Man Given 4 Years for Suing Police for His Earlier Arrest that Resulted in Broken Ribs
(Minghui.org) A Xiong County, Hebei Province resident was brutally beaten and suffered two broken ribs during his 44-day detention in 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a mind-body cultivation practice being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Li Chengwu tried to hold the police responsible for his ordeal, only to be arrested again on May 1, 2018, and soon sentenced to four years in prison.
Sudden Loss of Speech
Mr. Li's lawyer met with him twice before his court hearing on June 27 and noted he was unable to utter a word. Neither his family nor his lawyer was told the reason for his sudden muteness.
His loved ones were denied visits with him at Xiong County Detention Center. When they went there on September 17 to deliver clothes to him, they learned that Mr. Li had been taken elsewhere. They visited the local court but were not given any updates on his case. A staff member there claimed that there was no need to inform families of verdicts if defendants are adults.
In the end, the family overheard that Mr. Li had been sentenced to four years and taken to Jidong Prison in Tangshan City.
After many attempts, Mr. Li's family was finally able to see him in prison. He was emaciated—at 5 feet and 8 inches tall, he weighed only 83 pounds. He is still unable to speak.
Two Ribs Broken During Earlier Arrest
Mr. Li's plight began on August 29, 2016. As he told people about Falun Gong at a farmer's market, two officers from Xiong County Domestic Security Division arrested him without presenting ID or any warrants. They kept him at the Xiong County Detention Center for 44 days, during which time he was severely tortured, deprived of sleep, and beaten by inmates numerous times as instigated by guards.
As a result, two of his ribs were broken, and his teeth fell out. In addition, his reaction slowed. Seeing him in a life-threatening condition due to physical and mental impairment, officials released him on bail.
It took Mr. Li over a year to recover.
Guo Junxue, director of Xiong County Domestic Security Division, summoned Mr. Li to his office on March 9, 2018. Guo had told Mr. Li the visit was to conclude his case at the end of his bail term. What awaited Mr. Li, however, was Fan Ying from the local procuratorate, who notified him that he would be charged for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Li couldn't believe that he'd be indicted after suffering broken ribs in detention. He sued Guo at Xiong County Court for ordering arrest and torture of him that resulted in his injuries. The document was delivered successfully, but there was no response after that.
Mr. Li also tried to submit copies of his lawsuit to the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate, but the local post office intercepted his mail under the instruction of Guo.
Mr. Li went to a post office in a neighboring county and successfully mailed out his lawsuit to the above two agencies as well as the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. He stayed away from home afterward to avoid retaliation. In the meantime, Guo put Mr. Li on the wanted list and sought him through the police system nationwide.
Arrest, Framing, and Hearing
Mr. Li returned to his hometown in Heilongjiang Province on April 11, 2018, for his son's wedding. He was arrested by his hometown police on May 1, and Guo traveled about 1,000 miles to Heilongjiang to take him back to Hebei Province on May 6. Mr. Li has since remained captive at Xiong County Detention Center.
During his detention, Mr. Li's family was never allowed to see him despite their repeated requests. They learned from police that he had been on hunger strike for nearly 50 days and was in very poor health.
A hearing was held about two months later, on June 27. Mr. Li was driven to court in an emergency vehicle. His family almost didn't recognize him when he was carried into the courtroom by two guards.
Mr. Li was very weak and did not say anything. There was no defense attorney present. After the prosecutor finished reading the indictment, the presiding judge adjourned the hearing.
Key Responsible Personnel:
Chen Chunhua, officer at Xiong County Court in charge of Mr. Li's case, +86-17731207278Fan Ying, deputy Attorney General of Xiong County Procuratorial Office, +86-13930260012Guo Junxue, director of Xiong County Domestic Security Division, +86-13230226585