December 18, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent from Jilin Province, China
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Wang Yajuan (王亚娟)
Address: Xiaohelong Township, Nongan County, Changchun City, Jilin Province
Occupation: Small business owner
Date of Most Recent Arrest: November 3, 2012
Most Recent Place of Detention: Nongan County Detention Center (农安县看守所)
Persecution Suffered: Illegal sentencing, detention
Key Persecutors: Guo Qingxi (郭庆玺), judge from Nongan County Court
Defense Attorney: Jiang Yibing (姜一兵), lawyer from Zhong Yin Law Firm in Beijing
Ms. Wang Yajuan, a 51-year-old small business owner from Changchun City, Jilin Province, was illegally arrested on November 3, 2012, and tried on October 11, 2013. Her defense lawyer was not allowed to meet with her prior to the trial nor defend her in court.
Ms. Wang’s family filed a lawsuit against Judge Guo Qingxi of the Nongan County Court for violating the law and denying Ms. Wang her process, based on the following provisions.
1. Article 125 of the Constitution states: With the exception of circumstances stipulated by law, all trials must be open to the public. The defendant has the right to defense.
2. Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 11 states: With the exception of otherwise stipulated circumstances, all trials must be open to the public. The defendant has the right to defense and the court is responsible for protecting the rights of the accused.
3. Article 14 states: The court, the Procuratorate, and public security agencies are responsible for protecting the rights of the accused, defendant, and other participants in the proceedings, including the right to defense and other litigation rights.
4. Article 32 states: The accused and/or defendant can either self-defend or hire one or two people to represent him or her in court. The following persons can be entrusted to provide defense on the defendant’s behalf: (a) lawyers, (b) persons recommended by civil groups or the defendant’s employer, (c) the defendant’s guardians or relatives.
5. Article 65 states: The accused and/or defendant has the right to bail if he or she suffers from a serious illness, cannot take care of him or herself, is pregnant, or is breastfeeding.
Complaint Filed Against Judge Guo Qingxi
Complainant: Ms. Wang Hongxing; born in 1987; member of the Han ethnic group; from Nongan County, Changchun City, Jilin Province; daughter of Ms. Wang Yajuan, defendant in a case recently processed by the Nongan County Court.
Defendant: Judge Guo Qingxi of the Nongan County Criminal Court in Changchun, the judge in the case against Ms. Wang Yajuan.
Statement of the Issues: Judge Guo Qingxi of the Nongan County Criminal Court abused his judicial powers during Ms. Wang Yajuan’s trial and illegally sentenced her to prison. Ms. Wang’s lawyer was not allowed to defend her in court. She was also denied due process, including the right to a defense. Ms. Wang’s basic constitutional rights as a citizen of the People’s Republic of China were violated. Judge Guo ignored existing Chinese law and undermined the integrity of China’s rule of law.
1. I request that a hearing be held and that Ms. Wang’s lawyer be notified so that he can represent her in court.
2. I request that all judgments against Ms. Wang be negated and she be released on bail
3. I request an investigation of Judge Guo concerning his violations of due process rights, including the right to a defense; government employee misuse of power; and undermining law enforcement.
Statement of the Facts:
Ms. Wang Yajuan, my mother, is a small business owner in Xiaohelong Town, Nongan County. Officers from the Nongan County Police Department broke into our home around 5:30 a.m. on November 3, 2012 and arrested her.
My mother suffers from advanced Meniere’s syndrome, high blood pressure, and heart disease. She had always been in poor health and was going through physical therapy before the arrest. Her health continued to worsen at the detention center. Due to high blood pressure, she fainted three times, in April, June, and August of 2013 while being held at the Changchun City No. 3 Detention Center.
Ms. Wang was rushed to the hospital, and the emergency room doctor said that she was at high risk of a cerebral hemorrhage, which is life threatening. Because of her poor health, officials at the Changchun City No. 3 Detention requested many times that officials of the Nongan County Court detain her elsewhere.
Ms. Wang was transferred on August 28, 2013, to the Nongan County Detention Center. She fainted again on the day she arrived and was taken to the Nongan County Hospital for emergency care. She was diagnosed with organ failure and was pronounced dead. She was then rushed to the Emergency Room at the Jilin Province Hospital and was eventually resuscitated.
Officials from the Nongan County Court decided to return her to the detention center. They refused to release her on bail. Even if she did commit a crime, she has certain rights under existing Chinese law. Due to her rapidly deteriorating health, she met every criterion for being released on bail. By denying her right to bail, officials of the Nongan County Court are not only violating existing Chinese law but also highly irresponsible and have shown disdain for human life.
Legitimate Legal Representation Denied
My mother is innocent. Because none of the local lawyers were willing to represent her, we hired Mr. Jiang Yibing, a lawyer from the Zhong Yin Law Firm of Beijing.
Mr. Jiang and I went to Nongan County Court on the morning of September 16, 2013, and tried to submit paperwork to the trial judge, Guo Qingxi. Judge Guo first asked Mr. Jiang where he practiced law. On finding out that Mr. Jiang was from a law firm in Beijing, he immediately refused to accept the paperwork.
Guo said, “A provision in Jilin Province forbids a lawyer from out of the province to be involved in any Falun Gong related case.”
Mr. Jiang responded, “A defendant’s right to defense is a fundamental right protected by the Chinese Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is also stipulated by law that a lawyer’s licensing is not limited to a specific region. Everybody should abide by the Constitution and the law.”
Guo said, “Well, this is the rule in Jilin Province. I did not make the laws. This is the requirement of the presiding judge and the president of the court.”
When Mr. Jiang asked judge Guo who exactly said that no lawyer from out of the province was allowed to represent Falun Gong practitioners, Guo responded, “The Party forbids it!”
Guo also repeatedly demanded to know if Mr. Jiang was a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Mr. Jiang replied, “Whether or not I am a member of the CCP has nothing to do with this case. Even if the defendant committed murder, he or she still has the right to defense. The Constitution and the laws were made by the Chinese people led by the Party, and the Party officials should set the example for the people in following the Constitution and the Law. No organization or individual should ignore the Constitution and the law in the name of safeguarding the interests of the Party.”
Judge Guo refused to accept any of the documents despite several attempts by Mr. Jiang. Ms. Wang’s right to a defense was denied. Mr. Jiang pointed out that Judge Guo was violating the Constitution and the law and was a loss of face for all Chinese judges. Mr. Jiang also advised Guo that he would be sued for his illegal behavior. Guo responded, “Go ahead and sue me!” Guo also said sarcastically that Mr. Jiang should file a case with the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China.
Complaint Filed Against Judge Guo
Mr. Jiang has since filed complaints against Judge Guo at the Inspection Office of the Superior Court of Jilin Province and the Changchun City Intermediate Court, Complaints and Appeals Office of the Changchun City Procuratorate and Nongan County Procuratorate, and the Internal Justice Standing Committee of the Nongan County People’s Congress.
He asked that officials of these government and judicial institutions to investigate this case, correct the unlawful actions of Judge Guo and the Nongan County Court in a timely manner, and hold the violators responsible for their actions.
Judge Guo tried Ms. Wang, my mother, in the afternoon on October 11, 2013, without notifying the lawyer or any of the relatives. Judge Guo repeatedly violated the law during the trial, and my mother was denied due process and the basic right to a defense.
There were a total of eight defendants in this case, yet the entire trial only took a little over an hour. The defendants were not informed of their right to raise a peremptory challenge by the judge or the Procurator. The evidence was not shown. The defendants were not allowed to speak when questions regarding the evidence arose, and they could not examine the evidence nor express an opinion. This was not a trial but a preemptive act with the decision determined before the trial.
Judge Guo Qingxi broke the law and refused to allow the evidence to be presented during the trial to speed up the process and end the trial. This was an alarming violation of the law.
The Chinese Constitution states that officials should govern the country according to the law and respect and protect human rights. The leaders of our government and the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee have repeatedly asked judicial agents of all levels to uphold justice and adhere to the law in the trial process.
Questions to be answered:
1. Is it an abuse of power that Judge Guo of the Nongan County Court denied my mother’s right to defense?
2. My mother is in critical health. Isn’t it illegal to not release her on bail?
3. Isn’t it a miscarriage of justice to not inform the defendants of their right to raise a peremptory challenge to the judge or the Procurator, as stipulated under the law?
4. Is it not disregarding the law that Judge Guo denied Ms. Wang her right to express her opinion regarding the evidence and to defend herself in court?
5. Is it not ignoring the law when Judge Guo took over and finished presenting the evidence for the Prosecutor in court?
6. Why is Judge Guo afraid of having a lawyer defend Ms. Wang?
7. Why did Judge Guo not follow legal procedures?
8. Isn’t the right to a defense a fundamental human right protected by the Chinese Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure?
Judge Guo Qingxi has violated Ms. Wang’s lawful rights, including the right to a defense, to peremptory challenge in court, and to bail.
Due to the fact that Ms. Wang’s case was not processed fairly, I hereby file a lawsuit with the Superior Court of Jilin Province and appeal for my mother’s rights. I ask that the leaders of the Superior Court pay close attention to this case and investigate the gross violations of a defendant’s legal and basic human rights. I hope that the integrity of the Chinese Constitution and Law will be maintained, that justice be upheld, and that my mother’s fundamental rights as a citizen of People’s Republic of China be safeguarded.
Wang Hongxing, Wang Yajuan’s Daughter
November 9, 2013
Category: Accounts of Persecution