Twice Imprisoned Woman Defends Her Constitutional Rights Following Latest Arrest for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A new grandmother in Dandong City, Liaoning Province stood trial on April 11, 2019 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
This is not the first time that Ms. Shao Changhua has been targeted for her faith. She had been twice sentenced, in 2005 and 2010, for a total of nine years for not renouncing Falun Gong.
Her latest arrest took place on August 17, 2018 as she stepped out of the door to see off a few guests. An officer revealed that they had been monitoring her after suspecting her involvement in the case of two other practitioners, who had been sentenced to prison for putting up Falun Gong banners.
When Ms. Zhao's lawyer visited her at Dandong City Detention Center on September 19, 2018, she was carried out by two inmates. She told the lawyer she had gone on a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary detention.
Ms. Shao's family visited Yang Shuo, the officer in charge of her case, several times and demanded her release. Yang said he had already submitted her case to Yuanbao District Procuratorate.
Ms. Shao's daughter, who was seven months pregnant at the time, visited prosecutor Zhao on October 15, 2018 and was told that the only way for her mother to avoid indictment was to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong.
Prosecutor Zhao later transferred the case to Zhen'an District Procuratorate, which then submitted it to Zhen'an District Court.
Ms. Shao appeared in court on April 11, 2019. Her family wasn't informed of the hearing until one hour before its start. They rushed to the courthouse and saw her in handcuffs and shackles. She appeared to have severe hearing problems, but otherwise was in good spirits.
She refuted the charges against her for her faith in Falun Gong. She argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that she should never have been arrested for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Ms. Shao also shared how Falun Gong had healed her illnesses and improved her quality of life. Judge Guo Zhongren stopped her, saying, “Don't promote Falun Gong in court!”