The Higher People's Court of Chongqing on Friday dismissed a second appeal by former local village official Ren Jianyu against the Chongqing Reeducation Committee, who were responsible for the decision to send him to a forced labor camp in 2011.
Ren Jianyu, a village official in Pengshui county, Chongqing, was summoned by local police on August 17, 2011 and later sentenced to two years of reeducation through labor by the Chongqing Reeducation Committee for the crime of "agitation aimed at subverting the government" for writing and reposting opinions on the Internet.
Local authorities withdrew the reeducation sentence and Ren regained his freedom on November 19, 2012, nine months earlier than expected. He filed an appeal against the Chongqing Reeducation Center on August 15 and it was rejected by the Chongqing No.3 Intermediate People's Court, who claimed the time limit in which he could launch an appeal had elapsed.
"I am sorry we lost the lawsuit," Ren told the Global Times after the nine-hour closed-door trial.
"I feel disappointed by the results and the court, even though we anticipated that," said Pu Zhiqiang, Ren's lawyer.
According to Pu, one of the witnesses, Huang Chengcheng, who had just been released from the Chongqing Reeducation Center, was threatened by local government officials two days earlier and told not to testify. Pu also said that many seats in the court were occupied by "pasted-on" numbers and sleepy farmers, while others who actually cared about the case were prevented from entering.
Pu said they are planning to appeal to the Supreme Court in ten days. "We will not give up," he said.