Mr. Chen Jizhong and Ms. Chen Jihuan Sentenced to Prison in Heilongjiang Province

Mr. Chen Jizhong, 69, and his younger sister, Ms. Chen Jihuan, 56, are from Yonghe Village, Daotaiqiao Town, Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province. They have been arrested and had their homes searched by police officers from Yilan County. Both brother and sister have recently been secretly sentenced by the Yilan County Court. Mr. Chen Jizhong has been sentenced to six years in prison, and Ms. Chen Jihuan to four years in prison.

Since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, Mr. Chen has been arrested five times, and was held at the Lianjiangkou Prison in Jiamusi City for five years. Ms. Chen was previously sentenced to three years of forced labour, despite her legs being disabled.

On November 29th, 2009, Mr. Chen and his sister were arrested by Wang Xudong, Jiangjun, and other officers from the Daotaiqiao Police Station. The following day, Guo Qingji, Song Yuzhe and other officers from the county's Domestic Security Division searched their homes. On December 29th the Yilan County Procuratorate placed them under official arrest.

On March 24th, 2010, Mr. Chen and Ms. Chen were brought to trial in the Yilan County Court. A lawyer defended them despite receiving significant pressure from the authorities. In court the defence lawyer pointed out that the evidence was falsified by Ning Yan, the prosecutor from the Yilan County Procuratorate, and that there was no legal reason to persecute Falun Gong. He also stated that nothing in the Constitution defines Falun Gong as a "cult," nor was it included in the 14 cults listed by the State Department and Public Safety Ministry. He stated that Falun Gong practitioners promote Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and their beliefs are no harm to society, but can uplift moral standards, and raise social morality. He said that the defendants had not behaved in any way that undermined any laws or the execution of any legal enforcement, and they were merely exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief. What crime had they committed? The defence argued that they should be released immediately.

In response the case presented by the defence, the prosecutor had nothing to say, and the judge quickly adjourned the court session. Shortly after, the court, in conspiracy with the county's Political and Judiciary Committee, the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), the police and Procuratorate, secretly sentenced Mr. Chen Jizhong and Ms. Chen Jihuan to prison. Both brother and sister are still in custody at the Yilan County Detention Centre.

Individuals responsible for their persecution:

Xu Haibo, director of Yilan County 610 Office: 86-451-57238610 (Office), 86-13104663971 (Mobile)
Gao Hui, head of the Yilan County Court: 86-451-57239229 (Office), 86-13946099366 (Mobile)
Li Zhuoxun, chief procurator of Yilan County Procuratorate: 86-451-57283388 (Office), 86-13351707777 (Mobile)
Wang Qingfeng, director of Yilan County Police Department: 86-451-57235201 (Office), 86- 13329315577 (Mobile)
Guo Qingji, head of Yilan County Domestic Security Division: 86-451-57234798 (Office), 86-451-57225289 (Home), 86-13804637102 (Mobile)
Song Yuzhe, deputy head of Yilan County Domestic Security Division: 86-451-57227499, 86-13936483388 (Mobile)
Wang Xudong, police officer, Daotaiqiao Town Police Station, Yilan County: 86-451-57244087, 86-13845020587 (Mobile)
Jiang Jun, police officer, Daotaiqiao Town Police Station, Yilan County: 86-451-57242113, 86-13604815775(Mobile)

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