November 28, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Hebei Province, China
(Minghui.org) Two attorneys from Beijing unfurled a banner in front of the Haigang District Procuratorate in Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, on the afternoon of October 17, 2013, disclosing the violations of the Procuratorate.
The Procuratorate obstructed the attorneys four times from viewing the cases of five Falun Gong practitioners, during the period from from September 17 to October 17, 2013. These Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials clearly understood that the persecution of Falun Gong was illegal, and they were afraid of the attorneys entering a not-guilty plea for their clients. They have tried every means to prevent the attorneys from defending their clients in court.
Seventeen Practitioners Persecuted
The Domestic Security Division from the Haigang District Police Department and the Haigang District Police Station, arrested seventeen Falun Gong practitioners within one day on June 10, 2013. They robbed them of nearly one million dollars worth of cash, bank deposit books, and precious belongings. They also confiscated seven cars.
Ms. Pang Shuyue used to be an attorney for the Haili Law Firm in Qinhuangdao City. After the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, the Qinhuangdao Legal Department suspended her license because of her belief, and she lost her job. Ms. Pang was arrested at 8 p.m. on June 10, after the police broke into her home, which was ransacked twice. Her cash, bank deposit books, jewelry, and property ID (belonging to her relatives) were all taken. The police broke the electronic devices of her car and took away the key, rendering it useless. The police took away and interrogated her 14-year-old son for two hours, and the boy was so terrified that it took him several months to recover.
Practitioner Ms. Zhang Xiaojie was arrested on the same day. She was a lecturer at the Senior Technician College in Qinhuangdao City. She was elected as a model teacher for many years because of her diligent work and great achievements. Her colleagues praised her and she was loved by her students. However, the school banned Ms. Zhang from teaching in May 2006 because she spoke positively about Falun Gong in her class. Her bonus and benefits were taken away. She was arrested downstairs in the building of her rental home on the evening of June 10. Her home was also ransacked and left a mess.
Practitioner Mr. Lian Baochang worked for the Group Rail Transport Branch of the Qinhuangdao Port. He has been living away from home since 2006 to avoid persecution. Haigang District Police stopped his van at the Wanjia Check Station between Hebei and Liaoning Province, and arrested him. The police kicked and beat him during the arrest. They arrested seven practitioners in the van, and took 140,000 yuan cash and all the personal belongings in the van.
Officers Fu Xiaobin and Meng hit Mr. Lian’s face and head. They detained him in the basement of the police department and continued to beat him. Mr. Lian was not allowed to use the bathroom for six hours and was deprived of sleep for a long period. The police violated the law, torturing Mr. Lian to force him to sign documents to be used as evidence against him.
Practitioner Ms. Zhao Guohua is from Jinshantun District, Yichun City, Heilongjiang Province. She came to Qinhuangdao City for a visit. She was arrested on the night of June 10. Practitioner Ms. Li Xueying (employed at the Tobacco Machinery Co., Ltd. in Qinhuangdao City) and her husband (lecturer at the Senior Technician College) were also arrested. The police ransacked their home and confiscated their car.
The 17 practitioners have been detained for more than four months in the First Detention Center in Qinhuangdao City, and their families have not been allowed to visit them. Some of their family members went to Beijing and hired human rights lawyers for them. When the attorneys went to Qinhuangdao City to review the cases, the Procuratorate obstructed them, in open violation of the law.
The attorneys for practitioners Lian Baochang, Ye Shuxia, Pang Shuyue and Zhang Xiaojie went to the Haigang District Procuratorate to review their cases from September 17 to October 17, 2013. The Procuratorate used various excuses to reject all their requests, claiming that the staff person in charge of the case, Ma Xin, was on vacation, and Chief Tan of the public prosecution and also in charge of the cases, was either studying, in meetings, or listening to reports.
The attorney for Ms. Zhang went to the Haigang District Procuratorate to review her case on September 26. The staff in charge again claimed that Chief Tan was not available. The attorney explained that the Procuratorate could not interfere with their work just because someone was not available.
Chinese Criminal Law states that attorneys have the right to review their clients’ cases. Preventing the attorneys from reviewing their cases, making them unable to carry out their legal duty, deprives Falun Gong practitioners and their attorneys of their rights, which is in violation of the law. After arguing for a whole morning, the attorney finally talked to Tan via phone and agreed to come back at 8:30 a.m. the next day to review the case. At 4 p.m., however, Tan called the attorney, claiming that the case could not be seen the next day. The attorney came back anyway but was not allowed access to the files. The attorney filed complaints to ten departments at the city and provincial level, and requested punishment for Tan’s violations of the law.
Mr. Lian’s two attorneys came back to the Haigang District Procuratorate to review his case on October 17. Tan happened to be present when the attorneys argued with the receptionists. Tan used a number of excuses to reject the attorneys’ request, but the attorneys did not give up.
Tan finally found Vice Prosecutor Wang, who demanded that the attorneys register their ID, home address and provide statements from their local police station that they were not Falun Gong practitioners. The attorneys pointed out that these were unreasonable demands and asked the Procuratorate to provide a legal basis for the request. Since he could not provide any legal basis, Wang insisted that it was demanded by his supervisors. The two attorneys then found Cheng Li, the vice director of the Procuratorate, and told her that it was illegal for the Procuratorate to prevent attorneys from reviewing their clients’ cases. Cheng Li claimed that it was their internal regulation and they did not consider it illegal.
After futile efforts for a whole afternoon in the Procuratorate, the two attorneys displayed a banner to protest the Haigang District Procuratorate: “Attorneys Need to Review Their Cases, Prosecutors Please Abide by the Law.”
Partial list of people involved: The Haigang District Procuratorate in Qinhuangdao City: Chen Wei (陈巍), prosecutor: +86-335-3028179 Tan (谭), chief for public prosecution: +86-335-3552373, +86-13333283456(Cell)
Category: Accounts of Persecution