A human rights lawyer from northeast China was sentenced on November 27 to seven years in prison for taking Falun Gong practitioners as clients and presenting legal arguments that the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign against the spiritual practice is illegal under Chinese law.
Excerpts from Amnesty International report published in September 2009 detailing growing intimidation, assault, jailing, and disbarment of numerous human rights lawyers, many of whom had defended Falun Gong practitioners. In several instances, authorities' linked the lawyers' harassment and punishment directly to their defense of Falun Gong.
The year saw an increase in prison sentences given to adherents of Falun Gong, many of them coming after the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics and following months of pre-trial detention. Most sentences ranged from three to five years in length, though sentences as long as thirteen years were recorded. Lawyers who defended Falun Gong adherents continued to face intimidation and harassment.
As a 2002 report by the International Commission on Jurists states, the Chinese judiciary is not independent, but rather “subject to the control of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)”
The last time Xiaodan Wang saw her favorite red sweater, she was watching CNN as her father was sentenced to 16 years in prison. It was Xiaodan’s first glimpse of her father, Zhiwen Wang, in over six months, but there was no mistaking her sweater even for a moment. The bright color, a piece of clothing taken from his home hurriedly by family members after police took him from his bed on July 20, 1999, was peeking out from underneath a borrowed jacket.
Excerpts related to lawyers who defended Falun Gong from: “Walking on Thin Ice” Control, Intimidation and Harassment of Lawyers in China (April 29, 2008)
Three months after she was tortured to death in a forced labor camp, the family of Ms. Cao Aihua’ is locked in a legal struggle to bring the perpetrators to justice and facing tremendous pressure from China’s communist authorities , the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned.
Soon after Chinese leader Jiang Zemin initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, incidents appeared of Chinese officials threatening, harassing and assaulting Falun Gong practitioners, as well as pressuring foreign officials, businesses, and free media around the world to adopt Jiang’s stance against Falun Gong.
After forty days of being held in isolation and allowed only two 30-minute visits with U.S. consular officials, Dr. Charles Li, an American citizen from Menlo Park, California, remains in a Chinese detention center with no formal charges brought against him
Christina Yuan typifies what many would call the American dream -- humble beginnings, hard work, a Harvard education, a fulfilling life and a successful career in New York City. Christina's mother, Ms. Benlan Yu, typifies an on-going nightmare in China -- stripped of all rights to freedom of speech and freedom of belief, horribly tortured by Chinese police, and sent to a forced labor camp without trial.