Beijing female lawyer trapped in "railway prison"

17:57, August 18, 2010      

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After having quarrels with the railway staff, Beijing female lawyer Wang Yu was arrested by railway police working for the railway company, sued by the railway procuratorate, and judged by the railway court with a sentence in the first trial, which many see as evidence of the problem of "integration" of Chinese railway criminal jurisdiction.

In Tianjin West Station on May 4, 2008, the female lawyer Wang Yu, 37, was going to the railway platform to see her friend off with a platform ticket in her hand. She was stopped by several staff in the ticket entrance. There was a short physical confrontation between two parties.

After the matter on that day, Wang Yu was asked to the Tianjin West Station Police Station to be questioned. Thinking herself to be the victim, Wang Yu requested that the concerned parties come for confrontation but was refused by the police. Then, the angry Wang came to the Tianjin Railway Public Security Office Supervision Team to complain about "the civil police's denial of justice" before she went to the hospital for treatment.

Seven months later on Dec. 9, 2008, Wang Yu was suddenly taken by the police of the Tianjin West Station Police Station from her family in Beijing. Before leaving, Wang told her husband on the telephone, "The police officer in Tianjin is going to resolve our problem, and I will go there to ask for an explanation."

Unexpectedly, the next day Wang was detained and put behind bars in the detention house of Tianjin Railway Public Security Office for intentional assault. The charge was that in the quarrel on May 4, Wang slapped a male staff member in Tianjian West Station in his face, leading to deafness and serious injury. Moreover, she pushed down a female staff member, resulting in injury to her hip.

Li Pinggui, Wang's attorney said, "As a weak woman, Wang Yu has never learned martial arts. Faced with the converging attack from four strong ticket inspectors, it is unlikely she could beat the tall and strong male staff members causing serious injury, much less strike down three persons and hurt two persons. It is unbelievable."

Having been detained for 15 months, Wang waited for the result of the first trial in March 2010. The Tianjin Railway Transportation Court's found her guilty of intentional assault and sentenced her to three years in prison. She paid 130,000 yuan in compensation to the two victims.

"In this case, the police station has illegally filed the case and conducted an illegal investigation. As the public prosecutor, the procuratorate provided contradictory evidence. The court has seriously deprived the lawyer of her right to defense in court and stopped the lawyer several times from speaking," Li said "The so-called 'the victim' is the staff of the railway company, but it is the railway company who issues the salary to the railway police, railway procurator and railway judge. How could such a case be fairly judged?"

In 1982, a law was made stating that all affairs arising on the train and in the railway station are administered by the railway public security organs, procuratorial organs and court system. However, the debate on this law has never stopped.

Each year, the deputies to the National People's Congress always propose a bill to cancel the railway jurisdiction organization in the NPC and CPPCC. In July 2009, the Central Committee issued the official notice to require "the division of railway public security organs, procuratorial organs and courts away from railway transportation enterprise and entirely incorporate them into the national jurisdiction management system at one time." But up to now, the reforms has made no progress.

On Aug. 8, 2010, 30 lawyers jointly signed on the letter to the Supreme Judicial Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, stating, "The investigation, suit, trial, verification and detention of the case were completed by the staff of Beijing railroad bureau. Is there any justice to it?"

The 30 lawyers who jointly signed the letter also provided the citizens' suggestions on the examination the Railway System Jurisdiction and possible violations of the constitution.

Five months later, on Aug. 10, 2010, Beijing Railway Transportation Intermediate Court brought a new verdict. Since there are certain unclear facts in the original court decision, it will be sent to the first trial court to retrial.

The female lawyer Wang Yu is still in the prison and her fate is still undecided.

Source: Century Weekly, August 18, 2010, Author: Luo Jieqi, translated by People's Daily Online, Yan Meng

(Editor:燕勐)

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