Chinese Ministry of Propaganda intervenes in the trial of Sun Dawu’s case, lawyer reveals torture is ignored

The trial of Sun Dawu, chairman of the Dawu Group, entered its second day, and the Hebei authorities continued to send a large number of stabilizers to the scene to maintain stability, allowing only one family member to observe the trial, in addition to the Ministry of Propaganda and the Ministry of Justice also sent people directly involved in strict control of lawyers and the media. It is known that Sun Dawu revealed that he was tortured during his imprisonment, and his lawyer’s request to take evidence was ignored by the court. Sun Dawu has been charged with a number of crimes, and the official threatened to sentence him to 25 years, which concerns have been raised that this may become a reality.

Security has been tight outside the Gaobeidian court in Hebei for two days as the widely publicized trial of Sun Dawu began Thursday (15).

Veteran lawyer Yang Bin also confirmed that officials are deeply involved in Sun’s case. During the trial, people from both the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Justice came to the courtroom. Journalists who tried to cover the case at the venue were also directly intercepted by the Propaganda Department and repatriated on the spot. The hotels around the court were also full due to the presence of officials, with the Propaganda Department alone occupying at least seven rooms. In addition, in addition to sending a large number of plainclothes to maintain stability, the Gaobeidian authorities temporarily installed surveillance equipment on the street outside the courthouse before yesterday’s session. The officials sent by the local judicial bureaus to monitor and control the lawyers were also transported by special buses.

Yang Bin pointed out that all indications are that the officials have no intention of following basic legal procedures, including the official appointment of official lawyers for the defendants in the name of legal aid. He said Sun Dawu himself has so far resolutely pleaded not guilty, but that some of the other defendants may succumb to the pressure.

Yang Bin said: this morning’s trial is still on some procedural matters, especially on the exclusion of illegal evidence, the two sides on these procedural matters in the tangle. He (Sun Dawu) should be very firm in his attitude, that he is not guilty. The middle is certainly also a plea of guilty and punishment. This is because this is not all foreign lawyers, but also part of the local legal aid lawyers. The two sons are in court with him, and his wife and daughter-in-law are on a separate case.

According to Mr. Zhang, who rushed to the Gaobeidian court to try to observe the case of Sun Dawu, the official nominally said it was a public hearing, but they had no chance to get a chance to observe. Even Sun Dawu and immediate family members, only one person can go to attend the hearing.

He said that from the first day of the trial yesterday, the Hebei side in a street outside the courthouse, arranged a large number of plainclothes public security, and the use of communication jamming equipment. He likewise confirmed that the lawyers of Sun Dawu’s defense team are now under a lot of pressure, as the judicial bureaus in their areas, and even the provincial, city and district (county) judicial departments have sent people to control the lawyers in place.

Mr. Zhang said: The signal masking is very serious and there are people all over the place. It’s like this, each defendant can only allow one person to observe, the company, there is is a quota. The Ministry of Justice Legal Management Bureau came to the people, came to the judicial authorities where the lawyers came. Some, it that the three levels of judicial organs have come people.

Before the trial of Sun Dawu’s case, Gaobeidian officials urgently installed surveillance equipment near the court. (Courtesy of Informant / July 15, 2021)

According to lawyer documents obtained by the Associated Press, Sun Dawu is charged with a number of crimes including provocation, gathering a crowd to storm state organs, obstructing official business, breaking production and operation, forced trading, illegal mining, illegal occupation of agricultural land, and illegal absorption of public deposits.

It is reported that on the first day of the trial, two of the defendants were unwell and had to receive medical treatment. Sun Dawu also once complained of being under residential surveillance during the life worse than death, so that the police torture to extract a confession was confirmed. The lawyer’s request to take evidence from the Q Hotel, where Sun and the others were secretly held, was ignored by the court.

Our correspondent has called the Gaobeidian City Court several times in this regard, but the institution has refused to answer. The Hebei Provincial Public Security Bureau and the Hebei Provincial High Court both refused to respond to the Sun Dawu case.

And just as Dawu Group executives are being tried en masse, officials have also imposed severe stability maintenance within the Dawu Group. Nearly 10,000 employees of the Dawu Group, no one dared to talk about the trial of Sun Dawu in their circle of friends. An employee who had insisted on speaking up for Sun Dawu for months can only remain silent now.

On the other hand, the official takeover team sent to launch a number of industrial parks in the Dawu Group with substantial discounts and concessions to downplay the impact of the trial of Sun Dawu family and Dawu Group executives.

Ran Tong, a senior lawyer, pointed out that information about Sun Dawu’s case is blocked and shrouded, which is just a norm for sensitive cases. He also pointed out that under the increasingly stringent control of the Justice Bureau, the specific lawyers handling the case are now afraid to be interviewed about the case.

Ran Tong said: “There must be a lot of material in this case, and it will definitely drag on for many days. The news is filtered, and the lawyers who go there are strictly controlled, and the people from the Justice Bureau are sitting next to them. The Justice Bureau will first give you a statement on similar cases, telling you not to speculate on the case in any form. This case is basically this pattern. Because I do not do this case, I dare to accept your interview. Frankly speaking, the so-called justice has actually existed in name only.

Sun Dawu, 67, a native of Xushui, Baoding, Hebei, is the founder of the Dawu Group, a famous Hebei enterprise that started and grew up raising chickens and pigs. He is known as the conscience of Chinese entrepreneurs. He was once arrested and sentenced to three years of probation for four years for statements that leaned toward universal values. In February 2019, Sun Dawu was the first to expose himself to suspected African swine fever on his farm and asked the government to test it and draw conclusions, the first to lift the lid on the underreporting of the epidemic in Hebei.

In August last year, the Dawu Group clashed with officials over protests against the forced occupation of land by local state-owned farms, but was violently suppressed by police. Our reporter also specifically asked him at the time why he didn’t take his properties and emigrate to a place where there was freedom, knowing that danger was gradually approaching. His assistant responded that Mr. Dawu’s whole family, none of them would emigrate, he loves this country and its people.

At present, including Mr. and Mrs. Sun Dawu, his two sons and their families, as well as his two brothers, all lost their freedom because of the case.