Chinese lawyers and the public are increasingly more willing to oppose cases of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted by authorities, after an incident in Hebei Province where 300 villagers signed their names on a public petition calling for the release of a detained fellow villager.
Wang Xiaodong, a teacher in Zhouguantun village near Butou city, Hebei province, was arrested in late February by plainclothes police after they discovered in his home compact discs with information about Falun Gong and its persecution. They also took 20,000 yuan (US$3,200) from him. His elderly mother and 7-year-old son were left to fend for themselves.
Following the arrest, 300 villagers signed their names and put their fingerprints on a petition for Wang’s release. But shortly thereafter the villagers were ordered to retract their statements and became the objects of repression by authorities, reportedly on direct orders from the powerful Political and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Guangdong lawyer Tang Jingling told The Epoch Times on the telephone that the incident is “a fight between good and evil. Using political or legal terms, it’s about the establishment of freedom and democracy,” he said.
People must stand up and raise a united righteous voice against the regime, Tang said.
According to Tang and other lawyers, the Chinese public is increasingly more willing to stand up against human rights abuses, particularly those targeting the Falun Gong mediation practice, also known as Falun Dafa, whose adherents espouse the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted in China since July 1999.
A Beijing lawyer, who wished not to be named, told The Epoch Times on Friday that he would be willing to accept Wang’s case if it were presented to him.
He said, aside from the villagers publicly standing up for him, Wang Xiaodong’s case is not unique. Numerous Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally sentenced, with the prosecution and judges designing charges that have previously never existed, or have questionable legal standing; in other cases evidence is apparently fabricated by police. Most of the time the legal system is bypassed, with practitioners instead directly sent to brainwashing centers or labor camps.
The lawyer added that there have been positive developments in Wang’s case because the villagers’ petition has shed unfavorable light on local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials. He also knows of reports stating that the upper echelons of the CCP, including Politburo members, have questioned the reasoning behind the political campaign against Falun Gong.
Meanwhile, the lawyer said the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the highest legal office in China, has handed the case back to the local Butou police bureau because of lack of evidence.
Liu Yan, a local government official, verified in a phone call on Saturday that the case had indeed been sent back to the police bureau for lack of evidence.
For Wang and his family, this could be a favorable development, the Beijing lawyer said, because his family can then request that he be released on bail. The lawyer added that there is a good likelihood that Wang might be released because it is an opportunity for officials with the police station to save face in light of public scrutiny.
Wang could also be cleared of all charges, but this is a more difficult feat to accomplish, the lawyer said.
The Epoch Times called the government in Butou, and local officials said they would consider the villagers’ petition.
But according to a number of local people The Epoch Times talked to, the government has been harassing villagers who signed the petition.
When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials promoted by former CCP head Jiang Zemin in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
Read original Chinese article.
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