Fujian Prison Obstructs Military Veteran from Seeking Pardon, Citing His Practice of Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Chinese President Xi Jinping issued an executive clemency order on August 29 to grant pardons to military veterans who are serving prison terms. A veteran in Fujian Province applied to be eligible for the pardon, but the local prison authorities refused to petition on his behalf, citing his practice of Falun Gong, a spiritual belief system being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Zuo Fusheng was sentenced to 6 years in 2011 for refusing to give up Falun Gong. Having won a citation during the Vietnam war, he is eligible for the pardon. The Fuqing Prison in Fujian Province, however, demanded that he admit guilt for upholding his spiritual belief. Since there has never been any law criminalizing Falun Gong, Mr. Zuo refused to comply with the request.
Mr. Zuo's sister Ms. Zuo Xiuyun went to Fujian Provincial Prison Administration Bureau on November 26 to inquire about the pardon. She was relieved to learn that a pardon application doesn't require admission of guilt, and that her brother would be released as long as he met the pardon conditions.
With the help of Mr. Zuo's comrade-in-arms and his former boss, Ms. Zuo found her brother's citation and brought it to the Bureau on December 2.
A receptionist informed Ms. Zuo that the prison hadn't submitted her brother's pardon petition when she visited the Bureau again on December 17. He called the prison, and was told that the prison authorities had decided against filing a petition on Mr. Zuo's behalf as he “poses immediate danger to society if released.”
The same receptionist said that the Bureau would make a written decision on whether to submit pardon application for Mr. Zuo in 60 days. However, with only 13 months left in his term and the pardon application period ending on December 31 of this year, such a delay tactic essentially rendered Mr. Zuo's early release impossible.
Mr. Zuo and his sister have been repeatedly persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Zuo was arrested in January 2011 and sentenced to 6 years in prison. He lost the sight in his left eye due to severe beatings in Fuqing Prison.
His sister tried to seek his release, but police retaliated by arresting her in October 2011 and sentencing her to three and a half years in prison.
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