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Seven Christians in Henan Province Convicted of Cult Crimes, Sentenced to Prison Terms of Three to 7-1/2 Years

Friday, April 26, 2013

Translated by China Aid Association
Ye County People’s Court of Henan Province
Criminal Verdict
(2012) Ye Xing Chu Zi Di No. 203

Prosecutor: Ye County People’s Procuratorate of Henan Province.

Defendant Han Hai, pseudonym Gengxin, nickname Han Shixin, male, DOB April 16, 1953, ID number 410422195304164813, peasant, Han ethnicity, elementary school education, lives at 1, Mengzhuanghanzhuang, Yeyi Town, Ye County, Henan Province. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 18, 2012, he was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. He was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at the Ye County Detention Center.

Defense counsel Li Fuchun, a lawyer from Beijing Lanpeng Law Firm.

Defendant Hu Linpo, nickname Hu Zhenling, male, DOB November 27, 1962, ID number 410422196211275914, peasant, Han ethnicity, junior high school education, lives at Group 1, Qianwang Village, Xiantai Town, Ye County, Henan Province. On April 14, 2012, he was caught attending a gathering of a cult organization. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 18, 2012, he was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. He was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at the Ye County Detention Center.

Defense counsel Li Baiguang, a lawyer from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm.

Defendant Zhang Mian, female, DOB May 13, 1975, ID number 410422197505132227, peasant, Han ethnicity, elementary school education, lives at Group 4, Daying Village, Rendian Town, Ye County, Henan Province. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 18, 2012, she was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. She was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at No. 1 Detention Center in Pingdingshan City.

Defense counsel Liu Peifu, a lawyer from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm.

Defendant Cao Xia, female, DOB February 15, 1961, ID number 410422196102152229, peasant, Han ethnicity, illiterate, lives at Group 3, Daying Village, Rendian Town, Ye County, Henan Province. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 18, 2012, she was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. She was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at No. 1 Detention Center in Pingdingshan City.

Defense counsel Lin Qilei, a lawyer from Beijing Ruikai Law Firm.

Defendant Wang En, female, DOB October 28, 1988, ID number 410422198810283341, peasant, Han ethnicity, junior high school education, lives in Group South, Xiali Town, Ye County, Henan Province. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 19, 2012, she was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. She was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at Ye County Detention Center.

Defense counsel is Li Dunyong, a lawyer from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm.

Defendant Li Dan, female, DOB August 10, 1988, ID number 410101198808102021, unemployed, Han ethnicity, junior high school education, lives at 41, Row 6, Chaohua Street, Zhengmei Group, Zhengzhou, Henan. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 19, 2012, she was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. She was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at No. 1 Detention Center in Pingdingshan City.

Defense counsel is Xue Junnan, a lawyer from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm.

Defendant Yang Lianbing, male, DOB November 19, 1989, ID number 410482198911195937, peasant, Han ethnicity. junior high school education, lives at Group 10, Mazhuang, Runan Office, Ruzhou City, Henan Province. Taken into custody on April 14, 2012 for attending a cult meeting, and on April 19, 2012, he was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. He was arrested on May 25, and is now being detained at the Ye County Detention Center.

Defense counsel is Li Renbing, a lawyer from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm.

Indictments were rendered by the Ye County People’s Procuratorate in Ye Jian Xing Su (2012) No. 194 charging defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Yang Lianbing, Wang En, Li Dan, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia with using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. The public prosecution was filed with this court on November 13, 2012. After this court accepted the case, it formed a collegial panel in accordance with law and tried this case at a public hearing on December 13, 2012. Ye County People’s Procuratorate appointed its procurators Chen Jinrong, Chen Haitao and Li Xiaopeng to appear in the court to support the public prosecution. The defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Yang Lianbing, Wang En, Li Dan, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia and their defense counsels Li Baiguang, Li Chunfu, Li Renbing, Li Dunyong, Xue Junnan, Li Peifu and Lin Qilei appeared at the court for the legal proceedings, which are now concluded.

Ye County People’s Procuratorate alleges that around 10 a.m. on April 14, 2012, Ye County Public Security Bureau, using information it had obtained, ferreted out an illegal meeting of the Shouters cult at Daying Village, Rendian Town of Ye County, immediately taking into custody 32 people who were attending the illegal gathering and confiscating 440 copies of the Shouters cult book “Morning Revival,” 340 copies of “New Testament Life Readings,” 271 copies of “Works of Watchman Nee,” 90 copies of the Bible, 50 copies of “Hymns,” 20 copies of “Classes in Truth,” 10 copies of “Correct Sisters,” 16 copies of “A Trip of the Bible,” 260 video tapes of the gatherings, 330 discs, three computer desktops, four LCD monitors and two electronic keyboards. Pingdingshan'sDomestic Security Protection Squad and anti-terrorist branch determined that “Morning Revival,” “Works of Watchman Nee” and “The Holy Bible Recovery Version” are the propaganda materials of the cult group the Shouters.

Defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia, Wang En, Li Dan and Yang Lianbing have long been involved with the illegal activities of the Shouters cult. Hu Linpo and Han Hai converted people into Shouters believers and often held classes and did propaganda work. Defendants Zhang Mian and Cao Xia provided food and lodging for the believers who attended the meetings. They prepared food and drove people around, while the defendants Li Dan and Wang En made CDs for the Shouters cult and composed songs. Yang Lianbing has been a member of this group for a long time.

The prosecutor believes that the conduct of the defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Yang Lianbing, Wang En, Li Dan, Zhang Mian and Cao Xia violated Article 300 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and they should be held criminally liable for organizing and using a cult to undermine law enforcement.

Defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Yang Lianbing, Wang En, Li Dan, Zhang Mian and Cao Xia all argued that the facts about the religious meeting were true, but that they believed that their faith was Christian and not a cult. Han Hai and Hu Linpo also argued that they had never organized a cult group, and Wang En and Li Dan claimed that they had not copied any CDs, while Zhang Mian and Cao Xia claimed they had not provided transportation to people.

The opinion of the seven defense lawyers was that the activities of the seven defendants involved in this case constituted a house church meeting of believers and they did not violate legal regulations. As for the conclusion that the three books are Shouters cult literature, this cannot be used as evidence because the Domestic Security Protection Squad of the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau is not qualified to make such a determination; besides, the actions of the people involved in this case do not [conform] to the cult characteristic of being anti-government, anti-human, anti-social and anti-science, therefore, they cannot be identified as a cult group. The conduct of the seven defendants constitutes legal conduct of religious believers and the seven defendants are innocent.

An investigation and trial have determined that at about 10 a.m. on April 14, 2012, Ye County Public Security Bureau, using information it had obtained, ferreted out an illegal meeting of the Shouters cult at Daying Village, Rendian Town of Ye County, immediately taking into custody 32 people who were attending the illegal gathering and confiscating 440 copies of the Shouters cult book “Morning Revival,” 340 copies of “New Testament Life Readings,” 271 copies of “Works of Watchman Nee,” 90 copies of the Bible, 50 copies of “Hymns,” 20 copies of “Classes in Truth,” 10 copies of “Correct Sisters,” 16 copies of “A Trip of the Bible,” 260 video tapes of the gatherings, 330 discs, three computer desktops, four LCD monitors and two electronic keyboards. Pingdingshan'sDomestic Security Protection Squad and anti-terrorist branch determined that “Morning Revival,” “Works of Watchman Nee” and “The Holy Bible Recovery Version” are the propaganda materials of the cult group the Shouters.

Defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia, Wang En, Li Dan and Yang Lianbing have long been involved with the illegal activities of the Shouters cult. Hu Linpo and Han Hai converted people into Shouters believers and often held classes and did propaganda work. It has also been ascertained that Han Hai was punished in 1988 and 1996 for his participation in the Shouters cult group and Hu Linpo was punished in 1989 for his participation in the Shouters cult group. The den of the Shouters cult group at the home of defendant Zhang Mian was abolished in 2004.

The above-listed conclusions are based on the following evidence: The statements and attempts to offer an explanation of defendants Han Hai, Hu Linpo, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia, Wang En, Li Dan and Yang Lianbing, the testimonies from witnesses Qi Siyu, He Yan, Wan Xiaoguang, Zhang Lili, Geng Aobo, Wang Daxiang, Zhao Yan, Bai Shiyun, Shi Jinye, Fu Dan, Zhang Lianying, Zhao Ying, Wang Shuiqin, Liu Jiaxiang, Zheng Haijuan, Li Jing, He Lianjie, Zhang Ru, Zheng Xiaolei and others; the written records of the search, the list of items seized, photos of related material evidence; materials related to their previous offenses, proof from Daying Village Party Committee, conclusions of the Pingdingshan Municipal Public Security Bureau's Domestic Security Protection Squad, diagrams and photos of the meeting site, certificates of arrest, household registration certificates, fact sheets from the Ye County Bureau of Religion, etc.

This court believes that: Defendants Hu Linpo, Han Hai, Zhang Mian, Cao Xia, Wang En, Li Dan and Yang Lianbing have long participated in the activities of the Shouters cult group, holding illegal meetings and engaging in cult propaganda. Therefore, their conduct constitutes the crime of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement. The opinion of the defendants and their defense lawyers that they are innocent is groundless and this court does not support it.

The 789 copies of the three cult books were seized in this case constitute particularly serious circumstances as set forth in the June 11, 2001 “Answers to Some Questions Regarding the Concrete Application of the Law in Handling Cases of Organizing and Using a Cult Organization for Criminal Purposes (2)” from the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Defendants Han Hai and Hu Linpo had been punished for participating in a cult group, but they did not repent and should be severely punished. Meanwhile, the conduct of defendants Zhang Mian, Cao Xia, Wang En, Li Dan and Yang Lianbing did not cause serious social consequences and their circumstance is relatively less serious. According to the explanation in the second part of the “Answers to Some Questions Regarding the Concrete Application of the Law in Handling Cases of Organizing and Using a Cult Organization for Criminal Purposes (2),” the circumstance can be regarded as not very serious. Hence, pursuant to Clause 1 of Article 300, Clause 1 of Article 25, Article 64 and Article 61 of the “Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China,” the sentences are rendered as follows:

1. The defendant Han Hai is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to seven years and six months. (The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through October 13, 2019)

2. The defendant Hu Linpo is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to seven years in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through April 13, 2019)

3. The defendant Zhang Mian is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to four years in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through April 13, 2016)

4. The defendant Cao Xia is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is therefore sentenced to three years and six months in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through October 13, 2015)

5. The defendant Wang En is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to three years in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through April 13, 2015)

6. The defendant Li Dan is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to three years in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through April 13, 2015)

7. The defendant Yang Lianbing is found guilty of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement and is sentenced to three years in prison.
(The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody. That is, from April 14, 2012 through April 13, 2015)

8. The cult propaganda items seized in this case shall be confiscated.
Should there be an objection to this judgment, an appeal can be filed with this court or directly to the Pingdingshan Intermediate People’s Court of Henan Province within 10 days of the day after this judgment is received.  For written appeals, one copy of the original and two duplicate copies should be submitted.

Chief judge: Shi Qunli
Judge: Wang Kena
Judge: Dian Ruifeng
April 1, 2013
Clerk: Sun Xianghui
Seal: Ye County People’s Court
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