Heilongjiang Woman Secretly Sentenced, Imprisoned on Christmas Day
(Minghui.org) Because she distributed information about Falun Gong, a woman in her 70s was secretly sentenced to one year in prison in November 2018. Without notifying her attorney or family members, officials transferred her to Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison on December 25.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditation system comprised of five sets of exercises and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute the practice in July 1999, a large number of practitioners have been arrested, detained, and tortured.
Arrest and Secret Trial
Ms. Li Yufang is a resident in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. She was arrested on September 11, 2018, while handing out Falun Gong informational brochures in the Daowai District. The police took her to Harbin Detention Center at 3 a.m. They also ransacked her home on October 10, without her being present. Officer Li Bing ordered her daughter to sign the search warrant, but she refused to comply.
The Daowai Procuratorate filed an indictment against Ms. Li on November 5. She appeared in Daowai Court on November 27, and judge Kong Linghong sentenced her to one year in prison shortly afterward, without notifying her or her family.
Her attorney, who was not allowed to attend the hearing, visited her on December 10 after finding out about her sentencing. He realized that she did not even know that she had been tried for distributing Falun Gong materials. She thought the session on November 27 was only an interrogation conducted by the Procuratorate.
It dawned on the lawyer that the prosecutor and the judge must not have followed legal procedures to inform his client of the purpose of the November session; otherwise, Ms. Li, a woman with no cognitive problems, wouldn't have confused the trial with a questioning session.
The lawyer next visited the Procuratorate, which referred him to the court. He was told that judge Kong was on vacation, but she refused to meet with him when he returned one week later as instructed. She sent two young men to the lobby to tell the lawyer that the appeal deadline had passed and that he could file a motion to reconsider the case.
The lawyer returned the following day to request a copy of the verdict, but court officials refused to provide it. He persisted and a photocopy was later provided.
Imprisonment Without Notifying Family
Ms. Li's family went to the detention center on January 3 to deposit money for her. Only then were they told that she had been transferred elsewhere on December 25. No other information was provided.
The family went to Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison (located in Harbin) the following day to check whether she had been sent there. They got confirmation that Ms. Li had been imprisoned in Division 8 and that only one family visit would be allowed during the first three months of intensive “training” for newly admitted inmates.
Key Responsible Personnel
Li Bing: Daowai police officer, +86-13945171266