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Attorneys Attempt to Seek Justice for Falun Gong

On April 27, 2007, at an appeal hearing at the Intermediate Court, Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China, six attorneys from Beijing presented oral argument on behalf of a family of three Falun Gong practitioners. The three Falun Gong practitioners had been tried and sentenced for "sabotaging the administration of law" by practicing Falun Gong. Attorneys representing the Falun Gong practitioners appealed the judgment and the sentence.

The case was unusual in that Falun Gong practitioners are prohibited from having legal representation.

According to the Falun Gong website Minghui.net, the hearing at the courtroom started at 8:30 a.m. and ended at approximately 1:40 p.m. Mr. Li Heping, an attorney from the Gao Bo Long Hua Law Firm made oral argument on behalf of the defense team representing the family.

The three family members, Wang Bo (daughter), Liu Shuqing (mother), and Wang Xinzhong (father) are Falun Gong practitioners. They were imprisoned at a forced labor camp for three years and finally reunited in 2005. On the evening of July 27, 2006, Wang Bo (a graduate of a conservatory) and her mother were arrested in Dalian City. The father was arrested the next day. They were tried on November 10, 2006, at the Shijiazhuang Changan District Court, where they were allowed no legal representation. On February 2, 2007, Wang Bo was sentenced to five years in prison; her mother and father each received a sentence of four years in prison.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes physical exercise and meditation, and is based on the principle of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. The Chinese communist regime banned the practice in July 1999 and launched a systematic persecution that is still going on today. The Chinese authorities had always prohibited attorneys from representing Falun Gong. Whenever an attorney took Falun Gong cases and pled "not guilty," his license was suspended. For example, Guo Guoting, an international maritime law attorney in Shanghai, represented Zhai Yanlai, a 26-year-old young man who was sentenced to five years on charges of being a Faun Gong practitioner. Guo was arrested and later exiled to Canada. Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Beijing attorney, who wrote open letters to Chinese communist leaders urging an end to the persecution of Falun Gong, was later arrested, tortured, sentenced to five years in prison, and is now under house arrest where he is kept virtually incommunicado.

For the first time, attorneys representing Falun Gong practitioners broke the government’s ban and presented a not-guilty argument in court. As reported by Minghui.net, at the April 27 hearing the defense team argued that the court erred in finding their clients guilty. The defense argued that the law that the trial court applied is not applicable to the case at hand. Further, the defense argued that the trial court judgment was made based on ambiguous facts, insufficient evidence, and procedural errors.
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Attorney Li reiterated that exercising the right of freedom of belief does not constitute a crime.

The presiding Judge, Liu Ping, asked if practicing Falun Gong is covered by the freedom of religion provisions of the law. Attorney Li answered, "Yes." In response, Judge Liu commented that Attorney Li had "a problem in ideology."

Yue Kunlun from the Shijiazhuang Intermediate Procurator Office introduced the evidence against the defendants. It consisted of a CD showing a prominent Chinese historian lecturing on Chinese history, the Great Wall, and the Yangtze River. No actual evidence against Falun Gong or against these three defendants was ever introduced.

When the family of Falun Gong practitioners read their statements, the court staff repeatedly interrupted them. Their statements revealed details about the police brutality inflicted upon them and about the lower court’s abuse of the justice system.

According to The Epoch Times, while the court hearing was going on, the court and the neighboring streets were heavily guarded. At times there were up to 600 policemen on the scene.

The hearing was open to anyone who obtained a pass the day before the hearing. Twenty-seven passes were issued. However, the day before the hearing, the police threatened and arrested some of those who had obtained a pass. Right before the hearing, a judge in the audience instructed the police to reduce the number of people who were in the audience. The police then dragged three Falun Gong women out of the courtroom and arrested them. Attorneys protested to the presiding judge, who ignored their protest.

It was reported that there were all together eight people in the audience who did not work for the government. The rest were judges, government officials, the police, and the government TV crew.

At the close of the hearing, Teng Biao, a prominent legal scholar and attorney representing the Falun Gong practitioners, was removed from the courtroom, kicked, beaten, and thrown into the street.

According to Radio Free Asia, the attorneys representing Wang Bo (daughter) are Li Heping and Li Xionbing from the Gao Bo Long Hua Law Firm. Teng Biao from the Hua Yi Law Firm and Hu Hongbin from the Hai Ming Law Firm represent Liu Shuqing (mother). Zhang Huili and Li Shunzhang from Guo Gang Law Firm represent Wang Xinzhong (father).

Xiao Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope. 

The Legend of the Dragon Boat Festival

Most Chinese festivals are based on generations-old legends that are passed on. We still celebrate those festivals, not just for enjoyment, but more for the preservation of traditions and heritage.

The Duan Wu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival), which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is one of the most important festivals for Chinese besides the Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival.

Another name for Duan Wu is "Tien Zhong." Ancient people called the fifth month "the vicious month" or "the month of poison," as the weather got extremely hot and insects of all kinds bred rapidly and easily transmitted diseases. To counter such conditions they used "tien zhong wu rui," five plants known as calamus, Chinese mugwort, pomegranate blossoms, garlic, and the morning star lily for detoxification. The Dragon Boat Festival promoted a kind of hygiene observance in ancient times.

To commemorate the ancient poet Qu Yuan, some named it the "Poet Festival." It is also known as the "Calamus Festival," as every household will hang calamus to ward off evil. Another more well-known name is the "Dragon Boat Festival," named for the ritual of boat races that are held on the day.

That festival originated during the Warring States period in China over 2,000 years ago. There are quite a few versions of its origin.

(A) To commemorate the patriotic poet Qu Yuan

Qu Yuan was a resident of the Chu state during the warring period. According to the annals of Shi Ji, he was a minister for Emperor Huai. He served the nation whole-heartedly and advocated an alliance with other states to counter the Qin state, but was bad-mouthed and set up by Zi Lan’s gang of the aristocratic tribe. He was exiled to the region of Yuan and Xiang. During his exile, Qu Yuan composed some heart-felt and influential poems on the stability of the nation and the livelihood of the people. The Qin later conquered the Chu. Qu Yuan was heart-broken and despaired. With his last verse written on the fifth of May, he drowned himself by holding onto a big boulder in the Yu Luo River, demonstrating his patriotic heart with his own life.

The Chu people were saddened and all ran to the river to pay their respects to Qu Yuan. Fishermen tried to find his body but could not. In order not to let the fish eat the body, one of the fishermen threw the rice and eggs into the river that he had offered to Qu Yuan’s spirit. Others followed. A doctor poured strong wine into the river to toxicate all monsters and habitants of the river. Being afraid that a monster might eat the rice, people threw in rice wrapped in chinaberry leaves with colorful strings, which later symbolized the rice dumplings with which we celebrate the festival today.
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(B) To commemorate the dutiful daughter Cao E, of the Eastern Han dynasty

Cao E was a resident of Shang Yu from the Eastern Han dynasty. Her father drowned in a river but the body was nowhere to be found. Cao E was only 14. She cried all day and night along the river. Seventeen days had passed; it was the fifth of May. Cao E jumped into the river. Five days later she came up with her father’s body. This story became a legend.

The county officials ordered a stele to be made to record and praise her. People built a Cao E temple at the spot where she jumped into the river in memory of her virtuous duty. They renamed the village where she lived Cao E Village and the river in which her father drowned the Cao E River.

(C) Story origin from the ceremonial totem of the ancient Yue Tribe

Recent archaeological finds have unearthed earthenware along the middle to lower Chang Jiang stream. These pieces of pottery were decorated with geometric patterns, suggesting the existence of a cultural heritage dating from the New Stone Age. It was deduced that it was a site occupied by a tribe that worshipped the dragon totems, namely the historical Bai Yue tribe.

The Bai Yue tribe lived along the river. They saw themselves as the offspring of the dragon. They used a lot of chololithic tools made of stone and copper, the most unusual piece being the three-legged geometric-patterned earthen cooking vessel that was unique to the Bei Yue tribe. The tribe survived to the Qin and Han dynasties. Duan Wu was a festival they set up to pay their respects to their ancestors.

In the historic thousand years most of the Bai Yue people had assimilated into the Han tribe. The remainder became the southern minority groups. Since then, Duan Wu has become a festival for all Chinese.

The Chinese Government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong Concerned about Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Grandnephew

Axiang (an alias), a Hong Kong Democracy activist revealed to the Epoch Times that he has often been contacted by the Liaison Office of the Chinese Government in the Hong Kong S.A.R. [1] (LOCPG) over the past several years. Recently, the LOCPG contacted him to get information about Hong Kong people participating in the Quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Movement. Axiang told the reporter that three thugs attacked Albert Ho Chun-yan (何俊仁), the chair of the Democratic Party (Hong Kong) and a member of the Legislative Council, because he protested the CCP’s harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners and supported the civil rights movement in Mainland China. The LOCPG told Axiang that it will treat Mr. Sun Bin, the grandnephew of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen , [2] the same way it treated Mr. Ho. [3]

Chinese Have Mixed Feelings about Foreign Companies

A survey sampling 1,000 citizens in major cities in China was published in the August issue of Global Enrepeneur Magazine. It reveals that the Chinese public has mixed feelings about foreign companies doing business in China.   

On the one hand, the results showed that over 80 percent of those surveyed think that the foreign companies have promoted economic development in China. On the other hand, 73.1 percent expressed strong dissatisfaction towards the foreign companies as they have "relocated environmentally hazardous industries and factories to China."

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