The Nangang District Court in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, under the control of the Harbin 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), held a trial of Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Zhigang on October 30th, 2009.
|Mr. Li Zhigang|
On the day of the trial, the government dispatched a large number of policemen and also changed the trial court to the Wanggang Town Court in the rural suburb of Harbin. The Wanggang Town Court was closed to the public on that day.
Mr. Li Zhigang is 38 years old. On February 28th, 2009, Mr. Li was arrested at his home by policemen Li Shuxin from the Harbin 610 Office, Wang Liguo and Hao Xidong from the National Security Team of the Nangang District Police Department, and Ma Liang and Li Zhijie from Xinghe Road Police Station, Nangang District. On March 8th, Mr. Li was taken to a secret location for three days of interrogation under brutal torture. He was taken back to a detention centre after he had been severely tortured and was near death.
After Mr. Li Zhigang was arrested, his family hired an attorney from Beijing to defend him. However, that attorney experienced obstruction from the court, including not being allowed to meet with Mr. Li, not being allowed to review his case, and being ordered not to defend Mr. Li Zhigang. Judge Song Chengzhang didn't send written notification to his attorney prior to the court trial, which is a required legal procedure. Song only called Mr. Li's other defence attorney Mr. Li Changming on October 28th to inform him of the trial on October 30th. Attorney Li almost could not make it to the trial because of a previously arranged trial in another province.
At 8:15 a.m. on October 30th, Mr. Li Zhigang's parents and defence attorneys arrived at the Nangang District Court. Then they were told that there had been an internal announcement on October 28th, 2009 that all cases related to Falun Gong practitioners will be tried at Wanggang Town Court. Both Mr. Li's mother and Attorney Li called Song Chengzhang, but Song denied the trial site change. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Li's parents, defence attorneys, and relatives tried to enter the Nangang District Court, but they were stopped by the guards. Mr. Li's mother called Song Chengzhang again. Song came out and took Mr. Li's parents, the two attorneys, and Chief Judge Yan Xiaoshuang in a minivan (plate number Black AA608 Police) to Wanggang Town Court.
After arriving at the Wanggang Town Court, the police violated the law by conducting body-searches of the defence attorneys. Though the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claimed it an "open trial," only Mr. Li's parents were allowed to enter the court. Mr. Li's other relatives and friends were kept outside.
Mr. Li Zhigang was put in handcuffs and shackles while being escorted into the court by two policemen. Chief Judge Yan Xiaoshuang asked, "Defendant Li Zhigang?" Mr. Li didn't answer at first. Then he said, "I am not a defendant. I am a person being persecuted. I was illegally arrested. I don't acknowledge your court. You don't have the right to try me."
When Mr. Li's attorneys asked him whether he had been tortured during interrogation and later defended his innocence based on the law, Yan Xiaoshuang and Song Chengzhang interrupted them many times.
The public prosecutor of Nangang District Procuratorate Wang Baolong provided a criminal complaint. Wang knew that they didn't have a reason to bring Mr. Li to the court, so he spoke fewer than five sentences during the trial. Chief Judge Yan Xiaoshuang and Judge Song Chengzhang couldn't respond to the defence attorneys' sound case in their defence of Mr. Li's innocence.
Attorney Li Changming pointed out in his defence, "Everyone with a little knowledge of the criminal law knows that the criminal law only punishes action. Thought (religion) itself does not constitute crime. That's an immutable law of the criminal justice system. Religion only belongs to the thought level. A citizen should not be treated unfairly for upholding a certain religion; the religion itself or holding a belief in a religion does not constitute a crime and thus should not be punished. According to criminal law principles, the defence attorney believes that Mr. Li Zhigang has not committed any crime. We hope the judge makes a just finding of innocence."
Partial list of participants in the persecution of Mr. Li Zhigang:
Nangang District Court, Harbin City:
Chief Judge Yan Xiaoshuang: 86-451-82704934 (Office), 86-451-82704934
Judge Song Chengzhang: 86-13796685933 (Mobile), 86-451-82721457 (Office), 86-451-82502616 (Mobile)
Tribunal Director Dong Xingdong: 86-451-82719104 (Office)
Deputy Tribunal Director Yu Chenghe: 86-451-82721967 (Office)
President of the Court Sun: 86-451-82700399
Vice President of the Court Han Zhenjie: 451-82708316
Nangang District Procuratorate:
Procurator Wang Baolong
Mr. Li Zhigang Tortured During Interrogation and Unlawfully Detained for Over Six Months
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2009/11/5/211948.html
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