Wu Guijun still detained after the second hearing
IHLO, 7 April 2014
“I should not be sitting on the defendant's seat today, but those unscrupulous capitalists, malicious bosses and bureaucrats.” - Wu Guijun
“Wu Guijun is not guilty, if justice is with us.” - Pang Kun
The second hearing of Wu Guijun for illegal assembly was opened on 4 April 2014. As in the previous hearing, about forty supporters came to Shenzhen to show support to Wu who has lost his freedom for the eleventh month by now. The procurator produced statements from workers, management and officers of the local labour bureau, as well as Diweixin workers’ open letters to the employer and their twitter conversations to accuse Wu of being the representative of the workers in the strike and leader in the petition to the government on 23 May 2013.
- The criminal procedure in China is easily abused - After two supplementary investigations in ten months, the evidences produced by the procurator were flawed. Workers’ statements were taken by the public security during their administrative detention without informing them about their rights. Many statements were taken by the same public security officer and the time the statements were taken conflicted. A female witness appeared in court on the defence side to testify that she was illiterate and was asked by the public security to sign her name in the statement during her ten-day detention without knowing the content.
The procurator was able to present only written testimonies without calling a witness to appear in court for questioning. Whereas six witnesses who had taken part in the protest appeared in court on the defence side to testify that their action on 23 May 2013 was spontaneous and Wu had not taken the lead in any aggressive or illegal action.
Government intervention in the judiciary - The two-week strike at Diweixin factory and the protest at the government office was taken by the district government as a public security issue which was initiated by “unlawful organisation” and “unlawful workers’ representatives”that “should be cracked down with determination”. It was revealed in the internal government instruction dated 28 May 2013 referring to the group formed by workers in the community where the factory was located. The defendant lawyer made a specific point to warn government intervention and asked the court not to consider it. It was accepted by the judge. The document may explain the long custody of Wu and shows the hostility of the local government against workers’ self-organising outside the ACFTU.
Non-ACFTU representatives elected by workers in wild cat strikes are most vulnerable - The worker witnesses testified that they were pressed by the employer and the labour authority to elect representatives for mediation during the strike. Now the procurator is using that to charge Wu as the main offender for the protest on 23 May and other “radical” actions workers were planning.
Nearly eleven-month custody for disruption of traffic of two hours - The defendant lawyer applied for a bail out but it is not approved yet. There is no schedule yet when the sentence will be given.