Minghui.org has reported a series of cases recently in which Chinese prosecutors, courts, and police departments have declined to press charges against arrested Falun Gong practitioners. These cases reflect the fact that more and more, judicial bodies and personnel in China are seeing past the regime’s propaganda and are coming to understand Falun Gong for what it is – a traditional spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
As a result of practitioners’ peaceful resistance to the persecution and patient explanation of the principles and benefits of Falun Gong, as well as the constitutionality of practicing their belief, many in the judicial and law enforcement fields now recognize that the persecution itself is illegal. Many have begun to question blind obedience to the brutal 17-year persecution policy and have even begun help to persecuted practitioners.
The following recent cases reflect this increasing trend, suggesting that the 17-year persecution is nearing the end.
Shanxi Court Declines Charge, Police Release Practitioner
Ms. Li Meiling, a resident of Houma City, Shanxi Province, was arrested on September 25, 2015 while distributing information about the persecution of Falun Gong. The local Procuratorate issued a formal arrest warrant on October 30 and forwarded her case to the local court.
The court, however, declined to prosecute Ms. Li. The local judicial bureau also had no interest in getting involved when the Procuratorate sought its opinion. The police had no choice but to issue Ms. Li a retroactive six-month detention, and released her on March 25, 2016.
Hebei Practitioner Released without Charge
Mr. Yang Jianping from Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, was arrested while talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong on October 21, 2015. The police seized his car and confiscated more than 600 copies of Falun Gong informational materials. Mr. Yang was sent to the Wanquan County Detention Center following the arrest.
For five months, Mr. Yang’s family, supporters, and attorney continuously sought his release. During this period, the Procuratorate twice returned the case to the police, requesting additional evidence.
As the police failed to provide any evidence that showed that Mr. Yang had caused any harm to individuals or society at large, Yang was released on March 30, 2016, after being held for five months.
“I’m glad that the prosecutors followed their conscience in this case, rather than blindly following the country-wide persecution policy,” Mr. Yang’s lawyer stated after his client was released.
Liaoning Prosecutors Decline to Press Charges
Liu Yamin and Sun Hongbing from Changtu County, Liaoning Province were arrested on June 28, 2016. Their files were transferred to the county Procuratorate on August 2.
That same day, local practitioners talked to the prosecutors, emphasizing what Falun Gong is and why the persecution is wrong.
The prosecutors decided to not press charges and informed the local police department.
Both practitioners were released on August 3.
Jiangsu Prosecutors Do Not Approve Arrest
Mr. Gu Rongfeng, 53, a resident of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, was arrested on September 3, 2016, as he spoke to people in Jiangyin City about Falun Gong and about the unjust persecution.
The police entered his home on September 5 and ransacked the place. They told his wife that he would be sentenced to several years in prison.
While he was held in the police station, Mr. Gu refused to renounce his belief and talked to the officers about Falun Gong. His family hired a lawyer, who met with him on September 18. The lawyer and his family went to the police station the next morning and discovered that Mr. Gu’s arrest had not been approved due to lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
Yanqing District (Beijing) Procuratorate Decides Not to Indict Practitioner
Ms. Qin Shourong, a resident of Yanqing District, Beijing, was arrested on November 26, 2015. While Ms. Qin awaited trial, the local Procuratorate twice returned the case to the police, citing insufficient evidence.
Though the police gathered additional “evidence” against Ms. Qin, the Procuratorate eventually dismissed the case on the grounds that the evidence failed to prove that Ms. Qin had done anything unlawful.
Ms. Qin was given two documents, one showing the Procuratorate’s decision not to indict her, while the other affirmed that her “release on bail” status had been terminated and she was completely free.
The first document states: “Based on the Procuratorate’s own investigation … and the police investigation, the [informational] materials that were of the same format and contents did not exceed the allowable quantity for personal use. The crimes alleged by the Yanqing Police Branch lacked factual support and sufficient evidence. Thus, it did not meet the requirements for bringing up an indictment. According to Item 4 of Article 171 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Procuratorate has decided to not indict Qin Shourong.”
Liaoning Practitioner Released without Charge
Ms. Liu Wei, a school teacher in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province, was arrested on November 2, 2016. Seven days later, the police department sent her file to the local Procuratorate. The prosecutor found insufficient evidence for Ms. Liu’s arrest. She was released the same day.
Prosecutor Finds No Evidence Against Practitioner
Ms. Qu Shurong, a Qiqihar City resident, was tried on October 9 on charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime to imprison Falun Gong practitioners in its campaign to eradicate the spiritual practice.
The trial of Ms. Qu Shurong came after the Longsha District Procuratorate returned her case to the Wulong Police Station four times, citing insufficient evidence.
Ms. Qu’s lawyers argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that she should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
The presiding judge approved the defense lawyers’ motion to suppress the prosecution evidence, concluding that it was collected illegally and was thus inadmissible. He adjourned the session without issuing a verdict.
Prosecutor Du Yanhong said to Ms. Qu’s family, “Your lawyers presented a very righteous and powerful defense. This case is influential. We should consider the sentences of Falun Gong practitioners in the future. Heavy sentences should be avoided.”
Du returned Ms. Qu’s case to the police department, stating that she should be released.