Five Practitioners Tried in Huludao City
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners Mr. Zhang Zhimeng, Ms. Yang Kaixia, Mr. Liu Junhua, Mr. Zhang Chengjie and Ms. Shang Lanling were arrested on February 25, 2012, after purchasing CD cases and covers, allegedly to produce materials clarifying the facts about Falun Gong. The practitioners were tried on the morning of April 24, 2013, in Lianshan District Court in Huludao City, Liaoning Province.
The practitioners were charged with “utilizing a cult organization” and “undermining law enforcement,” and had been illegally detained for 14 months prior to the trial. During that time, family members and friends went to the local police department, domestic security division, procuratorate, and the court many times to clarify the facts to the officials and get the practitioners released. The officials evaded their questions and threatened and intimidated the family members, who were told that, if they hired defense lawyers, the practitioners would be given lengthy sentences.
An excellent defense
The practitioners' defense lawyers were from Beijing and included Mr. Li Changming, Mr. Zhang Chuanli, Mr. Lan Zhixue, and Mr. Dong Qianyong. They entered “not guilty” pleas on behalf of the practitioners and refuted the charges.
The lawyers gave an excellent defense, arguing from different angles including freedom of religion. They pointed out that Falun Gong is not classified as a “cult” by any law in China. The prosecutors couldn't respond to the lawyers' defense.
Lianshan District Court was heavily guarded on the day of the trial, with many police officers, police cars, and riot vehicles parked right beside the courthouse. About 20 riot police formed two lines on either side of the entrance and closely watched people going in and out of the courthouse. Plainclothes police were everywhere, monitoring the crowd outside and taking pictures.
Immediately behind the courthouse entrance, a security checkpoint was set up, which everybody had to go through in order to attend the hearing. Police officers with electronic scanning tools checked and searched people thoroughly and examined their identification cards.
Only one member from each family was allowed to attend the hearing. When one person asked why a public hearing was not open to the public, a police officer replied, “These were the rules set by our superiors.” The relative then asked which one of his superiors could make decisions that superseded the law. The officer didn't respond but still would not let the families enter the courthouse.
No verdict announced
Li Dehai, the presiding judge of the criminal court, did not announce a verdict at the end of the trial. He has previously sentenced more than 10 Falun Gong practitioners to prison.
Officials involved in persecuting these practitioners:
Zhang Shaokui, director of Lianshan Police Station: +86-429-3171001 (Office), +86-15698790001 (Cell)
Jiang Ping, political commissar of Lianshan Police Station: +86-429-3171002 (Office), +86-15566755009 (Cell)
Chen Yulong, political director of the local domestic security division: +86-429-699982 (Office), +86-15566759982 (Cell)
Guo Biao, president of Lianshan District Court: +86-429-2164111 (Office), +86-429-3080001 (Home)
Wang Haiyan, vice president of Lianshan District Court: +86-429-2164113 (Office), +86-13842988999 (Cell), +86-429-3315111 (Home)
Li Dehai, chief judge of Lianshan District Criminal Court: +86-429-2164501 (Office), +86-13842981988 (Cell), +86-429-2166088 (Home)