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Lawyers Enter Not-Guilty Plea for Ms. Yang Jian from Tianjin

January 08, 2011 |   By a Clearwisdom correspondent in Tianjin, China

(Clearwisdom.net) Wuqing District court officials held a hearing for Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yang Jian on October 30, 2010. Beijing lawyers Mr. Jin Guanghong and Mr. Xie Yanyi entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf. They pointed out that practicing Falun Gong is not illegal in China, therefore Ms. Yang had committed no crime. The four-hour defense impressed those who observed the procedures.

Officers from the Wuqing District Domestic Security Division and the Meichang Town Police Station illegally arrested Ms. Yang Jian on September 15, 2010. Ms. Yang lives in Baidian Village, Meichang Town. The police coordinated with the procuratorate and the local court to persecute her.

At 7:30 a.m. on October 30, 2010, traffic police, riot police, and plainclothes police officers, domestic security division agents, and other law enforcement officers surrounded the Yangcun Town Courthouse in the Wuqing District. A van loaded with police officers parked in a nearby lane. One officer videotaped every person that passed by.

The court allowed only Ms. Yang's sister-in-law to attend the trial. Everyone else had to sit in the public gallery with police offices, domestic security division agents, 610 Office agents, and officers from other departments.

Ms. Yang's lawyers pointed out that, according to law, the police, the procuratorate, and the court officials had committed the following unlawful deeds regarding Ms. Yang Jian's case:

1) A court hearing will be considered illegal if the client does not receive an indictment ten days before the trial. Ms. Yang Jian did not receive any indictment, even when the hearing began; 2) At the trial stage, the involvement of public security personnel is illegal. However, two days ahead of the trial, two police officers interrogated Ms. Yang; 3) Everything the authorities did, from the arrest to the trial, all engineered by 610 Office agents and officers from the public security department, procuratorate and court, was illegal according to China's laws.

Lawyer Mr. Jin Guanghong pointed out in his defense for Ms. Yang:

“Belief is something that is ideological and one's thoughts cannot constitute an offense. Therefore, the judicial suppression, persecution, and falsely accusing of Falun Gong practitioners with a charge of 'using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement' constitutes a 'crime of unlawfully depriving citizens of their religious beliefs,' item No. 251 in the criminal law, and they should be held criminally responsible.

“No existing laws or administrative regulations in China state that Falun Gong is a cult. Actually, Falun Gong is a loose practice group, there is no organizational form, whoever wishes to practice it, can; otherwise, they are free to leave whenever they please.

“Ms. Yang Jian practices Falun Gong in order to improve her health and be a better person according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She distributed Falun Gong promotional materials hoping to offer salvation to people and clarify the facts to the public. She was exercising her fundamental rights as stipulated in the Constitution—freedom of speech, freedom of belief, and freedom of the press. She did not undermine the implementation of any existing laws or administrative regulations. What she did is protected by the Constitution.

“It is certainly does not harm anyone to say 'Falun Dafa is good.' For Ms. Yang to say this is her way of recommending and introducing Falun Gong to others and promoting the goodness of Falun Gong. To do so is legal, and she has undermined neither the implementation of existing laws nor administrative regulations. As for Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, they are values recognized as being universally held by all mankind.

“Regarding 'Heaven will eliminate the Chinese Communist Party, withdraw from the Party for safety:' Looking at this from the legal point of view, no law forbids a person from shouting this out, and there are no laws stating that shouting such phrases is illegal. It's natural for people to express themselves. As for promoting the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, she was exercising her constitutionally-granted right to make comments and suggestions about government organizations. Doing so does not undermine the implementation of laws or administrative regulations.

“For Falun Gong practitioners to be tried and sentenced is a desecration of our sacred law. It is simply not a criminal case, but an outright persecution of belief and a human rights catastrophe. It is also one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in human history, because these people (Falun Gong practitioners) do no harm to society. On the contrary, they benefit society. Moreover, their very existence contributes to the presence of more righteousness and conscience in our society. If our society had more Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and everyone strived to be a better person like Falun Gong practitioners, society would be more harmonious and stable.

“It is a crime to impose penalties on them if you clearly know that Falun Gong practitioners are kind and innocent. Justice is the last line of defense for human conscience and morality and social fairness. I hope the court will uphold justice and make a right choice based on your own conscience and morality, your responsibility to history, and your heightened sense that this is an historic mission. Declare my client, Yang Jian, innocent and release her from the charge.”

Lawyer Mr. Xie Yanyi emphasized in his defense for Ms. Yang Jian:

“A not-guilty verdict is this case would be significant for the following reasons: First, it would demonstrate a commitment to the sacred duties of the people's court. Second, it would protect the legal rights of the accused. Third, it would prevent the authorities from bearing an historic debt. Fourth, it would serve to safeguard the overall situation of the rule of law and enable our society to open up a path of reconciliation from now on.

“If the collegiate panel can pronounce Yang Jian not guilty, the verdict will do more than just help an innocent client and an innocent family and safeguard the dignity of law and social justice. In the long run, it would also help the personnel involved in this case who are suspected of doing unlawful deeds, allowing them to quickly correct their mistakes so as to avoid more serious legal consequences. It will help them to avoid abusing their power, bending the law, showing favoritism, committing perjury, and other crimes. These crimes are not being prosecuted today, but it does not mean that they will not be held accountable for them in the future.

“The suppression and persecution of belief are essentially criminal acts. No matter in what name it is done, it is offensive to basic human dignity and is destructive of human society's harmony.”

The two lawyers' powerful defense impressed everyone present; the judge kept the lawyer's defense statements and agreed to read them.