(Minghui.org) Ms. Pan Jing of Dandong City, Liaoning Province, was hosting a birthday party for her 89-year-old mother on September 3, 2021, when the police broke in and arrested her and her four guests.

The police later revealed to Ms. Pan’s family that she had been reported a month ago for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Also accusing her of placing a QR code for an uncensored weblink on the car of a director of the Police Department, the police submitted Ms. Pan’s case to the Zhen’an District Procuratorate. When the prosecutor visited her in the local detention center on September 16, Ms. Pan said that she didn’t violate any law by practicing Falun Gong and emphasized that no law in China deems Falun Gong a crime.

“I hope you can handle my case according to the law. According to the new civil service law, everyone holds life-long responsibility for their actions.” Ms. Pan said to him.

“I know,” he replied.

The next day, the prosecutor returned Ms. Pan's case to the police, citing insufficient evidence. Ms. Pan was released on bail that evening.

In recent years, thanks to Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful efforts to raise awareness of the persecution over the past 22 years, more and more prosecutors and judges have begun to distance themselves from Falun Gong cases. This includes the procuratorate returning such cases to the police, courts returning the cases to the procuratorate, or higher courts returning cases to lower courts. Some of the judges and prosecutors have openly admitted that the practitioners are good people and that there is no legal basis for the persecution.

According to available information on Minghui, over 420 Falun Gong practitioners’ cases were returned at different stages of the prosecution process and several dozen cases were withdrawn—resulting in practitioners being set free. This includes: 76 practitioners that were released or had their cases withdrawn in 2017, 156 cases that were returned in 2018 and 10 practitioners that were released, 186 cases that were returned in 2019 and 16 practitioners that were released as not guilty or had their cases withdrawn, and eight practitioners that returned home after the procuratorate withdrew their cases in 2020.

In another instance in Jimo City, Shandong Province, after the police submitted Ms. Qiu Qinghua’s case to the Jimo City Procuratorate following her arrest in 2016, the prosecutor returned the case to the police multiple times, citing insufficient evidence. Although the police successfully pressured the prosecutor to indict Ms. Qiu, all of the Jimo City Court judges recused themselves from her trial, and the police had to transfer her case to another court.

The Falling Persecution System

When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Jiang Zemin, then head of the CCP, ordered the entire legal system to use extreme measures in dealing with Falun Gong practitioners.

Many judges and prosecutors often stated bluntly during hearings, “Don’t talk to me about the law,” “It’s not necessary to follow legal procedures in Falun Gong cases,” and “Falun Gong cases are decided by the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, not the law.” What they don’t realize is that there has never been any law in China that deems Falun Gong a crime or labeled it a cult.

At the beginning of the persecution, many of the judiciary employees actively participated in sentencing Falun Gong practitioners to gain political capital and advance their careers. But as time went on, they were devastated to find themselves plagued with cancer or other terminal diseases, and some were investigated for corruption, even years after they were promoted to higher positions.

While the physical ailments or their removal from office seem to be random events, many people who are familiar with the perpetrators involved in the persecution of Falun Gong believe it’s heavenly retribution for their partaking in persecuting good people.

In 2015, the Supreme People’s Court announced that Chinese law would now allow citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases. As a result, many practitioners took this as an opportunity to exercise their legal rights. In a few months, hundreds of thousands of practitioners filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin for ordering the persecution. Although Jiang hasn’t been brought to justice, this tidal wave of lawsuits was believed to be a rare opportunity for those in the judicial system to understand the basic facts of Falun Gong.

On March 1, 2016, the CCP published “The Rule on Public Security and the Police’s Responsibility for Law Enforcement Errors.” It stipulated that “a person has lifelong responsibility for law enforcement errors due to intentional or gross negligence, regardless of change of his work unit, position, grade, or retirement.”

In 2020, the CCP carried out the “Going Back 20 Years” movement to investigate corruption cases in the Political and Legal Affairs Committee system. By June 2021, more than 70,000 police officers had been investigated.

In another “Turning the Blade Inward” campaign aimed at cleaning out the Political and Legal Affairs Committee system starting in 2021, at least 17 officials in the judiciary in the city of Linyi, Shandong Province, alone were taken down, including the Party secretary of the municipal Political and Legal Affairs Committee, the police chief, the president of the court, the president of procuratorate, and the heads of police stations.

Outside of China, the CCP’s human rights violations are drawing more and more international scrutiny from Western countries. In 2021, the United States sanctioned a police chief in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, and the 610 Office director in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, sending a message that the international community will not tolerate the persecution.

On October 7, 2021, Josef S, a 100-year-old Nazi concentration camp guard stood trial for assisting in the murder of 3,518 prisoners nearly 80 years ago. This certainly echos the CCP’s own rule of holding people who participated in the persecution responsible for the rest of their lives. Before the pendulum of justice fully swings back, the judges and prosecutors still have a chance to make a choice based on their conscience.

Related article in Chinese: