Former Policeman Faces Trial for Defending his Falun Gong Family members in East China
Posted by Author on June 28, 2010
Press Release, the Falun Dafa Information Center, June 28, 2010 –
In 2007, 23-year-old Pang Jin left her home and family in Weifang, China, to pursue her MBA at the University of Missouri. In the three years since, Jin has watched from thousands of miles away as her mother and aunt were abducted, tortured, and sentenced to 10 years in prison for their peaceful belief in Falun Gong. Now her father, not a Falun Gong practitioner, is facing trial for attempting to defend his wife.
Jin’s mother, Cao Junping, and her aunt, Cao Junfeng, are practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual discipline that is Buddhist in nature. They began practicing Falun Gong’s meditative exercises and following its teachings of ‘truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance’ in 1995, and like millions of other Chinese citizens, found in it improved health and peace of mind. After witnessing the changes to her mother’s demeanor, Jin herself eventually took up the practice.
After the Communist Party initiated a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in July, 1999, Jin’s mother was twice imprisoned extra-judicially and tortured for her belief. In the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics, on July 29, 2008, she was again abducted by security forces while staying at a friend’s home. Jin’s aunt was similarly abducted from her home on July 9th, 2008.
Both women were held in detention for 15 months. On October 18, 2009, they were brought before a sham trial. Lawyers and family members were not allowed to witness the trial, and no evidence was presented against them. Under orders from the Communist Party, however, they were sentenced to 10 and 9 years in prison, respectively, simply for practicing Falun Gong.
Jin’s father, Pang Xiaoqian, is an engineer and former employee of the Weifang police department. Although not a Falun Gong practitioner, he was aware of an impending crackdown on Falun Gong in the summer of 2008, and attempted to help his wife go into hiding to avoid arrest. Once she was found and abducted, he came to the defense, attempting to intervene with authorities on her behalf. For that, he was locked up for one month and forced to perform hard labor.
Upon his release, he lost his job with the police department, was denied a travel visa, and faced regular harassment.
Two years later, after imprisoning his wife and sister-in-law, authorities are seeking revenge against Mr. Pang. They have reportedly set a trial date for July 14, 2010, and will try Mr. Pang for “harboring a criminal.” If the trial goes forward, he will face the possibility of several years in prison.
“I never thought this could happen,” says Pang Jin, now 26 and residing in the Washington DC area. “My dad just tried to protect my mom from being hurt and arrested.”
Although her family can no longer afford a lawyer, Jin hopes that intervention from the U.S. government and human rights organizations can stop the trial.
“I feel so guilty that I could not save my mom from being sentenced to 10 years in prison. This time, I can’t just wait to hear the verdict against my dad. I have to do something to change it. I’ve already lost the ability to see and talk to my mom. I can’t lose my dad too.”
Pang Jin can be reached for interviews at (202) 450-8692.
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This entry was posted on June 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm and is filed under China, East China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religious, Shandong, Social, USA, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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