Human Rights Lawyers File Complaints Against Police Officer for False Imprisonment of Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Less than eight months after several human rights lawyers drew international attention for seeking justice for their Falun Gong practitioner-clients in Heilongjiang Province, a similar scene unfolded about 1,000 miles away in Sanhe City, Hebei Province.
Six defense lawyers filed a joint complaint on November 15 against a Sanhe police officer for imprisonment of their four practitioner-clients beyond the legally permissible term.
According to two of the lawyers interviewed by NTD, an independent television station based in the U.S., there is no law banning the practice of Falun Gong in the first place; hence, the judicial system lacks the legal basis to prosecute their clients. They also pointed out that their clients should never have been arrested for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Lawyer Wang Wu said, “My client was kept in a black jail [extra-legal brainwashing facility] for about two months without due process. Her family didn't know where she was for months. That is false imprisonment, totally against the law.”
Prior to the latest formal complaint, the six lawyers had submitted one formal request in September and another in October, demanding that the police drop their groundless allegations against the four practitioners.
Though both requests were turned down, the lawyers continue in their quest to bring to justice their clients' chief perpetrator, Shi Liandong, head of Domestic Security Division in Sanhe City. The November complaint against Shi was submitted to Sanhe City Police Department, Sanhe City Procuratorate, Liangfang City Police Department, and Langfang City Procuratorate.
The four practitioners--Mr. Kang Jingtai, Mr. Ma Weishan, Mr. Wang Zhanqing, and Ms. Wen Jie--were arrested on April 22 for sending group messages to expose the persecution of Falun Gong and detained in Sanhe Detention Center. When the 15-day detention limit expired, instead of releasing them, Shi ordered the police to transfer the three men and a woman into Langfang City Brainwashing Center.
The practitioners taken to the brainwashing center were detained in isolation and subjected to intensive brainwashing. The intense mental pressure and poor food affected all of them.
Although Mr. Ma and Mr. Wei were released in mid-July due to worrisome health issues, the police continued to harass them at home and monitor their daily activities. The other two practitioners were transferred back to Sanhe Detention Center on July 19 and are there now.
“We weren't allowed to meet with our clients, and were denied access to the case documents.” stated the lawyers in the letter submitted to the procuratorate on November 15, 2014, “The practitioners' constitutional rights have been violated at every step of the process.”
In an attempt to indict the practitioners, Sanhe Domestic Security Division submitted the practitioners' cases to the procuratorate in August and October.
Even though the procuratorate returned the cases both times, citing insufficient evidence, the Domestic Security Division still held the two practitioners in custody and seek more opportunities to charge them.
The six lawyers--Wang Quanzhang, Li Chunfu, Hu Guiyun, Chen Zhiyong, Yu Wensheng, and Wang Yu--are determined to seek justice for their clients. Li Chunfu summed up their support of the practitioners in his NTD interview, “We accept such cases (protecting freedom of belief) because we hope society can become a better place. No one should be arrested because of his or her belief.”
Shi Liandong (石连东), Domestic Security Division head: +86-316-3115636 (Home), +86-13832669588 (Cell)