(Minghui.org) A Chengdu City, Sichuan Province resident was sentenced to three years on February 14, 2023 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. 

Ms. Yang Jing, 48, was reported on March 3, 2021 for giving a flash-drive with information about Falun Gong to a woman on a bus. The police located her residence through surveillance videos and also summoned her landlord to the police station. Ms. Yang was arrested on March 12 and had her home ransacked. The police took her to the Chengdu City Detention Center the next day. Her arrest was approved on April 19, 2021.

Ms. Yang’s sister and their mother, in her 80s, frequented the police station and the procuratorate to seek justice for her, but to no avail. When the mother once asked Cong Lin, the vice president of the procuratorate, about the legal basis for labeling Falun Gong as a cult, Cong replied that it was a “state secret.” When she asked why the procuratorate approved her daughter’s arrest, Cong pointed at prosecutor Lei Yu and said, “That’s him, the prosecutor!” Lei remained silent.

First Hearing

Ms. Yang appeared in the Wuhou District Court on January 6, 2023. The bailiff refused to remove her handcuffs and shackles during the proceedings.

The prosecutor said that Ms. Yang was reported by a woman named Chen Lu for talking to her about Falun Gong. (This person turned out to be an agent of the National Security Bureau and Chen Lu is a false name.) He accused Ms. Yang of violating Article 300 of the Criminal Law and charged her with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Ms. Yang’s lawyer pointed out that the prosecutor failed to present any evidence in court and that Chen did not appear in court for cross-examination. Even if Ms. Yang did talk to Chen about Falun Gong, it was by no means “undermining law enforcement.” While the police submitted photos of Ms. Yang’s home and her rental lease as prosecution evidence, the photos did nothing to suggest that she had undermined law enforcement.

The lawyer added that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China or labeled it as a cult, which further debunked the charge against his client.

Ms. Yang testified in her own defense. She said because the Chinese Communist Party spread propaganda to demonize Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners took the initiative to let the public know what Falun Gong really is. She denied that her efforts to raise awareness caused any harm to society or any individual, let alone caused any disruption to law enforcement.

Ms. Yang went on to say that both she and her mother had benefited from practicing Falun Gong. She used to have bone tuberculosis since she was a child. The medicine she used had strong side effects, damaging her liver. Her mother, on the other hand, struggled with a severe heart condition and was resuscitated in the hospital several times. Both of them recovered from their illnesses by practicing Falun Gong. 

Second Hearing

Ms. Yang appeared in court for the second time on February 14. Her sister, who represented her as a family defender, requested that the judge read the Falun Gong books and play the DVDs confiscated from Ms. Yang, in order to determine whether having those books or DVDs would cause any damage to society. 

The prosecutor objected and said that the items had been reviewed by the Provincial Public Security Department, which determined that they were all Falun Gong materials. As such, he didn’t think there was any need to go through them again in court. He also argued that since his witness Chen Lu had provided a written account, there was no need for her to appear in court to accept cross-examination. He emphasized that both the evidence and the witness account had been verified by the Provincial Public Security Department and the National Security Bureau. 

As a matter of fact, both the Provincial Public Security Department and the National Security Bureau oversee the local police departments and police stations. As such, neither agency can be used as a third-party independent agency to provide forensic authentication of prosecution evidence.

Ms. Yang questioned the prosecutor, “Even if you verified that those were Falun Gong materials, how could they support your charge against me? You said that Falun Gong is a cult. What’s the legal basis for that? If you can randomly call something a cult, I can also say the Chinese Communist Party is a cult. Falun Gong teaches Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. I don’t understand why you call it an evil cult. 

“Whether it’s in China or abroad, there are bad laws used to persecute people. Morality is what matters after all. But under the communist rule and after the Cultural Revolution, many Chinese people have lost their moral compass. Falun Gong teaches people to become good. There are tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, but none of us has resorted to violence to counteract the persecution, no matter how we’re being mistreated. I have lost my job for many years and the police threatened to kill my sister for her organs. We didn’t retaliate against anyone. Why do you say we are a cult? I hope you can understand the truth.” 

The judge still sentenced Ms. Yang to three years with an 8,000-yuan fine.

Past Persecution

Ms. Yang, a former bank employee, was born into a family of intellectuals. Both of her parents were senior teachers. Upon witnessing how her mother recovered from severe heart disease by practicing Falun Gong, she also took up the practice in 1996. 

Ms. Yang was arrested in 2001 and detained for four months, after she was reported by a copy shop owner for photocopying a Falun Gong lecture. 

Ms. Yang was arrested again in June 2004 and held at the Xinjin Brainwashing Center for a month. Her father was so worried about her that he died suddenly. The director of the 610 Office, Zhang Jilun, extorted 7,000 yuan from the bank where she worked. Ms. Yang was taken to a brainwashing center, where she was intimated and given toxic drugs, which caused her to suffer frequent dizziness and drowsiness. 

Perpetrators’ contact information:

Cao Rong (曹荣), deputy chief, Xi’anlu Police Station: +86-18608023565Huang Weizhi (黄维智), president, Wuhou Disrict Procuratorate: +86-18108097733Tang Wei (唐卫), president, Wuhou District Court: +86-18980909001 

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

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Family Threatened When They Seek to Secure Ms. Yang Qian’s Release