(Minghui.org) Four Huaihua, Hunan women were recently tried for seeking the release of other detained Falun Gong practitioners. The trial was held on July 30 amid tight security, and the 100-person-capacity courtroom held only about 30 individuals. Only seven of the defendants' relatives were admitted, and the rest of the attendees were agents dispatched by authorities.

Singled Out for Arrest

The police first eyed the four women last year after authorities launched a series of arrests against local practitioners. The officers were upset that the women made a point to accompany the families of arrested practitioners in seeking their release. As early as February 27 this year, the police filed an arrest request to the Procuratorate in an attempt to place the ladies in custody. However, the request was turned down due to insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

After the police arrested another group of practitioners on April 8, the four women appeared the next day, seeking their friends' release. However, they were arrested on the spot after police were able to get approval from the Procuratorate to do so.

The four practitioners, Ms. Tang Qingying; Ms. Tang Kaiju; Ms. Yin Qiuyang; and Ms. Xiao Guiying, range from 51 to 67 years old. Four lawyers from Beijing and Guangdong defended them and urged the court to acquit them.

The judge adjourned the trial without issuing a verdict. However, the four practitioners remain incarcerated at the Huaihua City Detention Center, where they are being subjected to brutal beatings. Ms. Tang Qingying has developed high blood pressure symptoms, and Ms. Tang Kaiju has numerous wounds on her body.

Police Block, Threaten, and Arrest Trial Goers

According to eyewitnesses, as many as 100 police were mobilized in and near the Hecheng District Courthouse. Blockades were set up on the road leading to the court, and police officers stood armed outside the court room.

Police block road leading to the court

Around 8 a.m., friends and relatives of the practitioners arrived to attend the trial. 610 officials refused entry to most of them. Ms. Tang Kaiju's mother and her friend, Li Shirong, were detained after they tried to enter the building.

Ms. Xiao's mother, who is nearly 90 years old, and her aunt, who is in her 80s, also came to attend the trial, but were prohibited from entering. Turned away by 610 Office agents, both ladies gave up and went home.

Families Appeal for Release

Officers from the Hecheng District 610 Office arrested several Falun Gong practitioners on April 8 this year. They ransacked their homes and confiscated personal belongings worth over 60,000 yuan.

The four practitioners went to the authorities to seek the release of their friends on April 9. Without warning, the authorities dispatched a dozen police to arrest them. They were then taken to a hospital, where they had their blood drawn. They were each charged with “disrupting the law” and detained at the Huaihua City Detention Center.

Relatives of the four practitioners went to the respective departments seeking their release, but were ignored. In early May, four of their family members wrote a joint appeal letter requesting that their loved ones be released.