Lawyer Denied Access to Case File of 60-Year-Old Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Shuyan, a 60-year-old resident from Yushu City, Jilin Province, has been in detention since her arrest about two months ago for practicing Falun Gong. Both the local Procuratorate and the court have denied her attorney a review of her case file, claiming that only the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) can make that decision.
The PLAC and and the “610 Office” are two organizations ordered by the Chinese Communist Party's central leadership to eradicate Falun Gong in China. They have the power to direct law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to arrest and imprison Falun Gong practitioners and force them to renounce their faith, often through violence and torture.
This is Ms. Liu's third arrest. She was forced to leave her home in Yushu City, Jilin Province to escape the persecution after her second arrest in 2009. Since then, local police have tracked her relentlessly; officers followed her to Shandong Province, arrested her there on November 25, 2015, and brought her back to Yushu City.
Procuratorate Official Refuses Lawyer's Review of Ms. Liu's File
On December 30, 2015, Ms. Liu's lawyer, who was hired by her family, came from Beijing to meet with her at the detention center. After the meeting, he went to Yushu City Procuratorate to review her case documents.
Zhao Tieqi, who handled the case, refused to allow the review, claiming that the files were locked in a file cabinet that he could not access. Zhao also said that he would not be available for ten days and would contact the lawyer when he returned.
Procuratorate Forwards Case to Court Without Notifying Lawyer
On January 12, 2016, Ms. Liu's family received a call from Zhang Liguo, the official who handled her case at the courthouse. He informed them about Ms. Liu's request to meet the lawyer, as the court had just received her case forwarded to them by the Procuratorate.
The lawyer came from Beijing three days after receiving the news. He went to meet with Zhao again, and asked him why he did not notify him so that he could review the case file before it was transferred to the court. Zhao did not provide an answer and said that he would try to help him communicate with the court officials.
Court Defers to Political and Legal Affairs Committee
On the same day, the lawyer went to meet with court official Zhang Liguo, but was told that he was not in the office. The lawyer was then directed to meet with three other officials.
Again he requested to review Ms. Liu's case file, but was told that they were not authorized to provide him with the file or to approve his request to represent Ms. Liu. They said that they had to report it to the Political and Legal Affairs Committees at the city and provincial levels, who were the decision makers on this issue.
Regaining Health After Practicing Falun Gong
Ms. Liu started practicing Falun Gong in 1998. Before then, she had many diseases and was very weak. She felt light all over after starting the practice and gained a new outlook on life.
First Arrest and One Year of Forced Labor
In November 2004, five police officers ransacked her home and took her to Yushu City Detention Center. Six days later, she was given one year of forced labor in the Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province.
Second Arrest and Torture
On April 2009, police arrested her while she was distributing materials about Falun Gong and the persecution. She was taken to a detention center, where she was tortured.
She went on hunger strike upon arrival. Police tied her to a bed and ordered the nurse to inject her with unknown drugs each day. Her face and body became swollen as a result. She started vomiting, as well.
Eight days later, they started injecting her with a different drug. Her heart immediately felt tight and abnormal. She also vomited a great deal and suffered from insomnia.
A couple of days later, she was in critical condition. Police then released her after forcing her family to pay 2,000 yuan.
Officers then harassed and monitored her at home, and she was ultimately forced to leave her home to escape the persecution.
Officials who handled Ms. Liu's case:
Zhao Tieqi, Procuratorate: Office: +86-431-83651152 ext 9515; Cell: +86-13604395313
Zhang Liguo, Court: +86-13944103777