(Minghui.org) A woman in Huili City, Sichuan Province, stood trial on December 13, 2021, for demanding the reinstatement of her husband’s full pension, which had been reduced for their shared faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
When Ms. Jiang Deyuan’s husband, Mr. Zhang Zhengyou, went to pick up his pension in June 2020, he was surprised to see it was for less than usual. He called his former employer and was told that, because he was given a year and a half of forced labor for practicing Falun Gong in 2012, the police in March 2020 ordered his employer to deduct from his pension the amount that he had received during his incarceration.
The police claimed that, according to a new policy, Falun Gong practitioners serving time shouldn’t be entitled to any retirement benefits during their terms. Because Mr. Zhang’s employer didn’t suspend his pension back then, they were now reducing his monthly payment to recoup the funds.
Both Mr. Zhang and his wife Ms. Jiang insisted that he was given the forced labor term because of the illegal persecution and that his pension was his lawful asset, not something the government can arbitrarily suspend. Both of them went several times to Mr. Zhang’s workplace, urging them to issue his full pension payment. His supervisor refused to do so and even intimidated them.
Ms. Jiang wrote a letter to the appeals office, detailing how Mr. Zhang recovered from his poor health by practicing Falun Gong and how he had suffered during the persecution. When she went to the office on October 12, 2020, to deliver the letter, the receptionist refused to accept it.
Ms. Jiang then submitted the letter to the local residential committee and police station. The police arrested her and held her in the police station until 7 p.m. During her time there, the police didn’t allow her to use the restroom and handcuffed her tightly, leaving deep bruises on her wrists.
Police chief Su Jian went to Ms. Jiang’s home the next day with six officers and ordered her to go with them to the hospital for a physical exam. Because she had high blood pressure and the doctor advised the police against detaining her, they took her home but put her under house arrest two days later.
The police returned to Ms. Jiang’s home on November 18 and informed her that her case had been submitted to the procuratorate. She was ordered to sign a case document. They came again on December 4 and said she had been indicted.
Gao Xiongwei from the Huili County Court, one police officer, and two residential staff members went to Ms. Jiang’s home on February 18, 2021, to give her a copy of her indictment and a Notice of Rights and Obligations for her upcoming hearing.
Other police officers harassed Ms. Jiang on April 21, 2021, and asked her the total area of her home. They also videotaped her, claiming they were there just to see if she was OK.
When Ms. Jiang appeared in court on May 19, 2021, the prosecutor, Huang Zhengping, accused her of being a repeat offender (she was given a labor camp term for practicing Falun Gong in 2012). Huang added that three residential committee staff members testified that Ms. Jiang had gone to their office to promote Falun Gong.
Ms. Jiang asked to have the three witnesses appear in court to accept cross-examination. The prosecutor responded that she had photos to show when Ms. Jiang went to the residential committee office, yet she didn’t present the photos. When Ms. Jiang’s lawyer asked the prosecutor to exhibit the evidence in court, the presiding judge, Yang Jilan, adjourned the hearing.
Ms. Jiang’s lawyer received a call from the court in June and was told that the second hearing was scheduled for July. The court later called him and said the session was canceled. The court scheduled another session for October 20, only to cancel it after the lawyer had traveled about 1,500 miles from Beijing to Huili.
When the court held the second hearing on December 13, her own lawyer was unable to attend. The judge appointed a young woman to represent Ms. Jiang without informing her. Ms. Jiang protested and demanded that the judge adjourn the session. The judge insisted on continuing. When Ms. Jiang refused to sit in the defendant’s chair, the judge ordered the bailiff to carry her there.
Yang signaled prosecutor Huang to read the indictment and asked the young woman if she had any objection. She replied that she did not. When Ms. Jiang was reading her own defense statement, Yang stopped her three times. After she finished, the prosecutor said to the judge, “You must give her a heavy term.”
The young woman entered a guilty plea for Ms. Jiang but noted that not many items had been confiscated from the defendant: The prosecutor had only presented 130 pages of Falun Gong’s teachings hand-copied by Ms. Jiang, a calendar with information about Falun Gong, four key chains, and four CDs. She asked the judge to give her a light sentence of one to three years.
Ms. Jiang still doesn’t know the name of the court-appointed lawyer or which law firm she works for. Prior to the hearing, her own lawyer filed complaints with the local supervision commission objecting to the court’s arbitrarily canceling the hearing. He demanded compensation for his travel expenses and financial loss due to the court’s ever-changing hearing schedule, but he hasn’t received any response so far.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Yang Jilan (杨继兰), presiding judge of Huili City Court: +86-13881583050Pan Liping (潘利平), vice president of Huili City Procuratorate: +86-834-5625643, +86-13908157733Huang Zhengping (黄正萍), prosecutor, Huili City Procuratorate