On February 14th, 2009, Ms. Zuo Lizhi's family received a notification that she had been secretly sentenced to five years in prison by the Yi County Court in Liaoning Province, and was to be transferred to the prison in ten days. When the family went to visit her, the jail personnel said, "We are closed on the 14th and 15th and there are no visitations on these two days. Why don't you come back on Monday the 16th?"
On the 16th, the family members were able to meet with Ms. Zuo, but it was across a thick piece of glass. They could not hear each other very well, and only got to say a couple of words before the meeting was over. That was it, no more visitations were permitted.
On the 18th, the family went to the court to ask for copies of the sentencing papers. The court said that they had given them to Ms. Zuo, so the family members again went to the jail. The guard said that she had already been transferred to Dabei Prison in Shenyang City.
After the court secretly sentenced Ms. Zho, at first they said that she was sentenced to three years in prison, then later said it was five years. The notification that the family received stated that it was a five-year prison term, and they were verbally told that Ms. Zho would be transferred to the prison in ten days. But after the court delivered the notice, the family members could not see Ms. Zho for two days, and waited till the third day before they were allowed to meet with her. When they were finally able to meet, the conditions were such that conversations were virtually impossible. The family was subsequently denied visitation until after her transfer. They were all very worried.
The family members hereby raised the following questions to the court:
1. Why has the court kept the sentencing papers from the family members? According to the court's rules, the sentencing papers are to be delivered to the family without their having to request them. Even though family members went to the court several times requesting the papers, they were not provided. Why is this? The court is depriving the family of their right to know.
2. The court says that the sentencing papers had been given to Ms. Zuo herself. Has she indeed received the papers? The family members have reservations about this.
3. The jail guard said that Ms. Zuo had been taken to the Dabei Prison in Shenyang City. If that was true, we question how they could transfer people without providing the sentencing papers?
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2009/2/21/195840.html
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