On May 23rd, 2006, Shanghai practitioner Ms. Zeng Aihua, 57 years old, a resident of Hong Kong, was arrested at home by police officers from Pudong New District Police Substation of Shanghai. Her home was ransacked and her belongings were confiscated. At present, the officials at the 610 Office1 of Shanghai are discouraging Ms. Zeng Aihua's lawyer from seeing her. Nobody has seen Ms. Zeng or heard anything about her for more than five months since her arrest.
On November 1st, the People's Court in the Pudong New District of Shanghai accepted and heard the case of Zeng Aihua at the request of the Pudong New District Procuratorate. A month and a half later, on December 14th, the court didn't hold a scheduled trial because the Procuratorate asked for more time to obtain further evidence against Ms. Zeng. During that time, neither the court nor the Procuratorate informed Ms. Zeng's family members or her lawyer about her circumstances. Hence, her lawyer was never able to consult with Ms. Zeng about the details of her case, and her family members knew nothing about her case at all.
On December 15th, after her relatives repeatedly called the Procuratorate, saying they knew that the Procuratorate was investigating the case, they immediately asked that her lawyer be allowed to visit Ms. Zeng Aihua. According to China's Criminal Law, during this time a lawyer can visit his client whenever he wants. However, the 610 Office in Shanghai obstructed these legal consultations between Ms. Zeng and her attorney. The Beijing-based lawyer could not afford long delays when he arrived in Shanghai, so he sent a letter by express mail to the Pudong New District Detention Centre in Shanghai on December 18th, requesting a time that he could visit Ms. Zeng. In this letter he included his contact information.
Several days after the letter was mailed, there was no reply from the detention centre. The lawyer and Ms. Zeng's relatives called the detention centre on December 21st and 22nd to ask if the letter had been received. The policeman on duty replied that he did not know and denied that there was a department that accepted and dispatched letters at the detention centre that could be consulted in this matter.
The detention centre's buck-passing made Ms. Zeng's relatives concerned about her safety, and they requested that the lawyer go to Shanghai whatever happened. On December 24th, Zeng Aihua's family spoke on the phone to the lawyer, who agreed to go to Shanghai three days later and once again apply for bail on behalf of Ms. Zeng's family members.
However, the lawyer's phone had been tapped for a long time. Several days later, representatives from the Beijing Yitong Law Office, the firm that the lawyer is affiliated with, talked with him and told him that the authorities had put pressure on their office. They requested that he not go to Shanghai to handle the case and that in the future he should ask for instructions before leaving for Shanghai. Only after getting prior approval could he go.
This was not the first time that the 610 Office of Shanghai exerted pressure on this law office to obstruct the case. At the beginning of September, the 610 Office pressured the law office through the Beijing Judiciary Bureau and attempted to get the lawyer to give up defending Zeng Aihua. The 610 Office is back to its old tricks. The fundamental reason for their interference is that they are afraid of the outside world knowing the truth about the torture that Ms. Zeng Aihua suffered at the detention centre during the last months after her lawyer visited her. However, through a conversation between the law office in Beijing and the lawyer, outsiders were given the false impression that the pressure did not come from the Shanghai 610 Office.
This conversation occurred when the lawyer first learned about Ms. Zeng Aihua's situation. Since according to Chinese law he should have been able to meet with her at any time, he decided to go to Shanghai for the visit. The purpose of the phone call from the law office was clearly to stop the lawyer from going to Shanghai to handle the case, which was also the goal of the 610 Office in Shanghai.
There is still no news of Zeng Aihua; nobody has seen her for five months. There is evidence that she is again on a protest hunger strike at the detention centre. Because of the unbearable pressure and pain, her 70-year-old husband cannot take care himself. Ms. Zeng's relatives said that they would do everything to gain her release with a not-guilty verdict, and they would also continue expose all the illegal acts that the 610 Office of Shanghai has committed during the case. In the meantime, they also expressed gratitude and respect for the lawyers and law offices that offered legal aid despite huge pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Relevant contact information:
The People's Court at Pudong New District in Shanghai: 86-21-38794518 ext. Criminal Court office: ext. 11101 for Judge Shi Yaohui; ext. for secretary Li: 11072
Shi Yaohui, the judge who tried Ms. Zeng Aihua's case: 86-21-68541824
Consulting phone at the court: 86-21-68544620
The Procuratorate at Pudong New District in Shanghai: 86-21-38794528-86011 Prosecuting Division internal office: ext. 86091 for prosecutor Li Jianjun
Li Jianjun, the procurator that prosecuted Ms. Zeng Aihua: 86-21-68543348
The Civil Complaints Office at the Procuratorate of Pudong New District: 86-21-58852000
Police Sub-bureau at Pudong New District in Shanghai: 86-21-50614567; Policemen that arrested and interrogated Zeng Aihua: director of the 4th division of National Security Team Zhu, Xi Weizhong, and officer Zhang
1. "The 610 office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2007/1/5/146236.html
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