"For 14 years, they have endured the pains of their families being broken up and their loved ones losing their lives, and yet they have never renounced their belief.


For 14 years, they have been living in fear that they might be arrested at any time, be tortured, sent to forced labor camps or prisons, but they have never given up hope.


For 14 years, they have been treated with misunderstanding and coldness by people who have been deceived by lies, and yet they hold no resentment or hatred.”

– excerpt from blog by Attorney Liang Xiaojun


(Minghui.org) An illegal trial of 13 Falun Gong practitioners was scheduled for April 12, 2013 by the Zhongshan District Court in Dalian City, Liaoning Province. However, the night before the trial was supposed to start, the defense lawyers received a notice saying that the court session was cancelled.


On the morning of April 12, a large number of police officers arrested family members and other Falun Gong practitioners who had come to attend the trial. Two defense lawyers were also arrested and detained, and one of them, attorney Cheng Hai, was beaten by police.


The incident has been reported by overseas media. It is yet another flagrant violation of justice, committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against peaceful Falun Gong practitioners and the courageous lawyers who stand up to defend them in court.


In the reports that follow, the events that took place before and on April 12 are recounted both by Falun Gong practitioners and their lawyers. The report concludes with a moving blog entry by Attorney Liang Xiaojun, who speaks of the ongoing injustice directed towards persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and the lawyers who would defend them.



Mass Arrests Outside the Court

Under the instructions of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, Zhongshan District Court in Dalian had originally scheduled a trial of 13 Falun Gong practitioners to be held on April 12, and at least five defense attorneys were prepared to plead innocence on their behalf. However, around 8:00 p.m. on April 11, just 12 hours before the court session, the court notified the lawyers that the trial was cancelled. The next day, mass arrests took place outside the court.


Sources revealed that in fact the trial was not cancelled, but instead conducted secretly at 9:30 a.m. that morning. This information is yet to be verified. Falun Gong practitioners, family members and lawyers who were arrested were detained outside the court or in police vehicles.


Large numbers of uniformed and plainclothes police sent by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of Dalian, the 610 Office, the Judicial Bureau, and the Domestic Security Division sealed off all the intersections. Police cars were everywhere around the gardens near the port. Plainclothes police stopped and questioned passers-by and searched vehicles, and even private cars of local residents were not allowed to enter the district where their homes are located. Plainclothes police were everywhere near the local hospital and public bus terminals. They lied to people about the heavy police presence, saying that a “trial against underworld criminals” was being conducted.


More than twenty police cars, fire-engines and buses were parked along the roadside. The police searched the bags of passers-by at will, and if they found any Falun Gong truth-clarification flyers or self-adhesive stickers in someone's bag, that person would be dragged onto a bus.


Falun Gong practitioner She Yue's mother was arrested near the court. The police arrested a woman in her 40s after forcing her to submit to a body search. A large number of practitioners were arrested and dragged onto the buses. The police also harassed local residents. When they searched the bag of an elderly lady for no reason, bystanders scolded them.


Falun Gong practitioner Wang Shouchen's wife Liu Yanhua is a witness in his case. Around 11:00 p.m. on April 11, the Dalian Police Station sent two carloads of officers to break into her house in an attempt to arrest her. At the time of this writing her house is still surrounded by police.


The exact number of Falun Gong practitioners arrested and detained on April 12 is still unknown, but those already verified include: Wang Ruiping, Meng Xiangling, Zhao Zhenhua, Tian Yuhua, Bi Xiufeng, Qi Shuxian, Yu Tianjian and three others whose names are unknown. These ten practitioners were taken to the Jinanlu Detention Center (also known as the Dalian Drug Rehabilitation Center). Earlier, five other Falun Gong practitioners were also taken into custody. They are Song Weidong, Wang Lei, a teacher surnamed Wang, Lao Dong and Xiao Xu.


Falun Gong practitioner She Yue's mother was released the afternoon she was arrested because she suffered a heart attack. She Yue's wife Hua Caixia was also released around 7:00 p.m. that day. Practitioner Wang Linkai's wife was released on the evening of April 12.


The 13 Falun Gong practitioners who were scheduled to be put on trial that day are: Mr. Che Zhongshan, Mr. Zhu Chengqian, Mr. Wang Shouchen, Mr. Wang Tao, Mr. She Yue, Mr. Shi Zhanshun, Mr. Pei Zhenbo, Ms. Pan Xiuqing, Ms. Lin Lihong, Ms. Bai Ruyu, Ms. Li Shengjie, Mr. Guo Song, and Mr. Yu Bo.


They are just a small number of the 79 Falun Gong practitioners arrested on July 6, 2012.



Five Defense Lawyers Stopped by Police, Lawyer Cheng Hai Beaten

Early on the morning of April 11, five defense lawyers engaged by family members of the detained Falun Gong practitioners arrived in Dalian. Lawyers Cheng Hai and Wang Quanzhang went to the Zhongshan District Court to read case documents in the morning after their arrival, and all five went to the Dalian Detention Center to meet with their clients that afternoon.


Detention center guards denied them their right to meet with their clients with the excuse that they did not have a photocopy of their clients' ID cards and a Power of Attorney with their law firm's seal. After some negotiation, the guards relented and allowed the lawyers to see their clients.


However, around 8:00 p.m. that evening, the lawyers suddenly received a phone call from the court, notifying them that the open session the next day had been cancelled. Court personnel claimed that some of the defense lawyers had resigned from the case, and that they would be notified later as to when the trial would be conducted.


The five lawyers decided to go to the court the next day to pick up the notice of cancellation, in order to make sure that the open session was indeed cancelled and to use the notice as legal evidence for their non-appearance in court; otherwise, they could be held responsible for gross negligence of duty.


On the morning of April 12, the five lawyers went to the court in two cars. Attorneys Liang Xiaojun, Wang Quanzhang and Guo Yuehai were stopped by plainclothes police at an outer intersection, while Cheng Hai and Han Zhiqiang were allowed to go through. However, as soon as they walked through the court gate, a number of police came at them and took them onto a bus parked near the court. They were taken to a Youth League school run by the Chinese Communist Party Committee of Dalian, where they were body searched. A little while later, the lawyers were released, but others who had also been arrested were still held in police custody.


Lawyer Cheng Hai, in his 60s, accepted an interview from Voice of America and described the situation when he was taken to the bus, “One middle-aged police officer ordered three young police to grab my cell phone. I refused to give it to them, and they started to seize me by the throat and grab my hands. My cell phone was taken away by force in the end.


“When they saw I resisted their illegal conduct, they started to beat me. A policeman with ID No. 202297 twisted my left arm hard while another, about 1.8m tall, punched me twice on the right cheek. They beat me for about 20 minutes.”


Later, lawyer Cheng Hai went to a hospital for an examination and a diagnosis of soft tissue injury to the shoulders was made. Now he has difficulty lifting his right arm and still has injuries on his face and lips.


Lawyer Liang Xiaojun, who was standing outside the court, described what he witnessed later on his blog, “I saw groups of police and plainclothes police surging from time to time to grab and drag women and white-haired old ladies onto the bus. There were police on the bus to take over the victims after they were pushed onto the bus.”



They have never renounced their belief during the 14-year-long persecution”

In his blog, Lawyer Liang Xiaojun wrote:


“What happened was no coincidence; earlier lawyer Wang Quanzhang was detained and now lawyer Cheng Hai has been beaten up. There have also been a series of violations of lawyers' professional rights and human rights. Lawyer Gao Zhisheng is still detained at Shaya Prison in Xinjiang. Lawyer Teng Biao was thrown out of court by police. Lawyer Tang Jitian and lawyer Li Wei's law practice licenses were suspended. Lawyer Zhang Kai and lawyer Li Chunfu were cuffed in an iron cage in Jiangjin, Chongqing. Lawyer Li Jinglin was robbed in his hotel the night before the court session opened in Manchuria. I was denied entry to the detention center in Zhaoyuan, where a court session was conducted, and was pushed around by thugs... ...


“The reason these lawyers have been illegally treated by the authorities is that they were all engaged in cases of the same charge – 'Sabotaging Legal Enforcement by Organizing and Using Heretical Religion' and under the shadow of this accusation are a group of kind-hearted people who have been demonized by propaganda and persecuted for 14 years.


“It is the public security organs (police), public procuratorial organs, and courts under the leadership of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee that have been trampling upon the enforcement of the Criminal Procedure Law. They have never been held accountable for their misconduct; on the contrary, they were awarded and promoted and made money from it. Because of this, they have become even more vicious in suppressing the lawyers who step forward to defend this group of innocent people. They act according to the will of their superiors, thinking that their suppression of lawyers is justified.


“The suffering of these defense lawyers is only a reflection of the suffering of this group of people, and what the lawyers have experienced is nothing compared with what this group of people has been through.


“For 14 years, they have endured the pains of their families being broken up and their loved ones losing their lives, and yet they have never renounced their belief.


“For 14 years, they have been living in fear that they might be arrested at any time, be tortured, sent to forced labor camps or prisons, but they have never given up hope.


“For 14 years, they have been treated with misunderstanding and coldness by people who have been deceived by lies, and yet they hold no resentment or hatred.


“For 14 years, their homes have been searched, ransacked and robbed, and they and their families bullied and persecuted, and yet they never resisted with violence.


“Maybe you don't know them, but they are living around us, in the same autocratic state, and share the same fate and breathe the same air as us!


“They also live in places we may never go to in our lives, such as illegal prisons, forced labor camps, detention centers and prisons, where they stick to their belief with perseverance and help others.


“I have met many friends who have been in those places. When they talk about this group of people, they all have deep admiration. When I went to visit Hua Yong (an artist detained for writing '64' in blood on his forehead) at Xin'an Forced Labor Camp in Daxing, Beijing, he said to me that he did not know much about this group of cultivators, but his experience at the detention center helped him realize just how kind this group of people is. So long as they have some money, they help those who have no source of income.


“For 14 years, there have always been lawyers who try to help this group of people and plead innocence on their behalf, and they have stressed again and again that by law and in reality this group of people's belief and their peaceful resistance against the persecution have not harmed anyone, nor have they posed any threat to society. They are not guilty of the accusations made against them.”


The group of people referred to by lawyer Liang Xiaojun, who have been persecuted for 14 years, who are still adhering to peaceful resistance, and who have brought hope to people are none other than Falun Gong practitioners.