All three were tried for “illegal assembly”; Liu and Wei were charged with the additional counts of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序) and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施).
Below is Human Rights in China’s English translation of Liu Ping’s final statement at trial, followed by the Chinese original:
Liu Ping's Final Statement
[Translation by Human Rights in China]
I am a retired employee of Xinyu Iron and Steel Plant. From the time of my forced early retirement in 2009, I have received an “internal retirement” pension of a little more than RMB 400 (~$66), on which to raise my daughter. To defend my own rights, I petitioned frequently, at different levels of government, but it was no use. I went to court to file a complaint, but the court unlawfully refused to accept the case. Because of this, the Xinyu Public Security Bureau gave me a ten-day administrative detention. I fought back tenaciously against this unlawful violation and sued the Public Security Bureau, but to no avail. Through my perseverance, Xinyu Iron and Steel Plant ultimately rescinded its more than 13-year-old “internal retirement” system, and the salaries of related workers increased by several hundred yuan. Because of this, I received praise from plant workers.
Reflecting on the experience of the public authorities’ passivity and noncompliance with the law, I believe that they are the cause of popular grievances and unrest. In April 2011, I decided to run for people’s congress, believing that I could be useful as a representative. Time after time, what happened to me during my candidacy for people’s congress deputy startled and shocked me. I was “protected” by police 24 hours a day, my mobile phone use and whereabouts were tracked, and detectors were installed outside my door. I was subjected to frequent unlawful detentions, having my head covered with a black hood, savage beatings, being tied up, strip searches, and lock-up in black jails. In the face of this suppression, I thought of the violence of the reactionaries during their suppression of the revolutionaries. But I feared nothing. When I filed complaints at public security agencies, they did not respond in accordance with proper procedures. When I brought complaints to prosecutors, they did not respond either. When I filed open government information requests and administrative lawsuits, courts did not accept them, nor did they respond or issue rulings. I have exhausted all channels of the law.
I am innocent. In order to defend my lawful labor rights, I have been forced from being an obedient, CCTV-watching subject to being a petitioner. In the pursuit of justice, I have transformed into a citizen. In order to seek political rights in accordance with the law, the butterfly has become a voter. Finally, as a specimen seeking the political rights of a citizen, I stand at the defendant’s podium, viewed as a rebel.
This is the misfortune of an independent candidate in Jiangxi Province. I am innocent; every step that I have taken, it has all been in the lawful pursuit of equality, freedom, and democracy. I have put into action all that I believe in. History will declare my innocence! Praise the Lord! I love this country that has given me life and raised me, and I love my fellow countrymen!