Extended Detention of Falun Gong Practitioners in Hubei Province
(Minghui.org) After the Chinese communist regime gave orders in July 1999 that Falun Gong, a mind and body cultivation practice, be persecuted, many government and judiciary agencies were turned into outright persecution machines, trampling on the law to persecute practitioners.
Other than wrongful prison sentences or terms of forced labor camp levied without due process, extended detention is another way that Falun Gong practitioners are commonly persecuted.
According to China’s Criminal Law, the police can detain a suspect up to 37 days before the procuratorate approves the arrest. The police will file, usually within three days of the suspect's detention, an arrest request for the procuratorate's review and approval. Under special circumstances, the police may detain the suspect for up to 37 days before his or her official arrest. After an official arrest, the suspect may be detained for up to 13.5 months before formal charges are filed and the case is forwarded to the court.
In some cases, practitioners were detained for years before they were sentenced.
Below are examples of practitioners detained beyond legally permissible limits in Xianning City, Hubei Province, where the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (an extra-judiciary agency tasked to persecute Falun Gong) and the 610 Office (an extra-legal agency created specifically for the persecution) work behind the scenes to manipulate the local police, procuratorate, and courts to carry out their persecution policies.
Ms. Tao Xizhen Illegally Detained for 28 Months
Ms. Tao Xizhen, 66, was retired from a construction company in Xianning. She has been arrested nine times during the past 21 years, serving one 30-month term of forced labor and four years in prison and being held in brainwashing centers three times. Her husband, Mr. Ren Kuojun, passed away due to the persecution.
At around 8:30 a.m. on August 8, 2014, Ms. Tao answered her door to about a dozen officials, including the director of the Xianning City 610 Office, the Xianning City deputy mayor, and police officers. They arrested her without showing any legal documents and took her to a brainwashing center. She was transferred two months later to the Xian'an District Detention Center in Xianning where her health deteriorated and she became very weak. But the police and 610 Office refused to release her.
Her arrest was approved on November 12, 2014. The police filed her case with the Xian'an District Procuratorate but it was returned due to insufficient evidence. The police coerced the Falun Gong practitioners in her area to testify against her and submitted her case again. She was then indicted and her case was moved to the court.
The Xian'an District Court put her on trial on November 13, 2015. Her son, her brother-in-law, and her sister-in-law were her only family allowed to attend. The judge adjourned the proceedings after Ms. Tao denied the charges and all the fabricated evidence. She was taken back to the detention center.
Xian'an District Court officials went to the detention center on November 8, 2016, and announced the verdict—four years in prison. She filed an appeal that same day. Her appeal case arrived at the Intermediate Court of Xianning City on November 25, 2016. She was secretly taken to Wuhan Women's Prison on December 27, 2016.
Overall, it took 96 days for her arrest to be approved from the day of her arrest, far exceeding the limit of 37 days, and then one year for her trial to begin from her arrest approval and another year for her to be sentenced and sent to prison after the trial.
Mr. Xiang Debin Detained for Over Three Years
Mr. Xiang Debin, in his 50s, used to work for the Xian'an District Steering Gear Factory in Xianning. He began to practice Falun Gong in 1995 and has been arrested four times since 1999. He was held in a forced labor camp for a year and a half, detained in a brainwashing center twice, and tried once. He has suffered physically and mentally.
Mr. Xiang was arrested on June 22, 2017, and taken to a brainwashing center. His arrest was approved on August 29, 2017, and he was transferred to the Xian'an District Detention Center. He was tried in the Xian'an District Court on December 27, 2018, but no verdict has ever been handed down.
Mr. Xiang's arrest was approved 69 days after his arrest, far exceeding the limit of 37 days; he was tried 16 months after he was arrested; and he has been held in the detention center for more than 22 months since the trial, all exceeding the legal limits.
Mr. Zhang Weiqing Detained for Over 23 Months
Mr. Zhang Weiqing, 41, graduated from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, and lives in the Xian'an District. He was arrested in 2015 for refusing to give up his faith in Falun Gong and later sentenced to two years in prison. He was illegally detained for 23 months during the whole process. He was arrested again in April 2020. He is still in a detention center.
While Mr. Zhang was working in his office in Hot Springs Valley Hotel in Xianning on the afternoon of October 13, 2015, five police officers arrested him. They confiscated his office computer, his bag, his USB flash drive, and other personal items. He was first taken to the Shihaoqiao Police Station and then to the Xian'an District Detention Center that night. He was transferred to the Banqiao Village Brainwashing Center the next day.
Mr. Zhang was taken to Xian'an District Detention Center on December 29, 2015. Since he denied the charge against him, the procuratorate was unable to approve his arrest based on the evidence that had been collected. The police and procuratorate officials schemed with his cousin, Zhang Wei, an instructor at the Guihua Police Station in Xianning City at the time, to bring in Mr. Zhang’s mother. They deceived her by promising to release Mr. Zhang for the New Year if he cooperated. She knelt down and begged her son to do as they asked. He gave in and wrote a false confession. His arrest was approved two hours later. His cousin Zhang Wei was promoted to be the director of his police station.
Prosecutor Yu Zongye and judge Liao Peng of the Xian'an District Court went to the detention center to question Mr. Zhang, Yu on June 30, 2016, and the judge on October 2016. He retracted his confession and denied all the charges, thereby delaying the trial.
After being detained for about a year and a half, on May 10, 2017, the Xian'an District Court tried Mr. Zhang for the crime of “undermining enforcement of the law using a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the authorities to frame practitioners. With his legal training, Mr. Zhang acted as his own lawyer and defended his innocence. No verdict was announced at the end of the hearing.
The Xian'an District Court transferred his case to the Xianning Intermediate Court a few months later. The Intermediate Court sentenced him to two years on October 31, 2017. When he appealed the verdict, the intermediate court judge only went through the motions at the hearing and ruled that his term be upheld. By then, he had already been detained for 23 months. After serving the remaining month of his term, he was released on December 26, 2017.
Only three years after he was released, Mr. Zhang was arrested again, on April 20, 2020, for telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong. He was held in the Chibi City Detention Center for 15 days before being transferred to the Xian'an District Detention Center.
Perpetrators Related to the Three Cases:
1. Wei (魏last name, given name unknown), male, deputy director of Xianan City Police Department. He was appointed at the end of 2019 with the responsibility of persecuting Falun Gong. He deployed police or agents to tail practitioners or monitor them via cellphones, or surveillance cameras. Many practitioners in Tongshan County were persecuted as a result.2. Jiang Xinghua (蒋星华), male, deputy mayor and secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of Xianning City, office: +86-715-81260373. Feng Quan (冯权), male, deputy secretary of the Xianning Municipal Legal Committee, director of the Municipal Comprehensive Management, office: +86-715-81260374. Xiao Tianshu (肖天树), male, director of Xianan City Police Department, office: 715-82320285. Lu Weijun (卢卫军), male, director of Xianning Hot Springs Police Department Branch, mobile: +86-189-958261536. Yao Xiong (姚雄), male, deputy director of Xianning City 610 Office, mobile: +86-13886509329, office: +86-715-9126789 or +86-715-81261797. Tu Bin (涂斌), male, director of Xianning City 610 Office, office: +86-715-8126506 or +86-715-8129098, mobile: +86-135086497628. Cheng Shengli (程胜利), male, director of Xian'an District 610 Office, office: +86-138865098499. Yin Jun (殷俊), male, director of Xian'an District Domestic Security Division, office: +86-1899522737510. Zou Yu (邹誉), male, director of Xianning City Domestic Security Division, office: 8232059, mobile: +86-1387218105611. Liu Ning (刘宁), male, former director of Hot Springs Domestic Security Division. He was transferred to be the director of the Legal Affairs Office of the Xianning City Police Department in January 2019.12. Fan Zhong (樊忠), male, former director of Xian'an District Domestic Security Division, mobile: +86-1390724138013. Min Jian (闵剑), male, former instructor at the Tingsi Town Police Station. He was transferred to the Xian'an District Domestic Security Division14. Xu Chengzhong (徐承中), male, police officer with the Xian'an District Domestic Security Division15. Zhang Wei (张炜), male, director of Guihua Police Station16. Wu Hui (吴晖), male, former deputy Party secretary and executive deputy mayor of Xianning City (March 2013 to 2018), responsible for persecuting Falun Gong17. Liu Hongzhou (刘红洲), male, former deputy mayor of Xiaoning City and director of Xianning City Police Department (until 2016).
Officials from Xianning City Intermediate Court:18. Liu Taiping (刘太平), male, former president (until 2017)19. Ni Guiwu (倪贵武), male, current president20. Ai Jun (艾军), male, judge
Officials with the Xian'an District Court:21. Zhang Zhongbo (张忠波), male, president22. Xu Hongbing (徐红兵), male, former president23. Liao Peng (廖鹏), male, court staff24. Li Yongjun (李拥军), male, Judge of Xian'an District Court, Xianning City25. Liu Ying (刘英), female, presiding judge, mobile: +86-1800724129226. Lin Shaokun (林少坤), male, judge, mobile: +86-18007241291, office: +86-715-831427627. 28. Zhu Qiqiu (朱其秋), a jurorLi Jun (李俊), clerk
Officials from Xianning City Intermediate Procuratorate:28. 29.Luo Jizhou (罗继洲), male, former chief prosecutor29. Luo Tangqing (罗堂庆), male, chief prosecutor21. Officials from Xian'an District Procuratorate30. Jiang Zhiqiang (蒋志强), male, former chief prosecutor31. Chen Xianming (陈先明), male, acting chief32. Hu Ailing (胡爱玲), female, prosecutor, mobile: +86-13807249893, office: +86-715-833521733. Li Wenguang (李文广), male, prosecutor, mobile: +86-13477760747, office: +86-715-833521734. Yu Zongye (宗晔), male, prosecutor