in practicing Falun Gong and should be released immediately. The judge, Huang Jueping, however, sentenced Ms Song to three and a half years in prison on March 10.

Mr. Zhang reminded the court that everyone's freedom of belief is protected under the constitution. He said that Ms. Song had broken no laws or regulations set forth in the constitution and, he further noted, there is nothing in the constitution that suggests that Falun Gong is a "cult." He pointed out that Ms. Song practiced Falun Gong to get rid of her illnesses and improve her health, to keep fit and at the same time to improve her xinxing. He emphasized that she had not committed any crime and thus should be released immediately.

Mr. Zhang also pointed out that the prosecutor was not able to provide any of the material evidence required by the Tianxin District Court and instead provided photos as evidence. According to the law, photos cannot be used as evidence in this kind of case.

The prosecutor, Feng Ping, a procurator from the Tianxin District Procuratorate, repeatedly attacked Mr. Zhang verbally and attempted to undermine him. Mr. Zhang asked Feng Ping to identify the laws or regulations that state that Falun Gong is a "cult." Feng replied instead, "Even a person on the street knows this." Mr. Zhang replied, "Does this mean that we should let people on the street judge this case?"

Ms. Song stated that she had suffered from many illnesses and was at the brink of death before she started to practice Falun Gong. She told how the doctor advised her family to take good care of her while she was still alive, and testified that if she hadn't practiced Falun Gong, she would have have died.

Ms. Song also pointed out that the only confession presented by the prosecution was made up by Feng Ping herself. Ms. Song said that none of the statements were her confession, but were altered documents. So she refused to sign them. The prosecution then read out the only verbal confession signed by Ms. Song. Ms. Song questioned Feng Ping: "You asked two questions about my family and I signed it. How come the contents are different from what I signed? I would never, ever say those things." Feng Ping was left speechless. All of the so-called pieces of "evidence" were rebuffed one after another. Even the jury kept asking, "Don't you have any other evidence?"

Nevertheless, Song Fangming was sentenced to three and a half years in prison without any evidence of having committed a crime or any judicial basis for the accusations made against her.

Song Fangming is still detained at a detention center in Changsha City. Her family members went to see her several times but were refused visitation.