China: CCP court sustains original verdict in second trial of the Shenzhen “Bible Player” case

Source:                    www.ChinaAid.org

Date:                          January 11, 2022


Sample of Audio Bible player.
(Photo: ChinaAid Resource)

(Shenzhen, Guangdong Province—January 11, 2022) Recently, Guangdong Province, Shenzhen City Intermediate People’s Court held the second trial of Christians manufacturing Bible players at Shenzhen City Tree Life Technology Development Company. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities charged Fu Xuanjuan and Deng Tianyong (a married couple), as well as Feng Qunhao of “illegal business operation” for selling the Bible players. The court dismissed the appeal and sustained the original verdict.

On July 2, 2020, at 4 PM, police arrested Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, Feng Qunhao, and Han Li in Yucun Henglin Complex Room 701A, Xijiang Street, Baoan District. On July 3, 2020, Shenzhen City Baoan Police Station detained the four on suspicion of “illegal business operation.” The Baoan District procuratorate affirmed the charge as an “illegal business operation.”

On August 6, 2020, the Shenzhen City Bureau of Public Security Baoan Police Station officially arrested the four Christians. After authorities detained Fu, Deng, Feng, and Han at Shenzhen Jiuwei Detention Center, CCP officials threatened the four, as well as their families and attorneys, warning them not to disclose the case status.

On November 27, 2020, Baoan District Court No. 6 Courtroom authorities tried the case against the four Bible player manufacturers.

On December 9, 2020, the Baoan District Court tried the four Christians the second time.

Baoan District Procuratorate’s civil complaint states that the revenue by Shenzhen City Tree Life Technology Development Company’s revenue of illegal business operation from January 2018 through June 2020 totals 3,661,847.84 yuan (574,497.60 United States Dollars). The procuratorate affirmed that Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, Feng Qunhao, and Han Li have violated the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China Article 225 and should be criminally accountable for “illegal business operation.” The procuratorate suggested that Fu Xuanjuan be sentenced to five years, Deng Tianyong to three years with a fine, Feng Qunhao to three years with a fine, and Han Li one and half years with a fine.

Shenzhen City Baoan District People’s Court processed the case multiple times. The court’s verdict of the first trial held on July 16, 2021, affirmed the conviction of the four Christians, including Fu, Deng, Han, and Fun for “illegal business operation.” The court sentenced Fu Xuanjuan to six years imprisonment and a 200,000 yuan (31,377.96 United States Dollars) fine; Deng Tianyong to three years imprisonment and a 50,000 yuan (7,844.49 United States Dollars) fine; Feng Qunhao to serve two and a half years imprisonment and pay a 30,000 yuan (4,706.56 United States Dollars) fine; Han Li to 15 months imprisonment and a 10,000 yuan (1,568.90 United States Dollars) fine. In addition, CCP authorities confiscated six kinds of players, two mainframe computers, and four other computers.

Fu Xuanjuan, 43-years-old, serves as the legal representative of Shenzhen City Tree Life Technology Development Co. Ltd. After Deng Tianyong, Fu’s 50-year-old husband, previously addicted to drugs, became a born-again Christian, God dramatically changed him. As a devout Christian, he became willing to be jailed for the sake of the gospel. Deng Tianyong and Feng Qunhao had been working at the company since its founding. Deng Tianyong’s responsibility includes reviewing and managing the content to be installed in the digital players. Feng Qunhao, a technician at the company, duplicates and copies the videos which Deng Tianyong has approved. He also provides after-sale service. Han Li, the receptionist and accountant, oversees packing, delivery, and the company’s finance.

In the first trial, the four Christians including Fu Xuanjuan etc. and their defense lawyers related their belief that selling the Bible players benefits Christians’ faith and does not harm society. Defense lawyers presented the plea of innocence from the following perspectives:

  1. This case is a unit crime.
  2. The player is not a publication, so it should be separated from the memory cards.
  3. Selling the Bible players does not disrupt the market order.
  4. Manufacturing and selling Bible players do not harm society nor violate any criminal laws, so it is unnecessary for the court to decree a criminal penalty.
Nevertheless, the court upheld the previous heavy penalty.

The court gave Han Li the lightest penalty—15-months imprisonment. Authorities released her on October 1, 2021. Three other Christians including Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, Feng Qunhao disagreed with their verdicts and have appealed.

Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court’s December 16, 2021, the verdict of the second trial ruled that:

After investigation, statements by the appellants and original defendants, the witnesses’ testimony, as well as the special auditor’s report, verify that the revenue of Shenzhen City Tree Life Technology Development Company , made by illegally selling digital players from January 2018 through June 2020, totals 3,661,847.84 yuan. Therefore, the court would not consider the not factually grounded, previously, noted defense lawyers’ opinions.

Regarding the appellants' and defense lawyers’ disagreement about the measurement of the penalty, the verdict remained final. As the lighter punishment that the appellants and defense lawyers proposed has been incorporated into the original verdict and taken into consideration with the penalty, the court deemed that the original measurement of penalty remains appropriate and will not support the related disagreement. In summary, the court ruled that the facts the original verdict recognizes are clear, reportedly confirmed by solid and sufficient evidence. The court concluded:
 
  • the conviction is accurate,
  • the laws referred to in the case are correct,
  • the court proceeding is legitimate, and
  • the measurement of penalty is appropriate.
 
Pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China Article 236 Clause 1 Item 1, the decision is as follows:

Dismiss the appeal and sustain the original judgement.

The Bible player, a compact, portable digital player, contains a narrated recording of the Bible, as well as numerous sermons and hymns. Additionally, the user-friendly player can record audios and videos, making it helpful to Christians, particularly elderly ones. In their efforts to crack down on Christianity, however, CCP authorities continue to regard manufacturing and selling the Bible players as “illegal business operation.”

~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Contributing Reporter
 
 
The following "Criminal Verdict" recounts the Bible Player Case verdict:

Guangdong Province Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court
 
Criminal Verdict


(2021) Guangdong 03 Crime End 1618

The original prosecutor: Shenzhen City Baoan District People’s Procuratorate

The appellant (the original defendant), Fu Xuanjuan, female, DOB 12/20//1978, ID 45052197812207889, Han ethnicity, technical secondary school diploma, domicile register—Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Beihai City Hepu County Changle Town Dajiao Village Committee Niuer Division No.5 No. 5. She was detained on July 2, 2020, because of being a suspect of illegal business operation, criminally detained the next day, and arrested on August 6th, 2020. She is detained at Shenzhen City Baoan District Detention Center at present.

Defense lawyers, Yang Guojie and Yan Jinghua, work at Guangdong Haibu Law Firm.

The appellant (the original defendant), Deng Tianyong, male, DOB April 12, 1971, ID 442000197104126616, Han ethnicity, middle school diploma, domicile register—Guangdong Province Zhongshan City Shaxi Town Huiyuan Subdistrict Committee Group 40. He was detained on July 2, 2020, because of being a suspect of illegal business operation, criminally detained the next day, and arrested on August 6, 2020. He is detained at Shenzhen City Baoan District Detention Center at present.

Defense lawyers, Yang Guojie and Yan Jinghua, work at Guangdong Haibu Law Firm.

The appellant (the original defendant), Feng Qunhao, male, DOB 06/13/1976, ID 441222197606135211, Han ethnicity, middle school diploma, domicile register—Guangdong Province Zhaoqing City Sihui City Dongcheng Street Taochong Village Committee Xincun No. 15. He was detained on July 2, 2020, because of being a suspect of illegal business operation, criminally detained the next day, and arrested on August 6, 2020. He is detained at Shenzhen City Baoan District Detention Center.

The appointed defense lawyer, Li Debin, works at Shanghai Xucan (Shenzhen) Law Firm.

(Last page)

After investigation, according to the statements by the appellants and original defendants, the witnesses’ testimony, and the special auditor’s report, it can be verified that the revenue of Shenzhen City Tree Life Technology Development Company by illegally selling digital players which are installed with the Bible and religious content from January 2018 through June 2020 is 3,661,847.84 yuan. Therefore, the defense lawyers’ opinions mentioned above are not grounded in facts, so they wouldn’t be taken into consideration.

In regard to the appellants and defense lawyers’ disagreement about the measurement of penalty, the court thinks that the lighter punishment proposed by the appellants and defense lawyers has been incorporated into the original verdict and taken into consideration while the penalty was given, so the original measurement of penalty is appropriate and the court will not support the related disagreement.

To sum up, the facts that the original verdict recognizes are clear, evidence is solid and sufficient, the conviction is accurate, the laws referred to in the case are correct, the court proceeding is legitimate, and the measurement of penalty is appropriate. Pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China Article 236 Clause 1 Item 1, the decision as follows:

Dismiss the appeal and sustain the original judgement.

The verdict is the final one.
 
Presiding Judge: Ruan Wei
 
Judge: Wang Weiming
 
Judge: Chen Jiayuan
 
December 16, 2021
 
The copy is same as the original document.
 
Court Clerk: Yang Xuan
 
 
###
 
Having a good conscience;
 that, whereas they speak evil of you,
as of evildoers, they may be ashamed 
that falsely accuse 
your good conversation in Christ.
                                                     ~ 1 Peter 3:16 (NKJV)  
 
 
 
China Aid exposes abuses in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law. If you wish to partner with us in helping those persecuted by the Chinese government, please click the button below to make a charitable donation.


Secure Donation

with PayPal

Pray for the Unreached