Date: October 4, 2021
|Ms. Han Li's release certificate
(Photo: ChinaAid Source)
Han Li worked for “Tree of Life” in Shenzhen. She was arrested on July 2, 2020, for selling Bible players. Her colleagues Fu Xuanjuan, Deng Tianyong, and Feng Qunhao were also arrested. They were charged with “illegal business operations”. After a series of trials, they were convicted on July 16, 2021. Han, as the receptionist of the company, received the lightest sentence. Shenzhen Baoan District People’s Court found them guilty and sentenced them:
- Fu Xuanjuan for 6 years and a fine of RMB ¥200,000 (~$30,977 USD).
- Deng Tianyong for 3 years and a fine of RMB ¥50,000 (~$7,744 USD).
- Feng Qunhao for 2 years and 6 months and a fine of RMB ¥30,000 (~$4,646 USD).
- Han Li for 1 year and 3 months and a fine of RMB ¥10,000 (~$1,548 USD).
The Court also confiscated all six models of the Bible players and six computers.
A Bible player is a kind of newly-emerged portable digital player. Apart from playing pre-recorded audio clips of the Bible, it also plays pastor sermons and hymns. Older Christians benefited from the easy-to-use players, but as the Chinese government continued to suppress Christianity, manufacturing and selling Bible players became illegal.
During the second trial on May 7, 2021, Han Li and Fu Xuanjuan both strongly insisted their Bible players brought great convenience to Christian life and bore no harm to society. Lawyer Huang Deqi made innocence defense for Ms. Han from the following four aspects:
- The case involves a company, not just a single individual
- The bible player is not a publication, and the punishment should not be counted with the internal storage card
- Selling the bible player did not disturb the market order
- The bible player brought no harm to society, so criminal punishment was not necessary
Meanwhile, he pointed out Ms. Li was merely an accessory and the circumstances of her crime were negligible. On July 16, the Court decided to punish Han Li according to the internal storage—one year and three months. At that point, she already served most of her time.
Lawyer Huang Deqi told ChinaAid sources:
Our innocence defense didn’t succeed, but considering China’s legal system, she already got a special kind of ‘innocent’ verdict because the sentence she received was equal to the duration of her detention.
~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter