Appellant Imprisoned for Publishing Open Letter
Liu Jie representing petitioners was sentenced to 18 months in forced labor camp by local police in Bei'an, Heilongjiang Province. Liu, along with three appellants, published a collective letter of appeal representing 12,000 petitioners to the communist regime during the Chinese Communist Party's 17th National Congress in October.
Liu was charged with the typical “assembling a crowd and disrupting social order.” She is now serving time in the Qiqihar Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang. Her family plans to apply for an administrative review.
Guilty of Publishing Open Letter
On October 8, 2007, Liu Jie, Wang Guilan, Cheng Yingcai, and Liu Xueli, representing 12,000 appellants, delivered an appeal letter to the party's 17th National Congress and sent the letter to overseas Chinese media to be published the following day. The letter called for the protection of the freedom of speech, publication, conference, and incorporation that are granted by the constitution of China; to establish a constitutional institution, do away with labor camps and to be certain on the legality of pursuing criminals.
Not long after the letter was published, the local Bei'an police arrested Liu Jie and detained her for a month. During the detention, the police tried to prosecute Liu through the court system, but the procuratorate dismissed their case. Not to be deterred the police bypassed the court and sentenced her to 18 months in forced labor camp.
The letter of verdict from the police states, “On the 9th, Liu published a letter in The Epoch Times and Boxun News, which caused a significant disturbance at the Party's 17th National Congress…. (Liu) frequently contacts overseas media…. attempting to agitate social disorder….”
Liu Jie's family said, “The Bei'an police framed Liu trying to get even with her. We will look for a lawyer and request an administrative review.”
The other two charged in the matter, Cheng and Liu Xueli told The Epoch Times, “To appeal is a citizen's constitutional right. The government shouldn't say one thing and do something else. We demand the government obey the law and we call on the authorities to release Liu immediately.”
Why Liu Walks on the Journey of Appeal
Ten years ago at the Xinnong Farm in Heilongjiang, Liu invested millions of yuan to start a family business raising dairy cows and cattle. The business went great. However, the Farming Reclamation Bureau breached a contract and twice mobilized government agencies to wreck the farm and confiscated all of Liu's property.
Liu took legal action, but she was beaten by receptionists at the Procuratorate's office leaving her blind in her left eye and with severely impaired vision in her right eye. During her journey of appealing to different levels of the government, she has been illegally detained many times. Since then, Liu started to study Chinese law intent on protecting herself.