Published: October 27, 2014
Shen Yongping (沈勇平) is a documentary maker living in Beijing best known for making One Hundred Years of Constitutionalism (《百年宪政》) (trailer in Chinese), now available on YouTube. He was detained in April of this year, and charged with illegal business operations. His trial will be held at 9:30 am on November 4th, 2014, in Yuhe Court of Chaoyang District People’s Court (北京市朝阳区人民法院温榆河法庭).
His lawyer Zhang Xuezhong recently posted that, “In the course of making the documentary, Shen Yongping was warned repeatedly by the authorities that, if he didn’t stop filming, he would face prison time. Shen Yongping replied, ‘If you regard it as committing a crime to make a public interest documentary, then I would rather go after my dream and fulfill my own promise even if it means being locked in jail.’ On the same day the filming was done, Shen Yongping was detained by police in Beijing. He is the first individual in China who has lost his freedom for recording China’s history of pursuing constitutionalism.”
People’s Procuratorate of Chaoyang District, Beijing Municipality
Beijing Chaoyang Procuratorate criminal indict. (2014) No. 2475
Defendant Shen Yongping, male, born November 23, 1980, ID number: 36050219801123****, ethinic Han, undergraduate university education, place of household registration: [redacted by translators], Xinyu municipality, Jiangxi province. Was criminally detained on April 29, 2014, by the Chaoyang Branch of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. On June 5, 2014, arrest was approved by this Procuratorate and carried out by the Chaoyang Branch of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
The Chaoyang Branch of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau conducted and completed investigation on this case, and transferred it to this Procuratorate on July 28, 2014, for review for indictment of defendant Shen Yongping on suspicion of the crime of conducting illegal business operations. Upon receiving the filing, this Procuratorate notified the defendant on July 30, 2014, of his right to defense, interrogated the defendant in accordance with the law, and reviewed all the materials of this case. During this process, [this procuratorate] extended the time period once for 15 days for reviewing and deciding on an indictment.
Investigation in accordance with law has been ascertained: On April 28, 2014, police found and seized 4,000 DVDs titled “A Hundred Years of Constitutionalism” owned by the defendant Shen Yongping at Apt. 1802, No. 45 Bld., Huawei Beili, Chaoyang District, Beijing. These DVDs was identified by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in its “Publication Review and Identification Statement” as illegal publications, and have subsequently been confiscated.
The evidence affirming the facts stated above is as follows: Witness statements, documentary evidence, [authorities’] evaluation statement, and statement by the defendant.
This Procuratorate believes that defendant Shen Yongping has had weak understanding of the rule of law when he published and duplicated audio and visual products in violation of the state regulations. His behaviors disrupted the market order in a particularly serious manner that violated Article 225 (4) of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China. The criminal facts are clear, the evidence is credible and sufficient, and [the defendant] should be subjected to criminal prosecution for conducting illegal business operations. In accordance with Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, we hereby indict [the defendant] and ask [the court] to sentence him in accordance with the law.
Sincerely submitted to:
People’s Court of Chaoyang District, Beijing Municipality
People’s Procuratorate of Chaoyang District, Beijing Municipality (seal)
Deputy prosecutor: Yan Shuai
September 2, 2014
- Defendant Shen Yongping is currently detained in the detention center of Chaoyang District, Beijing;
- There are a total of 3 volumes of litigation documents; 1 compact disc;
- 2 copies of Recommendation for Sentencing;
- 1 copy of Recommendation for Applying Simplified Trial Procedures;
- Materials transferred to this case: None.
(Translated by China Change)