(Minghui.org) The Tinghu District Court in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, tried Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wei Hongya on August 8, 2012. Ms. Wei pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer stated that Ms. Wei's actions of practicing Falun Gong and disseminating Shen Yun and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party DVDs are not crimes. Furthermore, the lawyer praised the Shen Yun Performing Arts show as being "The pride of Chinese culture."

Ms. Wei was arrested in early May 2012, and was sent to trial by the police, the Procuratorate, and the court three months later.

During Ms. Wei's not-guilty plea, her lawyer pointed out that according to China's constitution, Ms. Wei's actions of believing, practicing, and promoting Falun Gong, and clarifying the truth about it to the public, were well within her legal rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religious belief. The lawyer stated that no one is entitled to strip those rights away from her.

Ms. Wei's lawyer pointed out that Falun Gong practitioners not only did not interfere with the implementation of the law, but they are actually maintaining the dignity of the Constitution and the law, and their behavior was beneficial to society. Ms. Wei's actions of recommending Falun Gong to others and promoting its benefits, are permitted by law, and the principles of Falun Gong – Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance – are universal values which are recognized by all humankind.

In regards to distributing Shen Yun Performing Arts show DVDs and New Tang Dynasty TV program DVDs, Ms. Wei's lawyer stated that the Shen Yun show presents the characteristics of traditional Chinese values and high artistic standards. During its world tour, Shen Yun has been welcomed and very well received by audiences in many different countries. The lawyer sees the Shen Yun show as the pride of Chinese culture and a spiritual asset to humanity.

On distributing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Ms. Wei's lawyer reputed that Ms. Wei was merely criticizing the current political affairs and the ruling party. Article 41 in the Constitution states: “Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state agencies and government workers.” What Ms. Wei did would be understood as ordinary, lawful actions in democratic countries in Europe and America. Why are the same actions considered crimes in China, while the Chinese government claims it is ruling society in a democratic way?

In conclusion, Ms. Wei's lawyer stated, “We see hope for China from Falun Gong practitioners. We cannot stand by as justice, morality, and conscience are trampled. We cannot just look at good people being wronged and brutally persecuted and do nothing, as it is our responsibility to help them. We should not be numb, weak, and cold-blooded and ignore our responsibility toward them. If innocent, good people are sent to trial and prison, then our country's judicial system will lose its honor, and our county will not have long-term stability. Some years later, our future generations would have difficulty comprehending this absurd historical period. Thus, the characteristics of selfishness, craziness, and the seeking of instant benefit during our era will be highlighted. Besides underestimating the intellectual abilities of our prosecutors, judges, and officials of all levels and sectors, our conscience, responsibility, and courage are also being humiliated.”