Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hunan have secretly tried three non-governmental organization (NGO) workers, family members and rights groups said.
Cheng Yuan, Liu Dazhi, and Wuge Jianxiong were indicted in secret for “subversion of state power” by prosecutors in Hunan’s provincial capital, Changsha, on June 24.
They were tried behind closed doors at the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court last week.
Their families weren’t informed of the trial until afterwards, they told RFA.
Cheng’s wife Shi Minglei said she had only discovered that the trial had already happened when she called the court on Sept. 11 for an update on her husband’s case.
An official said the trial had taken place, and had been “open to the public,” but a second official who attempted a search of court records for the trial said it had returned no results.
“They confirmed that the trial was held last week. They didn’t tell me the outcome,” Shi told RFA.
“When we went to the court to ask about the outcome of the trial, they couldn’t find the case at all in the system,” she said. “How can they call this a public trial?”
Shi rejected the charges against her husband and the other two defendants.
“None of the work or activities undertaken by the Changsha Three was criminal in nature,” Shi said. “They have no evidence or material facts [to back them up].”
Shi said government-appointed lawyers wouldn’t dwell on the lack of evidence against their clients.
“This trial was held secretly so as to cover up the illegal methods [they are using],” she said.
The three defendants have been denied meetings with attorneys hired by their families since being detained on July 22, 2019.
Fired under duress
The lawyers were told in March this year that the defenders had “dismissed” them and that the government had assigned them government-funded lawyers.
The families said they believe that the lawyers were fired under duress, and said they have had no contact with the government-appointed lawyers.
Rights lawyer Xie Yang said that was highly likely.
“They must have used means we don’t know about to force the defendants to dismiss the lawyers hired by their families,” Xie said.
He said the court may also decide to issue the verdict and sentence in secret.
Authorities in China have repeatedly put pressure on political prisoners to accept government-appointed lawyers, and to achieve a more lenient sentence by “confessing” to the charges against them.
In some cases, they have issued letters “firing” the defense attorneys hired by their families.
Changsha Funeng founder Yang Zhanqing, who is now in the U.S., said the Changsha Three were detained as part of a general crackdown on the organization.
Yang has said that the main reason the authorities had targeted the three men was the fact that their rights work had received overseas funding, which the ruling Chinese Communist Party regards as “collusion with hostile foreign forces,” and a threat to its national security.
Reported by Gao Feng for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org
- Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad: ‘I Have No Regrets’
- COVID-19:Israel New Lockdown
- COVID-19: Pakistan Children for Special Needs
- Family of Detained Hong Kong Teen Face Obstacles At Every Turn
- Protest-Plagued Belarus Strongman Transfers Son to Moscow School – Reports
- Wildlife Documentary Series to be Filmed in South Africa’s Marion Island
- Founded by Former Slaves, Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns Struggle to Survive
- COVID-19: Turkey ‘Downplays’ True Infection Rate
- Release of Torture Videos Prompts Denials by Mozambican Authorities
- UN Secretary-General Holds Press Conference
- Detainees Endure Forced Labor in Xinjiang Region Where Disney Filmed Mulan
- Salt Of The Earth: Daghestani Villagers Use Pinch Of Ancient Wisdom To Make Ends Meet
- Herat’s Silk Weavers Still Working Their Wooden Looms
- RSF Calls on New Japanese Prime Minister to Take a Turn in Favor of Press Freedom
- The Italian School of Asmara, a Precious Educational Center,Closes
Subscribe Our You Tube Channel
Fighting Fake News
Crime and More WorldFollow
It’s Our Job to Tell Stories Relating to Crime Against Humanity and Human Interest Stories Across the World Without Any Ideological Preference-No Left or Right
We as Professional Journslists with experience over 15 to 20 years offers Copy Editing Services for small or mid sized publication/digital publication around the World with effordable prices.We have a capable team to support you.For details contact us Shanthanu Bhattachaarya
Consulting Editor crimeandmoreworld.com Email:editor
@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whatsapp +919073399779 or Telegram +919875416249