of a well-known musician and Falun Gong adherent who died from abuse in police
custody in China last February has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Xu Na's was
sentenced on Nov. 25, in Beijing, coincidentally on the International Day for
the Elimination of Violence Against Women. She was detained earlier for five
years due to practicing Falun Gong and she was repeatedly beaten, tortured and
Ms. Xu, an
award-winning artist, was charged with “using a heretical organization to
undermine implementation of the law,” a vague provision in the penal code
commonly used to sentence Falun Gong adherents to prison terms of up to 12
Ms. Xu and
her husband Yu Zhou, a popular folk-band member, were arrested in January as
part of a “pre-Olympics sweep” by Chinese authorities, in which thousands of
Falun Gong practitioners and others were arrested in the months leading up to
the 2008 Olympic Games in August. Yu Zhou died 11 days after his arrest.
Ms. Xu’s defense lawyer Mr. Cheng
Hai had pled not guilty on behalf of Xu Na.
Below is an excerpt of Mr. Cheng’s
defense statement to help the public understand the facts and the relevant legal
rules regarding Ms. Xu’s case and to offer help to Ms. Xu:
judge, and jurors,
My name is
Cheng Hai and I am a lawyer from Yitong Law Firm in Beijing City. I’m appointed
by defendant Xu Na and her relatives as the defense lawyer for Ms. Xu’s first
trial. After researching documents of the case and court investigation, I’m
challenging the prosecution with the following defense statements and I would
like to ask the panel to please review them when conducting a deliberation.
The accusation from the Chongwen
District Procuratorate—“using a heretical organization to undermine
implementation of the law,” e.g., spreading cult promotional materials, against
the defendant is not based on facts.
presented by the prosecutor in support of the criminal charge against Xu Na is,
“At 22:00 p.m. on January 25, 2008, the defendant Xu Na carried with her 53
copies of Falun Gong promotional flyers and 11 copies of Falun Gong promotional
CDs and was caught by police while distributing these materials in Chongwen
City’s Guoyuanxi Little District, Tongzhou District.” Yet, based on documents
presented to the court by the prosecutor, Xu Na’ statements, and
cross-examination conducted by the court:
so-called 53 copies of “Falun Gong promotional flyers” are letters which Xu Na
was supposed to deliver to Xiang Guilan’s family upon a request by someone.
However, Xu Na had no knowledge of the specific contents of the letters or the
number of copies.
2. For the
so-called 11 copies of “Falun Gong promotional CD’s” carried by Xu Na, the
Beijing City Public Security Bureau’s Beijing City Criminal Science and
Technology Institute conducted an electronic evidence investigation and
concluded that “alleged Falun Gong related data and documents” had been
detected, which was mere “allegation” and did not confirm that the contents of
the 11 copies of CD’s were indeed Falun Gong promotional materials.
lawyer and chief judge Ma together reviewed the 11 copies of CD’s, and also
briefly browsed through the 53 copies of letters, and the contents were mostly
video recording of a spectacular show, the persecution against Falun Gong
followers, number of people who had withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP), and suggestions for people to quit the CCP, all of which are within the
boundary of freedom of speech granted by our country’s Constitution.
Falun Gong practitioner Yu Zhou and Xu Na.
Yu Zhou died as a result of the persecution. (The Epoch Times)
4. The result
of the examination of the CD’s and the 53 copies of letters is totally the
subjective observation of the examiners and the investigators, which lacks the
specific criteria based on the law or examination standard, and therefore should
not be established as evidence.
5. For the
accusation of Xu Na’s spreading Falun Gong promotional materials, Xu Na
delivered the letters to a family member of Xiang Guilan, and therefore accusing
her for “distribution” or “spreading” [of Falun Gong promotional materials] is
not based on the facts. Accordingly, Xu Na’s action did not include the fact of
“spreading” [Falun Gong promotional materials].
The accusation does not have legal basis.
stated that Xu Na was sentenced previously for making and spreading “Falun Gong”
promotional materials. This time she again spread Falun Gong promotional
materials. According to Article 300 of Criminal Law, “using a heretical
organization to undermine implementation of the law” invokes criminal charges.
And as a repeated offender within 5 years, harsh punishment should be
implemented. The defense lawyer considered that the accusation did not specify
which law enforcement was disturbed by Xu Na. Therefore it is not based on
facts, nor does it have legal basis.
The first trial of this case involved over-extended detention,
which should be corrected immediately and enforced with strong
Article 168 of Criminal Law, “People’s Court should announce a verdict after one
month, and no later than one and half month, after accepting a public case.
However, since the Chongwen District Procuratorate transferred the case to the
esteemed Procuratorate on June 30, 2008, to the court’s hearing on October 17,
Xu Na’s detention had been over-extended for one and half month.
lawyer believes, our country should protect freedom of religion. Falun Gong
advocates Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and does not pose any danger to
society. Falun Gong should be a new, legal religious form, and its followers’
religious activities should be protected by the law.
the accusation against Xu Na is not based on facts and does not have legal
Chongwen District Court
defense lawyer: Cheng Hai