Lawyer Continues to Seek Woman’s Acquittal at Her Second Court Hearing
(Minghui.org) A Tianjin woman appeared in court for the second time to face charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Yu Fuyan credits Falun Gong for curing her neurasthenia and insomnia. More importantly, she became even-tempered and was able to get along with her mother-in-law, who lived with her for more than two decades until the elderly woman’s passing.
Ms. Yu’s pursuit of health and happiness landed her in police custody. She was arrested on October 17, 2017, and had her home ransacked. Her lawyer requested that she be released but received no response from the authorities.
Her family met with officer Li Songlin, who was in charge of the case, on November 11 and was told that her case had been forwarded to the local procuratorate. Her family wondered if the procuratorate would return the case, citing insufficient evidence, and Li replied, “I’m gathering more evidence against her. I’ve sent quite a few Falun Gong practitioners to jail!”
Ms. Yu first appeared in court on January 15, 2018. Only six family members were allowed inside the gallery. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult. The lawyer argued that his client should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Prosecutor Sui Liwei cited two pieces of evidence. First, he alleged that Ms. Yu was seen distributing Falun Gong materials in her company’s residential complex. Second, Falun Gong books and promotional materials were discovered in her home.
Ms. Yu countered that she never passed out Falun Gong materials at her workplace. She also testified against the police who interrogated her. They threatened to send her straight to the local detention center when she refused to answer their questions.
Her lawyer followed up by saying that the interrogation records only bore one person’s signature, when all parties involved should sign their names as required by law. Moreover, the prosecution witness listed in the indictment document never showed up in court to accept cross-examination.
Prosecutor Sui said he had a surveillance video to show that Ms. Yu had indeed distributed Falun Gong materials. He wasn’t able to play the video though, as the court’s video players all failed to function that day.
Sui cited a ban of Falun Gong books and materials issued by the China Administration of Press and Publication. The lawyer countered that the Administration lifted the ban in 2011 and that it was totally lawful to possess and disseminate Falun Gong books and materials. As such, his client did nothing to undermine law enforcement.
Judge Guo Jian scheduled a second hearing for February 5, 2018. Ms. Yu developed high blood pressure leading up to the new hearing, but she wasn’t allowed to bring her medication to the hearing.
Only five family members were allowed to attend the second hearing. The alleged prosecution witness was nowhere to be found. Ms. Yu’s lawyer reiterated that his client broke no law by holding firm to her faith in Falun Gong. He emphasized again that the prosecution evidence, which was obtained illegally, should be inadmissible. He requested an acquittal of his client.
Prosecutor Sui recommended a prison sentence for Ms. Yu. Judge Guo said he’d convene another hearing to announce a verdict.
While Ms. Yu remains detained, her husband and two children struggle to live a normal life. Her husband was so traumatized by her arrest that he had trouble keeping food down and often felt dizzy. Their son was fired from his job as an air marshal because of his mother’s arrest.
Related Article in Chinese:天津河西法院开庭-于富艳坚称信仰合法