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Detained human rights lawyer accuses judges of mishandling case

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Human rights lawyer Guo Feixiong.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid

Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Guangzhou, Guangdong—Jan. 19, 2016) A detained human rights lawyer sent a Bill of Indictment to the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Procuratorate, accusing the three judges who presided over his case of illegally sentencing him to six years in prison.

Guo Feixiong was taken into police custody on Aug. 8, 2013 for questionable charges.

In a meeting with his lawyer in November 2013, he disclosed that officials accused him of being the mastermind behind street rallies denouncing government censorship of the Southern Weekly, a Guangzhou-based newspaper, which authorities labeled “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” Guo gave a speech at the rally and later petitioned the National People’s Congress to uphold the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Additionally, the three indicted judges charged him with “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” after discovering his involvement in the “Eight-City Flash Mob”—a coordinated event in which activists conducted simultaneous protests in eight cities, calling for improved civil rights. Guo said he considered both charges a violation of his rights and claimed the judges sentenced him in a way that “intentionally opposes the facts and laws.”

As a prominent leader of China’s human rights movement, Guo has been arrested four times for his advocacy efforts. During these repeated sessions in police custody, authorities beat him and subjected him to other forms of torture.

He also holds several awards for his human rights work, including being named a “Man of the Year” by Yazhou Zhoukan magazine in 2005.

The Bill of Indictment can be read in full below.

China Aid exposes human rights violations, such as those experienced by Guo Feixiong, in order to promote human rights and rule of law in China.

Bill of Indictment

Accuser: Yang Maodong, also known as Guo Feixiong, male, born in Wuhan, Hubei province, on August 2, 1966, Han Nationality, university graduate is now in custody on false charges at the Tianhe District Detention Center in Guangzhou.

The accused: Zheng Xin, a judge in the Tianhe District Court in Guangzhou and the presiding judge in the trial of first instance for the accuser’s case, who framed the accuser and wrongfully sentenced him to a six-year prison term.

The accused: Luo Cheng, a judge in the Tianhe District Court in Guangzhou and a judge in the trial of first instance for the accuser’s case, who framed the accuser and wrongfully sentenced him to a six-year prison term.

The accused: Lu Xiao, a judge in the Tianhe District Court in Guangzhou and a judge in the trial of first instance for the accuser’s case, who framed the accuser and wrongfully sentenced him to a six-year prison term.

Indictment request: Investigate the three accused culprits for criminal responsibility and sentence each accused to more than five years imprisonment each.

Facts and reasons:

The three indicted persons constitute a panel of judges from the Tianhe District Court in Guangzhou. The accused deliberately issued a verdict contrary to the case’s facts and the law, charging the accuser with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” These grievous circumstances caused the innocent accuser and Sun Desheng to be wrongfully and mistakenly sentenced to six years and 2 1/2 years in prison, [respectively], for false charges. The details are as follows:

1. The three accused persons mislabeled the accuser’s constitutional rights to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of assembly [he participated in a citizen’s rally at the front entrance of the Southern Weekend newspaper and gave a speech at that rally in order to support freedom of the press and stand in solidarity with the Southern Weekend’s editors and reporters] as the offense of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” This caused the the trial of first instance to result in a guilty verdict. This also pronounced him guilty of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. This is a crime that undermines the constitution and tramples on citizens’ political rights.

2. The three accused persons charged the accuser with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” based on the accuser’s participation in a citizen’s rally and deliverance of a speech [at that rally], which never disturbed the public order. [They did this] by framing him with so-called evidence [even though the false evidence couldn’t prove that the accuser’s actions or the aftermath of his actions disturbed the public order of any location]. This “intentionally runs opposite of the facts and law ….”

3. In addition to the criminal charge given by the Tianhe District Procuratorate in Guangzhou, the three accused persons added the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” This undisguised criminal activity alarmingly toys with, blasphemes and destroys China’s current law and damages mankind’s civilized judicial doctrines.

4. The three accused persons took real and true news about the “Eight-City Flash Mob” movement [Editor’s note: The “Eight-City Flash Mob” was a coordinated event in which protesters across eight cities simultaneously conducted flash mobs calling for improved civil rights that Guo Feixiong took part in], which citizens had posted about online, as [evidence of] “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” By doing this, the three accusers exploited the trial’s authority in order to make trouble out of nothing and to “pick quarrels and provoke trouble.” Page 22 of the sentence from the trial of first instance reads: “Afterwards, the aforementioned false information was disseminated on the Internet, leading many personnel to stand in a circle and watch, causing grave chaos in public order.” The three accused persons maintained that the virtual cyberspace is as physical space, extending [the charges for] statutory actions that can only happen in real, physical space [that is, disturbing public order,] to the Internet. They also equated people on the Internet “standing around watching” with people at an actual site “standing around watching” and regarded the normal activity of receiving information, ideas and thoughts [via the Internet] as a “serious disruption of public order.” They coined [the term] “Internet order,” which doesn’t exist in legal terms, and equated it to “public order,” thereby convicting the accuser of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

No matter what judicial documents or explanations the three accused persons assert or quote, they cannot conceal the fact that they are carrying out ideological persecution, regardless of how they frame the facts. Additionally, by putting out this type of decision, the three accused persons cannot conceal their criminal act of intentionally running opposite of the facts and law and twisting the law when rendering judgments or orders [Editor’s Note: This is closely paraphrased from the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China].

In the end, the three accused persons “intentionally ran opposite of the facts and law and twisted the law when rendering judgments,” offending Article 399 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, which is currently in effect and includes the crime of twisting the law in favor of oneself or one’s relatives. [This criminal offense] already caused the accused persons to administer a six-year prison sentence [to the accuser]. In the trial of first instance, Sun Desheng received a sentence of 2 1/2 years in prison. Only very serious circumstances should be sentenced to more than five years in prison.

To: Guangzhou Municipal People’s Procuratorate

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org