(Minghui.org) A Shantou City, Guangdong Province resident was sentenced to 3.5 years on September 13, 2021 for her faith in Falun Gong. Her appeal has been rejected by a higher court.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Cai Yuchang’s family insisted that she didn’t do anything wrong in practicing her faith and trying to be a good person. It’s the court that violated the law in blocking her son from representing her and holding a hearing of her case without informing her family.
Arrest and Indictment
Ms. Cai, 70, was arrested on December 12, 2020, after being reported by two young men for giving them informational materials about Falun Gong at a supermarket. Hong Zhide, an officer of the Waisha Police Station, confiscated her Falun Gong books and took her to the Tuopu Detention Center.
The Longhu District Police Department later submitted Ms. Cai’s case to the Longhu District Procuratorate, which accepted it on February 23, 2021.
Mr. Xie Chunze, Ms. Cai’s oldest son, went to the procuratorate on March 5, 2021 to inquire about her case. The receptionist said they might either indict her or return her case to the police. When Mr. Xie followed up again on March 18, he learned that Longhu District Procuratorate had already transferred Ms. Cai’s case to the Jinping District Procuratorate on February 25, but the receptionist didn’t say anything about it when he went there on March 5.
Mr. Xie went to the Jinping District Procuratorate on March 19 to inquire about his mother’s case. The receptionist there demanded that he show Ms. Cai’s criminal detention notice before they could look up the case for him. Mr. Xie said that the police never provided a copy of Ms. Cai’s criminal detention notice, but he was certain the Jinping District Procuratorate had Ms. Cai’s case, as the previous procuratorate had made it very clear that they had transferred her case over. The receptionist at the Jinping District Procuratorate insisted that she must see Ms. Cai’s criminal detention notice before providing any information about her.
It was not until April 19 that Ms. Cai’s family find out that prosecutor Liu Yue of Jinping District Procuratorate had indicted her in late March. Judge Yang Junrong of the Jinping District Court was assigned to handle her case.
Son Blocked from Representing Mother
Mr. Xie Chunze and his younger brother, Mr. Xie Chunfeng, went to the Jinping District Court on May 17, 2021 to submit Mr. Xie Chunfeng’s Power of Attorney to represent Ms. Cai. The younger Mr. Xie used to work as a clerk at Shantou City Intermediate Court, but lost his job for practicing Falun Gong.
A court clerk surnamed Li accepted his Power of Attorney, but demanded that he present a letter issued by the police to show that he didn’t have any criminal record.
Mr. Xie went to the Waisha Police Station in the afternoon and asked for the letter. Because he had been given two labor camp terms before for practicing Falun Gong, the police refused to issue the letter for him. They, however, claimed that if the court formally requested that they issue a letter to say Mr. Xie had no criminal record, they might do so.
Mr. Xie went to the court twice, on May 19 and 20, respectively, and explained the situation. Another judge surnamed Lin, who claimed to be the assistant to judge Yang, said that if they sent the formal request to the police, it would mean they attested to him having no criminal record. She repeated twice that there was no way they’d do that, which eventually blocked Mr. Xie from representing Ms. Cai.
Mr. Xie went to the court two more times on May 26 and 28, trying to negotiate with the court, but to no avail. Although judge Lin promised that they wouldn’t hold the hearing before the issue of her legal representation got resolved, the court tried Ms. Cai on August 10 through a video conference, without informing Mr. Xie.
Sentenced to Prison
Judge Yang sentenced Ms. Cai to 3.5 years with a 10,000-yuan fine on September 13, 2021, on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Cai appealed with the Shantou City Intermediate Court. The collegiate bench of three judges, Zheng Xianghong, Chen Lianjia and Lin Hongbin, ruled to uphold her original verdict on November 30, 2021. Ms. Cai is still detained at the Tuopu Detention Center as of January 8, 2022.
Persecution of the Family
Since the onset of the persecution, Ms. Cai’s family has suffered relentless persecution for their shared faith in Falun Gong.
Her oldest son Mr. Xie Chunze, who ran a clothing store, was arrested in March 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was held at the Sanshui Forced Labor Camp for two years and two months. The guards shocked him with electric batons, force fed him and mixed toxic drugs into his food. He suffered from hallucinations and excruciating headaches. He was arrested again in January 2004 and interrogated for six days without any sleep. A guard hit his head with a shoe, causing severe injury.
Ms. Cai’s younger son, Mr. Xie Chunfeng, was arrested in August 1999 for demonstrating at Tiananmen Square in Beijing against the persecution. The authorities held him at a psychiatric hospital in Shantou for nine months and injected him with toxic drugs, causing his head to tilt and his sclera (the white of the eye) to become yellow. He was later given one and two years in the Sanshui Forced Labor Camp in 2000 and 2001 respectively. The authorities took him to a brainwashing center and held him there for another three months after he finished serving the second labor camp term.
Ms. Cai’s daughter, Ms. Xie Chunyao, who worked in Guangzhou as an interpreter, was also held in the Chatou Forced Labor Camp and tortured.
Ms. Cai suffered constant harassment and was held in brainwashing centers several times. She was sentenced to 1.5 years in 2011. Her husband, Mr. Xie Jiqi, who didn’t practice Falun Gong, was devastated by the persecution of his loved ones and he passed away in deep grief.
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