China: Verdict postponed in Fujian netizen trial

A long overdue verdict was expected today in the “false accusations” trial of activists Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), You Jingyou (游精佑) and Wu Huaying (吴华英) who have remained in police custody in Fuzhou since their arrests last summer.

The charges against them stem from a filmed interview with Lin Xiuying in which she details her suspicions that her daughter, Yan Xiaoling, was murdered after being gang-raped at the hands of police. The footage was put online and passed around, leading to a number of arrests of netizens beginning in June 2009; while several were soon released, as for the two women and one man still in custody, noted in the EastSouthWestNorth blog post linked to above, “Lin Xiuying has said many times that the defendants were arrested for helping her.”

A number of netizens gathered at the courthouse in Fuzhou‘s Mawei district prior to the trial this morning to report the outcome via microblog. Among those was well-known citizen journalist and poverty activist Tiger Temple (Laohu Miao) who shortly after nine a.m. tweeted [zh] that the court session had lasted only a minute, with the judge choosing to postpone the verdict pending further investigation.

Lawyer for the three netizens, Liu Xiaoyuan, who has written nearly 200 blog posts on developments in the case, stated in an interview with the Chinese Human Rights Defenders website shortly after the trial that, having just been barred from entering the local petition office, his next step would be to file a complaint with the procuratorate, citing lack of evidence. Liu also pointed out in the interview that results of the judge's earlier call for further investigation had not been made known to him.

Outside the courthouse following the trial, those present estimated a crowd of nearly a thousand; scuffles with police and security personnel reportedly took place with cameras being confiscated and photos deleted. Several which were earlier accessible on Chinese microblogging platform Zuosa can no longer be viewed, while others from Tiger Temple remain:



One mother at the scene came forward to denounce judiciary in Fuzhou for their shady behavior.



Wu Huaying's daughter Du Mei denounced the hired thugs for hitting her and snatching away her camera and cellphone, which they've yet to return

[update: more photos from outside the courtroom can be seen here]

Currently on Tiger Temple's blog is a video clip in which Lin Xiuying presents the many developments and documents related to the case, including photos of her daughter's corpse.


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