Germany: Bremen Residents Condemn Sham Trial of Falun Gong in its Sister City in China
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in Bremen, Germany have, since mid-April 2013, been exposing the criminal conduct of court and legal officials in Dalian City, China, including how the officials have colluded to illegally try thirteen Falun Gong practitioners and harass their defense lawyers.
When Bremen residents found out about these travesties of justice taking place in their sister city, Dalian, they unanimously condemned the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong.
Chinese authorities in Dalian City conducted a large-scale arrest of Falun Gong practitioners on July 6, 2012, accusing them of helping homeowners install satellite dishes. Close to a hundred practitioners were arrested, detained, and tortured.
Zhang Guilian, 69, who was one of the arrested, died one month after being brutally tortured in the Dalian Detention Center. The lives of Qu Bin and Zhang Guoli are also in danger. The guards in the detention center broke Hou Chunli’s legs and ruptured her kidneys.
The Zhongshan District Court of Dalian unlawfully tried 13 Falun Gong practitioners, saying that the satellite dishes they helped install carried programs from NTD Television, an independent overseas television network, which reports facts about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
The illegal trial began on June 21, and lasted for 12 hours. Several of the practitioners standing trial have been imprisoned and tortured for close to a year, and looked just awful.
Hospital authorities wheeled one of the defendants, She Yue, into the courtroom on a stretcher. Wang Tao was removed from the proceedings after about six hours because he was too weak to stand trial. Che Zhongshan could not stop vomiting in court due to his poor medical condition. Lin Lihong appeared to be in the worst shape. She just stared straight ahead, eyes glazed over, motionless, and needed someone to hold her upright.
Authorities Blatantly Interfere with Defense Lawyers
The first trial was scheduled for April 12, 2013. Authorities informed the defense lawyers on the evening of April 11, that the trial had been canceled. On the morning of April 12, a large group of police officers illegally arrested members of both families and Falun Gong practitioners who were waiting outside of the courthouse, not knowing that the trial had been canceled. The police also arrested two of the defense lawyers and brutally beat one of them, Cheng Hai.
On June 21, the day of the trial, the Dalian Police Department mobilized police and plainclothes officers to station themselves at the airports and hotels where the lawyers arrived and stayed. The police monitored everything the lawyers did. They later arrested two Falun Gong practitioners, Dong Xuan and Liu Xinying, who offered to drive the lawyers to the courthouse.
Reactions in Bremen
Practitioners in Bremen told passersby about these events, and they were totally shocked. Many said that they had never seen such blatant violations of human rights and freedom of speech. One middle-aged woman said that the persecution should be condemned. “I don’t understand how Bremen can work with Dalian, a city without justice,” she explained. “As a city, we feel responsible for what is happening in our sister city in China. We should terminate our sister relationship to teach it a lesson!”
“I strongly condemn (the Chinese regime),” said an older woman. “How could such a thing happen? It's unbelievable. I am overwhelmed!”
A man in his fifties said, “(The Falun Gong practitioners) did nothing, they did not start a revolution, nor did they murder or rob anyone. What the police in Dalian did is unacceptable.”
“(The Falun Gong practitioners) did nothing wrong,” said a student in Bremen. “What happened in Dalian is terrible. It should not happen in any of Bremen’s sister cities. I want to tell the people in Dalian that they should not be discouraged. And to the police in Dalian, I'll say this: 'Stay away from Falun Gong practitioners!'”