Doctor of Chinese Medicine Sentenced for WeChat Post on Falun Gong
Dr. Peng Shuming (pictured) is a 51-year-old doctor of Chinese medicine in Gaotang County, Shandong Province. Peng was recently sentenced to five years by a court in Jilin Province for posting information on WeChat about the persecution of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and self-improvement practice that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
On April 12, 2021, Peng Shuming was arrested at his clinic by Gaotang County police officers and their counterparts who traveled over 1,000 miles from Taonan City, Jilin Province. Mr. Peng was taken to Taonan that day and held in the Taonan City Detention Center.
His wife, Ms. Cao Huaixi, was also arrested, but she was soon released due to a medical condition. Their son, who is in college, was forced to sign up as her guarantor. She was ordered to report to the police whenever she is summoned.
The authorities later revealed that the internet police in Taonan saw information about Falun Gong posted by Mr. Peng on WeChat, and decided to arrest Mr. Peng.
The police also forced Ms. Cao to travel twice to Taonan to sign Mr. Peng’s case documents, threatening to arrest their son if she didn’t.
Legal Representation Blocked, Beaten in Detention
Mr. Peng’s family hired a lawyer for him after his arrest was approved on May 14, 2021. The lawyer argued that the case didn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the police in Taonan, and he requested that it be returned to Mr. Peng’s residence in Gaotang County. The Taonan police rejected the request and also refused to let Mr. Peng attend the funeral of his mother, who was so traumatized by his arrest that she passed away soon after.
The Taonan City Domestic Security Office submitted the cases against both Mr. Peng and Ms. Cao, who had just had surgery for breast cancer, to the Taonan County Procuratorate in late July 2021. At their lawyer’s insistence, the prosecutor dismissed the case against Ms. Cao.
The guards in the Taonan Detention Center beat Mr. Peng for refusing to recite the inmate rules. His left eye swelled up, his nose bled, and his ribs hurt for over three weeks. When his lawyer challenged the guards for beating him, they replied, “Hasn’t he recovered already?”
After the prosecutor indicted Mr. Peng and moved his case to the court, the judge ordered his lawyer to obtain permission from the justice bureaus both where he lived and in Taonan before he was allowed to represent Mr. Peng in court. When the justice bureau in Taonan refused to provide the required paperwork for the lawyer, he was forced to drop the case.
Although the court told Mr. Peng’s son that he could hire a local lawyer for him, the family later learned that the justice bureau in Jilin had an internal policy prohibiting all local lawyers from taking on Falun Gong cases. Even if they did, they would be required to obtain many documents to just visit the practitioners. Representing Falun Gong practitioners in court was almost impossible. Due to all the hurdles, almost no lawyers in Jilin were willing to accept Falun Gong cases.
Dr. Peng’s Career Halted
Mr. Peng began to learn Chinese medicine in his early 20s. He opened his clinic around the same time he started to practice Falun Gong in 1996. He always tried his best to help his patients and lessen their financial burden. He only charged 15 yuan for medicine that other clinics sold for 50 yuan. Many of his patients spoke highly of him and recommended him to their relatives and friends.
Mr. Peng had been jailed in the past due to his practice of Falun Gong. In 2014, he was arrested and arbitrarily sentenced to three years in prison. In April 2020, he was detained for posting information about Falun Gong on WeChat. Police ransacked his home and confiscated Falun Gong books and two cell phones. He was released the next day but his phones not returned.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Ren Qiang (任强), head of Yuqiuhu Police Station: +86-635-3835666, +86-635-3981679, +86-15806353300
Shi Zixian (石子宪), president of Taonan City Court: +86-13843650008
Peng Dayu (彭大羽), president of Taonan City Procuratorate: +86-13943680005
Based on an original article by Minghui.org.