Human Rights Defender Sentenced in Secret in Beijing
On June 4, 2007, the trial of Hua Huiqi, a Christian and human rights defender, was conducted in secret in Beijing's Chaoyang District Court. Hua's defense attorney and family members were not informed of this trial. They have not yet obtained a decree against Hua from the court.
On January 26, 2007, while accompanying his mother who tried to hand-deliver materials of complaint letters to representatives of the “two conferences (i.e. the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference)”, Hua was detained and assaulted, then later arrested for “interference with public functions.”
After launching several protests against Hua's unjust jailing, Shuang Shuying, Hua's 77-year-old mother, was arrested on February 9. She was later sentenced to two years in prison for the “offence of destruction of articles of public and private property.”
This case has drawn much attention from both within and outside China, yet no information on the trial was released by Chinese authorities.
According to Wei Jumei, Hua's wife, Hua's defense attorney made inquiries to the local prosecutor and was told that the case had been transferred to the Chaoyang District Court. The defense attorney then made repeated inquiries with the court house, but was told each time that the case was “not yet filed.” On June 4, 2007, after being told once again the same thing, the lawyer accidently discovered, via a touch-screen kiosk, that the trial was being held at 1:20 p.m. that day.
After being informed of this news, Hua's family members, along with the defense attorney, waited outside the court house from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At that point, a security guard came and told them that the court had announced its verdict against Hua. They were later ejected from the court house.
By denying the accused the right to an attorney, the local prosecutor has violated the legal procedures in the execution of administrative rules. Wei Jumei said, “Yes, that's how we have been treated all along. The lawyer can't do much to help either.”