(Minghui.org) A prosecutor in Anyang City, Henan Province repeatedly told a Falun Gong practitioner’s lawyer that they didn’t have his case on file when the lawyer went to review the case document.
When the lawyer later visited Mr. Li Bin at the Anyang City Detention Center, he was shocked to learn that the court had already had a hearing of Mr. Li’s case. The authorities not only indicted and tried Mr. Li without informing his lawyer, but the judge also appointed a lawyer to represent and enter a guilty plea for Mr. Li.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Arrested by Out-of-town Police
Mr. Li, a 50-year-old resident of Botou City, Hebei Province, was arrested at home on April 28, 2021, by Cui Yanhong, an officer from the Hedong Police Station in Botou City, as well as four officers from the Wenfeng Police Station of Anyang City, Henan Province, about 250 miles away.
Upon entering Mr. Li’s home, the Henan police asked for his cellphone number and whether he practiced Falun Gong. After he answered both questions, the police began to ransack his place without showing their IDs or a search warrant.
The laptop computer Mr. Li used to teach his granddaughter Chinese was confiscated after the police found educational cartoons made by Falun Gong practitioners on it. Mr. Li’s Falun Gong books and a photo of Falun Gong’s founder were also confiscated during the raid.
The Henan police took Mr. Li to Anyang in the afternoon after the raid and held him at the Anyang City Detention Center.
When Mr. Li’s wife went to the detention center to visit him in early May, the guards didn’t allow her to see him or to make a cash deposit for him (for purchasing basic necessities). She later learned from a police officer in Anyang that they arrested him upon finding that he had posted Falun Gong related information on WeChat, the most popular social media platform in China.
In addition to Mr. Li, the Henan police also arrested other practitioners in Hebei, Chongqing, and Shandong for sharing information about Falun Gong on WeChat.
Lawyer’s Legal Representation Blocked
Mr. Li’s wife was notified by the Wenfeng District Police Station in Anyang on June 5, 2021, that her husband’s arrest has been approved by the Wenfeng District Procuratorate. He was charged with “undermining law enforcement.” The 20 Chinese New Year stickers confiscated from his home were also included as prosecution evidence, because they had the words, “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” (the central tenets of Falun Gong) printed on them.
When Mr. Li’s family and lawyer went to Anyang to visit him around mid-June, they were told that the Anyang Public Security Bureau was overseeing his case and they might instruct the procuratorate to indict him after July 1, the centennial anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding.
The police added that they initially arrested him for exposing the communist regime’s corruption, with the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” But after finding the hundreds of copies of Falun Gong informational materials at his home, they upgraded the charge to “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” another standard pretext used by the Chinese authorities to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.
On August 30, the police informed Mr. Li’s lawyer that they had submitted his case to the Wenfeng District Procuratorate. The lawyer then called the prosecutor, only to be told that they didn’t have his case on file.
The lawyer called the prosecutor many more times during the following month, but was given the same answer each time. The person who answered the call insisted that they had not received the case from the police. He also said that they were handling many cases and it was possible that there was a delay in loading the cases into their system.
The lawyer made two more calls, on October 15 and 18, and the procuratorate still said they didn’t have Mr. Li’s case on file. The lawyer contacted the police on October 21 and confirmed that they had indeed submitted the case to the prosecutor on August 30. The police also told him the name of the prosecutor that they submitted the case to.
When the lawyer called the procuratorate again, the person who answered the call still maintained that they possibly had too many cases and had yet to enter Mr. Li’s case into their system.
The lawyer called the procuratorate one more time on November 3. This time, the prosecutor said they had received Mr. Li’s case.
The lawyer immediately booked the flight to review his case document, but had to cancel his trip due to a blizzard across China three days later. He called the procuratorate on November 9 to confirm his appointment, but no one answered the call.
When the lawyer and Mr. Li’s family finally went to the procuratorate in person on November 15, the person who received them still told the lawyer that they didn’t have the case on file.
The lawyer asked, “Your colleague already told me on November 3 that I could come to review the case document. Why can’t you find it now?” The person became nervous and said they also had an older system and that he would take a look there.
After checking the old system, he told the lawyer that the prosecutor had already moved Mr. Li’s case to the court on October 4.
The lawyer and Mr. Li’s family then went to the detention center to discuss the court defense with Mr. Li, but were shocked to be told that the court had already held a virtual hearing on November 10, and that judge Wang Ruixia also appointed a lawyer for Mr. Li, who entered a guilty plea against his will. The lawyer also learned that judge Wang had a track record of sentencing Falun Gong practitioners.
Outraged by the blatant violation of legal procedure by both the prosecutor and judge, the lawyer returned to the procuratorate. Both You Jian and Zhang Huijie, who were in charge of Mr. Li’s case, didn’t answer the call.
Similar Tactics by Another Henan Procuratorate
Besides Mr. Li’s case, another procuratorate in Henan also blocked a lawyer representing a Falun Gong practitioner from reviewing her case document by lying to the lawyer, saying that they didn’t have the case on file.
Prosecutor Zheng Jianye of the Weidu District Procuratorate in Xuchang City denied that they had Ms. Lou Yahong’s case, when her lawyer repeatedly called them between March and April 2021, even though Zheng had received the case on March 12 and indicted Ms. Lou on April 22.
Although the lawyer entered a not guilty plea for Ms. Lou on May 26, she was still sentenced to four years, for pasting couplets with information about Falun Gong on her door.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Wang Ruixia (王瑞霞), presiding judge: +86-372-2097312You Jian (尤建), vice president of Wenfeng District Procuratorate: +86-372-521006Zhang Huijie (张慧杰), prosecutor of Wenfeng District Procuratorate: +86-372-5102159, +86-18537218959
(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)
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