(Minghui.org) When Mr. Liu Zhimin, a resident in Chongqing, filed an appeal against a wrongful prison sentence for his faith in Falun Gong, guard Hu Changrong of Chongshou District Detention Center withheld his appeal and refused to mail it for him. With Mr. Liu’s strong protest, Hu finally mailed it out, after delaying it for months.

On May 29, 2021, the Chongqing No.1 Intermediate Court called Mr. Liu’s wife, Ms. Zhang Li, and asked whether Mr. Liu had a lawyer to represent him. Ms. Zhang then hired the same lawyer who represented Mr. Liu in the initial trial to represent him again in his appeal.

Mr. Liu was arrested on January 7, 2020, when he and Mr. Yang Dingchan were helping Mr. Wu Shenghua, 79, write calligraphy couplets and giving them away for free before the Chinese New Year. All three men practice Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

The police said Zuo Hechang had reported the trio for distributing materials about Falun Gong. It was later confirmed that Zuo’s nephew, Zuo Shiyong, had received a Falun Gong booklet from another practitioner. When Zuo Hechang saw the booklet, he reported Mr. Liu, Mr. Yang, and Mr. Wu, even though they knew nothing about the booklet.

While Mr. Yang and Mr. Wu were released the next day, Mr. Liu was kept in custody. The police accused him of being a repeat offender because he had been sentenced in the past for practicing Falun Gong. The police also accused Mr. Liu of distributing the Falun Gong materials that other local residents had received from other practitioners.

The police accused Mr. Liu, Mr. Yang, and Mr. Wu of promoting Falun Gong because one of the couplets, “Fa (the Way) brings spring breeze rejuvenating all scenery, Kindness spreads like warm sunshine harmonizing every family” has the word “Fa” in it.

There were other discrepancies in Zuo Hechang’s witness account. Zuo first said that he saw his nephew come home with a couplet and a Falun Gong booklet, without seeing the person who distributed the booklet or receiving the booklet himself. He then contradicted himself by saying that Mr. Liu gave the booklet to him. Zuo also claimed that six people, including two women, wrote the calligraphy couplets, when there were only Mr. Liu, Mr. Yang, and Mr. Wu writing couplets.

During Mr. Liu’s hearing by the Jiangbei District Court on October 15, judge Huang Ya repeatedly denied the request of Mr. Liu’s lawyer to have the Zuo family appear in court to accept cross-examination. The judge also interrupted Mr. Liu when he was talking about how Falun Gong teaches people to be good and no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China.

After the hearing, Mr. Liu’s daughter submitted three witness accounts to the court, with testimonies that Mr. Liu and the other two practitioners only handed out calligraphy couplets, not any Falun Gong materials.

The judge sentenced Mr. Liu to two years and eight months in December 2020.

Mr. Liu’s latest sentencing came less than three years after he finished serving a 2.5-year term. He was arrested on September 17, 2015, for filing a criminal complaint in May 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. Without enough evidence to charge Mr. Liu, the police tore up a Falun Gong booklet into pieces found at his home and counted each piece as a separate item of prosecution evidence.

During his hearing by the Changshou District Court in March 2016, the police arrested nearly 20 local Falun Gong practitioners who came to attend the hearing in support of Mr. Liu. Even some pedestrians were also mistakenly arrested as Falun Gong practitioners.

Related reports:

Chongqing Man Framed and Sentenced to Prison for His Faith

Chongqing Man Tried Based on Fabricated Evidence

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution