(Minghui.org) Ms. Xu Shaoqiong is a young elementary school teacher in Xichang City, Sichuan Province. On July 14, 2019, she went to visit Mr. Huang Biao, only to be arrested by the police who were there ransacking Mr. Huang's place for their shared faith in Falun Gong. 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Both Ms. Xu, Mr. Huang, and five other local residents were sentenced to terms ranging from six months to five years on December 9, 2020, by the Xichang City Court. Ms. Xu was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined 5,000 yuan. Mr. Huang was given five years and fined 20,000 yuan. 

Ms. Xu filed an appeal in February 2021 with the Liangshan Prefecture Intermediate Court and demanded an open hearing of her case. Below are details of her appeal.

Police’s Violation of Legal Procedure

In her appeal, Ms. Xu pointed out the police’s violation of legal procedures in handling her case.

First of all, the police ransacked her home and confiscated her lawfully owned possessions without any legal basis. When officer Chen Lian asked her husband to sign the list of confiscated items, her husband noted some discrepancies between what was on the list and what was actually taken. Chen refused to correct the mistakes and forced Ms. Xu's husband to sign the list without providing him a copy of the list. Even though it was a few days after the home raid, Chen ordered Ms. Xu's husband to put the date of the raid on the list.

By law, only independent forensic evidence authentication agencies are authorized to issue opinions on whether certain evidence could be used as prosecution evidence against defendants. Ms. Xu pointed out that in her case, the police wore multiple hats, serving as the arresting agency, the investigation agency, and the evidence appraisal agency. They issued opinions claiming that the Falun Gong related items confiscated from her home were “propaganda materials.” 

“By allowing the police to do this, it means that they are given complete power to criminalize anyone they arrest,” she wrote. She demanded the judge of the higher court dismiss evidence “authenticated and appraised” by the police.

Contradictory Witness Accounts

Ms. Xu also wrote that the police accused her of sharing copies of Falun Gong materials with Hu Chengying. But according to the witness accounts provided by Wang Delun and Hu, Hu didn’t know Ms. Xu’s address. Thus it was impossible for Hu to come to her home twice to make electronic copies of the materials from her files, as the police indicated in the case document. 

Hu himself also confirmed that he got the electronic materials from a male around 60, not Ms. Xu. On the other hand, the materials Hu had were different from the files Ms. Xu had on her computer. 

Ms. Xu added that while she was interrogated by the police on August 18, the police ordered her to provide a false account against another practitioner, Ms. Zhou Xianrong. She was terrified from the torture and complied with the police. She suspected Hu was also threatened by the police and forced to falsely testify against her. She had requested to have Hu appear in court during her trial to accept cross-examination, but was rejected by the trial court judge. 

No Legal Basis for the Persecution

Ms. Xu was sentenced on the charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement.” She refuted the charges, as she was never involved in any cult or undermined law enforcement. 

She said in her appeal that even if she owned and distributed Falun Gong books and related materials, she didn’t violate any law, nor could the materials be used as prosecution evidence against her. She cited a notice by the Chinese Publication Bureau, which revoked the ban on Falun Gong literature in 2011. 

She asked the trial judge how her having Falun Gong materials could have undermined law enforcement or caused harm to anyone in the society, as the prosecutor had charged her with. 

Last but not least, no law ever criminalizes Falun Gong in China, nor is it on the cult list identified by the Ministry of Public Security. 

“Falun Gong is a righteous faith that teaches universal principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.’ It is not a cult. In fact, no one in today's world would consider Christianity a cult anymore, but it was persecuted for the first 300 years of its history, and this is a lesson for humanity.” Ms. Xu wrote in her appeal.

Related reports:

Seven Sichuan Residents Sentenced to Prison, Families in Distress

Six Falun Gong Practitioners and One Spouse Stand Trial

Four Sichuan Residents Indicted for Their Faith, File Appeals to Have Cases Dropped

Six Falun Gong Practitioners and One Husband Face Trial

Sixty-four Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in Two Weeks in Sichuan Province

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution