(Minghui.org) The lawyer in a Falun Gong practitioner’s appeal case was removed from the courtroom before he had a chance to finish presenting his defense arguments. He filed multiple complaints against the presiding judge and vowed to explore all legal remedies for his client.
Mr. Xie Yiqiang, 53, was arrested on September 4, 2016 for telling people about the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison on April 21, 2017.
The Yinchuan City resident filed an appeal to Yinchuan City Intermediate Court, which held a hearing on July 27. Mr. Xie’s new lawyer for the appeal case argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that his client should not have been sentenced for his faith.
Judge He Wenbo claimed that no one should mention the words “Falun Gong” in his courtroom. He kept interrupting the lawyer and ordered him removed from the courtroom halfway through the hearing.
The lawyer immediately went to relevant offices within the higher court to file verbal and written complaints against the presiding judge. He also requested to have a copy of the court proceeding videotaped, but the court president was not in to talk to him.
The lawyer and Mr. Xie’s wife visited the court the next day. The president was still unavailable, and the receptionist put them on the phone with a judge on duty, who happened to be Judge He. The presiding judge threatened the lawyer for filing complaints against him.
Mr. Xie’s wife and lawyer next visited Yinchuan City Procuratorate to submit their written complaints against Judge He. They are still waiting for a response at the time of writing.
Mr. Xie’s wife detailed what happened during the appeals hearing in her complaint and also expressed disappointment over Judge He’s failure to uphold justice for her husband, who broke no law by exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Mr. Xie’s lawyer echoed similar sentiments in his separate complaint and vowed to do everything possible to hold Judge He and others responsible for their actions.
The lawyer also condemned the baseless conviction of his client and expressed his admiration for Mr. Xie’s peaceful resistance against the persecution of Falun Gong.
Police raided Mr. Xie's home without producing any search warrants. They tied him up in a chair for 12 straight hours of interrogation.
Only four of Mr. Xie’s family members were allowed to attend his trial on February 17, 2017. The prosecution witnesses were not present to accept cross-examination.
The prosecutor alleged that Mr. Xie was a “repeat offender” and recommended 4 to 5 years in prison. Prior to his latest arrest, Mr. Xie served 3 years in a forced labor camp and 4 years in a prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. He almost lost his life due to the brutal torture he sustained in detention. He was also fired as a senior engineer at a local special equipment facility.
Mr. Xie’s two lawyers at the time argued that his previous incarcerations should never have happened because he was within his rights to practice Falun Gong. They argued that it was the local police, the procuratorate, and the court that broke the law in prosecuting a law-abiding citizen.
The prosecution evidence included Falun Gong books and materials confiscated from Mr. Xie’s home. His lawyers argued that they were his lawful possessions and caused no harm to anyone or society at large.
The trial court judge convicted Mr. Xie two months later.
Mr. Xie’s new lawyer for his appeal case explained in his complaint why he was fighting to have his client’s conviction overturned. He concurred with his predecessors who entered a not-guilty plea for Mr. Xie in the initial trial. He wrote that he also found that the arrest and subsequent sentencing of his client lacked legal basis from the beginning.
The new lawyer wrote in his complaint that while there have been many cases of people using violence to advance their causes or seek justice for themselves, Mr. Xie has never done anything inappropriate or violent in his efforts to resist the persecution of Falun Gong.
The lawyer stated that numerous Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, tortured, or even killed and had their organs harvested for transplants, but they have never lost faith in the power of compassion. Instead of resorting to violence, they simply keep telling people that Falun Gong is nothing like what’s depicted by the Chinese communist regime.
The lawyer urged the higher court to stand up to protect legal rights of Mr. Xie and other detained Falun Gong practitioners.