Attorney Sent to Forced Labor Camp After Supporting Falun Gong
Attorney Liu Ruping, from Shuntian Law Firm in Jinan City, Shandong Province, was recently sent for 15 months of forced labor because he published an article on the Internet urging the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to stop the practice of brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners. He is currently detained at the Wangchun Forced Labor Camp in Shangdong Province.
On November 25, 2005 Liu Ruping published an article entitled “Immediately Stop Brainwashing Falun Gong Practitioners” on a website based outside of China. The article stated that Falun Gong practitioners [in China] are violently taken to brainwashing centers and fined as much as 100 yuan a day for “training [brainwashing] fees.” He revealed that the practitioners could be released any time if they gave up their faith or cursed the founder of Falun Gong. Otherwise they face jail terms, or extensions of their existing labor camp terms.
Mr. Liu wrote, “I strongly urge the government to stop the brainwashing of Falun Gong practitioners. I speak not only from my conscience, the conscience of a Chinese person who is not afraid to stand up for his own beliefs, but also from my most fundamental mission as a legal professional in China.”
The government arrested Liu on December 7, 2005. He was sentenced to 15 months of forced labor on December 14.
Scholars from Shandong Express Support for Liu
On December 24, Professor Sun Wenguang and Mr. Li Changyu, two scholars from Jinan City, Shandong Province, wrote a joint letter to express their support of Liu.
They wrote, “Arrests based on belief are the most significant violations of human rights in China since the 1990s. Millions of practitioners of different faiths have been affected. Liu Ruping revealed the practice of sending citizens to brainwashing centers without any legal procedures just for practicing spiritual beliefs. His actions protected the law, morality, and dignity of human beings, and were very honorable.” The authors urged the authorities to immediately release Liu.
Liu's Father Died from Shock
On October 17, 2005 Liu Ruping was arrested by the CCP for publicly posting an announcement from the Falun Dafa Association. He was sent to Changqing District Detention Center and later transferred to the “Shandong Province Legal Training Center” for brainwashing. The local government also raided his home, confiscated his computer and Falun Gong-related materials, and extorted 2,000 yuan from his family for “education fees.” Liu's 84-year-old father was traumatized by the experience, and died suddenly on November 15 from a brain aneurysm.
Liu's Wife Calls Sentence Unjust
According to a Voice Of America (VOA) report, prior to being sent to the forced labor camp on December 14, Liu was released from detention on November 25. The document releasing Liu said that posting Falun Gong-related materials was not significant and Liu had committed no crime.
Liu's wife, Ms. Zhang, said, “This time they claim to have arrested him for practicing Falun Gong, but not for publishing the article. They couldn't publicly say they arrested him for this article. I think this is quite ridiculous. He is a good person. Why did they send him to a labor camp? As a lawyer, he should step forward to help Falun Gong practitioners. It's true he practices Falun Gong. He was also right in writing the letter.”
Ms. Zhang said that the CCP changed their position from acknowledging Liu's innocence to sending Liu to forced labor. The real reason for sending him to a labor camp was because of the article Liu published on November 25 that exposed the brainwashing techniques used to try to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners.