The Changsha City Intermediate People’s Court in downtown China, sentenced three workers of the Chinese NGO Changsha Funeng to between 2 and 5 years in prison for “subversion of state power”, the wife of one of the convicts informed Efe today.
Shi Minglei – Cheng Yuan’s wife, founder of the NGO, dedicated to combating discrimination against people with disabilities, Hepatitis B and HIVAmong other cases, she assured by telephone from the United States, where she is currently in exile, that her husband was secretly sentenced to 5 years in prison.
While, his colleagues Wu Gejiangxiong and Liu Dazhi were sentenced to three and two years, respectively.
The source added that the sentence includes the same number of years of loss of political rights as those that each of them must serve in prison, known jointly as “the three from Changsha” and that they were arrested on July 22, 2019 and taken into custody ever since.
According to Shi, after two years had elapsed since his arrest on July 22, Liu Dazhi, sentenced to two years in prison, was released and transferred by the police to his mother’s house in the town of Huaihua -in the province of Hunan, of which Changsha is the capital – and remains under surveillance.
However, and Despite the two-year suspension of political rights, his passport has not been returned.
COMPLAINTS OF BAD TREATMENT
Cheng Yuan’s wife also denounced the insufficient nutrition to which inmates are subjected in the Hunan National Security Detention Center, which is why those sentenced went on hunger strikes.
In addition, Wu, Cheng and Liu were held in solitary confinement, which motivated the protests of Wu, who -according to the information provided by Shi- was beaten for it.
Relatives do not know where Cheng and Wu will serve their sentences.
Wu’s father tried to file an appeal in the second instance -was denied in the first instance-, but having known the result of the sentences informally and time after having decided, the authorities informed him that the deadline for submission had expired.
TRIED IN SECRET
Families and human rights organizations claim that “the three from Changsha” have been subjected to what they consider to be secret trials: without access to independent lawyers, without communication with the families, without records of the case in the judicial computer system, processed behind closed doors and without the pertinent notifications to the relatives.
Authorities can invoke the Article 188 of China’s Criminal Procedure Law whereby “first instance cases that contain state secrets or private personal information may not be tried publicly.”
But the same article stipulates that When the cases are behind closed doors, a reason must be provided for it, something that Shi is not aware of.
The absence of official notices regarding the trial to the relatives constitutes a violation of article 187 of the Criminal Procedure Law of China.
The head of the China team of the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI), Joshua Rosenzweig, considered “outrageous” the treatment meted out to “the three from Changsha”, and referred to the penalties as “severe.”
“It is shocking that the government-appointed lawyers refused to even inform the trio’s relatives of their fates. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Cheng and Wu, who are still incarcerated just for defending human rights peacefully “Rosenzweig added.