Falun Gong Practitioners' Families' Appeal to Weihai Court Rejected, Court Afraid of Setting a Precedent

Recently, the families of detained Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Zhang Xiuhong and Ms. Tian Lisha initiated legal proceedings and administrative reconsideration to Weihai City Government and Weihai City Court. They hired lawyers to defend the practitioners' innocence. However, Weihai City Court officials did not even want to file the case for fear of setting a precedent.

During the first half of 2011, 12 practitioners from Wendeng, Weihai, Shandong Province, were arrested. Four were sent to forced labour camps, one was secretly sentenced, and the rest were not released until they were on the brink of death from being tortured.

Ms. Zhang Xiuhong from Bukou, Wendeng, was sentenced to a year and a half of forced labour because she posted Falun Gong materials. Ms. Tian Lisha from Wendeng Taiwei Electronic Factory was at work when eight police officers from Wendeng Domestic Security Bureau and the local police station came to arrest her. Her house was ransacked. They even took her son's computer he uses for school. She is currently in Wancun Forced Labour Camp.

Ms. Zhang and Ms. Tian's families instituted legal proceedings and administrative reconsideration to Weihai City Government and Weihai Court. They hired lawyers to defend the practitioners and demanded a rehearing.

Weihai City Government Turns a Blind Eye to Its Subordinates Violating the Law and Upholds an Unjust Decision

Ms. Tian Lisha's family sent the Administrative Reconsideration Application to Weihai City Government by express mail on July 15th, 2011. The family submitted the Public Hearing Application to the legislative affairs office on July 29th to request a public hearing during the reconsideration period. Zhang Yanling, a staff member from the legislative affairs office, notified the family by phone at 10:00 a.m. on August 4th, saying, “This is not a big deal. There is no need for a public hearing.” The family and the lawyer went to visit Zhang Yanling and deputy head Yu Guosheng of the legislative affairs office on August 8th. They submitted the Administrative Reconsideration and Public Hearing Application again. But the application was rejected, and the Weihai City Government issued an Administrative Reconsideration Decision that upheld Ms. Tian's forced labour sentence.

Families Follow the Law to Appeal, Court Afraid of Setting a Precedent

Ms. Zhang Xiuhong's family submitted a Bill of Complaint to the Case Filing Department of Huancui District Court on July 13th, 2011. The clerk kept the document but refused to give the family a receipt and had the family go home to wait to be notified by phone. Huancui District Court returned the Bill of Complaint to the family on July 29th and told them to take it to Gao District Court.

Ms. Zhang's family and their lawyer submitted a Bill of Complaint to Huancui District Court again on August 8th to request that a case be opened. At that time, the clerk reluctantly kept the document. However, on August 9th, the family received a phone call again telling them to take the Bill of Complaint to Gao District Court. By then, however, the time limit allowed for an appeal had expired.

Ms. Tian Lisha's family appealed to Weihai Intermediate Court on August 12th. They reiterated that sentencing Ms. Tian to forced labour camp was a miscarriage of justice. They brought suit against the Weihai City Government and named Mayor Sun Shutao in the complaint.

The intermediate court verbally responded to the family on the morning of August 15th, saying that Gao District Court would open a case. A clerk at the Case Filing Department told the family to remove Mayor Sun Shutao from the Bill of Complaint. In the afternoon, the family submitted the filing to Gao District Court. Yu Xiaojun from the Court's Case Filing Department said that he needed to ask for directions from his supervisor after he read the case. When he returned, he said, “The supervisor received direction from the intermediate court—we will not accept the case.” After several rounds of negotiation, the staff reluctantly accepted the filing, but they refused to give the family a receipt. Instead they told the family to wait for notification at home. When the family made a phone inquiry on August 22nd, the clerk told the family that the case would not be processed, but they refused to tell them what the official ruling was.

Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2011/9/4/246235.html

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