Husband and Wife Sentenced to Prison for Practising Falun Gong

The Tancheng County Court tried Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Zhang Binglan and Mr. Sun Dejian (husband and wife) from Maoci Village on November 11th, 2009. Tancheng is part of Shandon Province's Linyi City. Two lawyers from Beijing defended their innocence, but after the 2010 New Year, the court decided to sentence Ms. Zhang to an eight-and-a-half-year sentence and Mr. Sun to a three-year sentence, with five years of probation. The judges were Zhou Zhenshan and Xu Li. The public prosecutor was Bu Yulian. Ms. Zhang Binglan is held at the Linyi Detention. Their family members plan to appeal.

The couple's defence lawyers had argued during the November trial that Ms. Zhang and Mr. Sun had the right to believe in and promote Falun Gong, that they were not guilty of any illegal activity. The powerful defence overwhelmed the prosecutors and judges, who were speechless. The court did not reach a conclusion, saying that they would review and issue a verdict later. The verdict came two months later. We hereby call for an investigation of those who participated in the sentencing decision and any behind-the-scenes pressure.

A Happy Family Destroyed

Mr. Sun and Ms. Zhang began to practise Falun Gong in 2004, five years after the persecution started. Once they became practitioners they loved and respected each other more, and theirs was a happy family. Other villagers witnessed a dramatic improvement in their health, appearance, and happy mood, and could not help but note, "Having seen the changes in you, we know Falun Gong is good."

During the summer of 2009, their 16-year-old daughter, Sun Xinjuan, placed a few Falun Gong informational flyers in Tancheng Middle School where she was taking her final exam. She wanted to let her teachers and classmates learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong.

School principal Li Peilai and deputy principal Xu Zhilu reported this to the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) on June 9th, 2009, and turned the 16-year-old girl in. She ended up in the Dongguan Police Station.

In custody and intimidated, Sun Xinjuan was forced to tell the police that her materials came from her mother. Zhu Jun and several other police officers searched her home and arrested her parents. They also confiscated Falun Gong books, other informational materials, a satellite dish, and a few home appliances. During the same raid the police also arrested an elderly practitioner, Ms. Ma Guiju, from Maoci Village. They then climbed over a fence to enter the home of Sun Changfu and Huang Guilan.

After 30 days in temporary detention, Ms. Ma Guiju was transferred to another detention centre for an additional 15 days. Her ailing husband was bedridden for a long time. Since his wife was incarcerated and no one was around to care for him, his health declined rapidly. He died around the 2009 Mid- Autumn holiday.

Mr. Sun Dejian was released on parole a month later. He had to work to support his two school-aged children. Because his wife was incarcerated, he had to stay at home to care for his 8-year-old son, unable to work outside the home. The family's quality of life is now in jeopardy. The 16-year-old daughter, Sun Xinjuan, was released following a month-long incarceration at Linyi Brainwashing Centre. She had to discontinue her schooling and go to work. She is also required to report to the local 610 Office on a monthly basis. The family is suffering from the forced separation and financial difficulties.

Beijing Lawyers: "Not Guilty" for Practising and Defending Falun Gong

During the trial, Tancheng prosecutor Bu Yulian accused Ms. Zhang Binglan and Mr. Sun Dejian of "Sabotaging law enforcement using an evil cult." Ms. Zhang's crime was making and distributing Falun Gong information, which exposed the persecution of Falun Gong. Her husband built a secret wall compartment to hide these materials and also had turned his salary over to his wife. This became "criminal evidence."

Ms. Zhang Binglan's sister, Zhang Bingquan, hired two lawyers: Cheng Hai from the Beijing Zhoushifeng Law Firm and Li Jinglin from the Haochang Law Firm to plead for her sister and brother-in-law. The lawyers pointed out that the prosecutors' charges were groundless and without legal basis and declared the defendants innocent.

The lawyers demanded an explanation from the public prosecutors as to how their clients had sabotaged any specific law. They also demanded to know the specific laws on which the defendants' charges were based. The prosecutors could not answer these questions.

Instead of citing the law, the prosecutors accused the practitioners of promoting Falun Gong and defaming Communist leaders. The lawyers asked, "Which leaders did my clients defame? How did they defame these leaders?" The defence attorneys demanded legal evidence to support these accusations. The public prosecutors had nothing to say.

The couple began to practise Falun Gong for health reasons; once cured they told their stories to many others. The lawyers asked, "What they did was a good thing, was it not? They should tell others about how they benefited. How can you accuse them of wrongdoing? Isn't that absurd?"

The plaintiff's document states that the following events took place: first, police arrested the practitioners and then tried to collect "evidence." Therefore, any evidence and witnesses were invalid for court use. The police could not demonstrate that the evidence linked the defendants, and the witnesses' testimonies were unrelated to the defendants and therefore invalid. Arresting people without evidence is against the law. In light of all the shaky legal procedures, the charges against the defendants were wrong; the practitioners should be freed.

After the attorneys presented their case, the public prosecutors were rendered speechless. There was complete silence in the courtroom. The practitioners' family realised the practitioners' innocence. They walked up to the judges after a brief moment and asked for their immediate release. Emotions were high; the room became chaotic. The court police led the practitioners away. A judge kept saying apologetically, "Please go home and we will discuss this further."

Outside of the courthouse people were talking about the successful defence. They were glad to see justice prevail in the debate. The defence exposed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lies, the police's illegal conduct, and how the CCP uses the law to fool people.

Phone Numbers of people involved:
Liu Yuhong, Tancheng 610 Office head: 86-13905397758 (Mobile), 86-539-6084203 (Office), 86-539-6084303 (Home)
Liu Fengtang, Tancheng Domestic Security Police head: 86-13805490212 (Mobile), 86-539-6153558 (Office), 86-539-6153212 (Home)
Xu Guangchun, Dongguan District Police Department head: 86-13869999099 (Mobile), 86-539-6153101(Office), 86-539-6153528 (Home)
Gao Xiumei, policewoman: 86-13853991696 (Mobile), 86-539-6153103 (Office), 86-539-6226188 (Home)
Zhao Bo, Tancheng Detention Centre head: 86-13705492803 (Mobile), 86-539-6153470 (Office)
Chen Hai, Linyi Brainwashing Centre head: 86-539-8184395 or 86-539-8185143

Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2010/1/20/216590.html


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