Lawyer Persecuted for Defending Falun Gong Practitioners
Mainland lawyer Wei Liangyue and his wife, Du Yongjin, were arrested and have been detained for over one month to date because Wei entered a plea of "Innocent" for several Falun Gong practitioners.
The 45 year-old lawyer was the chief of the Focal Point Law Office in northeast China's Helongjiang Province. The couple was arrested as were six Falun Gong practitioners on February 28. Currently, the couple and a practitioner named Jia Zhigang are still detained in the Nangang Detention Center in Harbin City.
According to a source, the regime has not given any reason or issued any document to the couple's relatives in the past month as required by law, and denied the couple's right to meet with a family member as well.
The source also disclosed that the regime plans to charge Wei with “Assembling Mass to Disturb Social Order”* and thus sentence him to a one and one-half year labor camp term, and his wife Du would face a similar charge as well.”
Beijing Lawyer Li Heping, who has defended Falun Gong practitioners in the past, told a Radio Free Asia journalist, “I know Wei is an excellent lawyer, he probably accepted dozens of Falun Gong practitioners' trust, and defended them. Why would the Harbin Police want to arrest him? I believe it is related to the cases he handled.”
At the beginning of 2008, Harbin Police had repeatedly warned Wei that no defense of "innocence" was allowed for Falun Gong practitioners.
At the beginning of 2009, the Harbin Legal Bureau did a check on Wei. In February, the director of the Harbin Legal Bureau and the head of the Harbin 610 Office respectively talked to Wei.
In the morning of February 28, Wei, who had just returned from a trip to Hong Kong, drove to Falun Gong practitioner Jia Zhigong's house to pick up his wife Du. Jia is the friend of Du. Not long after his arrival, the police broke open the door of Jia’s home and arrested several people on the scene. Du was violently beaten and police also searched the house.
According to a source, eight people were arrested at the time, one was released soon thereafter, and another four Falun Gong practitioners, Shi Yong, Liu Deli, Li Xu and Lin Xuejun were released on March 15.
Between February 28 and March 16, police interrogated Wei twice but got nothing.
On March 18, Wong Liguo, the head of National Defense Brigade of Nangang District, Harbin City and two other police searched Wei's office and confiscated Wei's computer hard disk and his defense speech for Falun Gong practitioners.
Regarding the regime's planned charge against Wei, the Epoch Times interviewed two mainland rights lawyers.
Lawyer Jiang Tianyong commented, “From the angle of the law, it is very inappropriate to charge Wei for going to another person's house to pick up his wife because ‘assembling mass’ requires an organizer. It is obviously not such a case; disturbing social order should occur in public, could you do that in someone's home? It is obviously a false charge.”
Lawyer Tang Jitian said he hopes China's law enforcement department and people don’t use illegal methods to interfere with Chinese citizens and legal practitioners’ normal and legal activities.
*Though freedom of assembly is safeguarded in the constitution of the People’s Republic of China, it is frequently abused by the communist regime when it suits the regime’s needs.