March 16, 2013 | By a Minghui Correspondent in Sichuan Province, China
(Minghui.org) In an illegal trial on November 22, 2012, the Peng’an County Court in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, sentenced four innocent citizens to prison for their belief in Falun Gong. Ms. Wang Shuwen was sentenced to 4 years in prison, Ms. Tan Xiaojie to 3 years (to be served as a 4-year probation), Ms. Zhang Lihong to 2 years (to be served as a 3-year probation), and Ms. Ao Guangying to 2.5 years (to be served as a 3-year probation). Ms. Wang has asked her family to appeal her conviction. Ms. Ao and Ms. Tan also submitted appeals.
The Peng’an 610 Office and the Political and Legal Affairs Committee ordered the court to deny observers access to the trial. The court then claimed the trial was for “sensitive government purposes” and restricted access. Only close relatives of the four practitioners were allowed in. All other seats were reserved for people appointed by the court.
Under the orders of the 610 Office and the Political and Legal Committee, judicial system staff and Neighborhood Committee clerks applied much pressure on the family members of Ms. Zhang, Ms. Ao, and Ms. Tan, as they tried to alienate these three practitioners from Ms. Wang. Just before trial began, the Communist Party secretary of the Neighborhood Committee stopped the relatives of Ms. Ao and Ms. Tan outside the courthouse and threatened that they would be punished if they did not comply with officials’ demands.
In court, Presiding Judge Pu Yuanbin and Judge Tang Heling deprived the Falun Gong practitioners of their rights to defend themselves, cross-examine the witnesses, and make a closing statement.
Ms. Wang told the court how she had benefited physically and spiritually from practicing Falun Gong. She asked the people in the courtroom to learn the facts about Falun Gong and treat the practice with respect. Her statement was interrupted many times by Judge Pu Yuanbin.
Ms. Wang is currently incarcerated at the Yingshan County Detention Center. Ms. Zhang, Ms. Ao, and Ms. Tan were released from detention following the trial, but are being monitored by Neighborhood Committee clerks and staff from the Bureau of Justice.
The appeals of the convictions will be submitted to the Criminal No. 1 Court of the Nanchong City Intermediate Court and are likely to be handled by presiding judge Yin Lin.
Officials who participated in the trial to persecute the four practitioners:
Peng’an County Court: Criminal Tribunal Presiding Judge Pu Yuanbin, Judge Tang Heling, juror Liu Yingke, and clerk Jiang Lin
Peng’an Procuratorate: Two procurators from the Prosecution Section.
Chinese version available
CATEGORY: Accounts of Persecution