(Minghui.org) Two courts in Jilin City have prevented human rights lawyers from defending seven Falun Gong practitioners. The defendants have been detained in the Jilin Detention Center for 14 months.

The practitioners— Li Dequan, Li Dexiang, Che Pingping, Deng Xiaobo, Ma Chi, Wang Zhenguang, and Zhu Lijun—were arrested on October 18, 2013. Their families took it upon themselves to hire the lawyers to defend them.

I. The Changyi District Court

The Changyi District Court initially refused to accept the defense documents submitted by the attorneys and did not allow them access to their clients' records. Not only that, the case representative tried to convince the practitioners and their families to dismiss their attorneys.

The case representative promised the practitioners shorter prison terms or to place them under house arrest, but the families refused to drop their attorneys. The case representative then claimed that the practitioners would be placed under “indefinite detention.”

On December 12, 2014, practitioner Li Dexiang's attorney was still unable to view his client's records at the Changyi District Court. The case representative told him by phone that he had to wait until just before the trial commenced.

II. The Chuanying District Court

On September 18, 2014, practitioner Ms. Che Pingping's family and two attorneys went to the Chuanying District court to meet case representative Li Zhongcheng, but they were unable to find him. They were also unsuccessful the next day.

The Court vice president Pu Haidong claimed that their municipality did not allow attorneys from other cities to view the case records. The attorneys then returned to the court again on December 8, but they still could not locate Li Zhongcheng. Moreover, Court president Zhang Fuhong refused to answer the attorneys' phone calls, and the Court supervision officer, Wang Zhuge, even refused to lodge their complaint, claiming, “I am not in charge of Falun Gong issues.”

Case representative Li Zhongcheng also visited the detention center several times to persuade the practitioners and their families to dismiss their attorneys. As before, they offered shorter prison terms; the families, however, refused to be swayed.

In an attempt to carry out a secret trial, Li Zhongcheng and Court vice president Pu Haidong brought practitioner Che Pingping to court on August 14, 2014. Ms. Che, however, refused to follow along with the predetermined guilty plea, so the trial was postponed.

III. The Detention Center

The director of the detention center also threatened the practitioners, claiming that there was a new policy that prohibited using attorneys from other cities to handle their cases, as it could interfere with the facility's yearly “death quota.”

Parties responsible for persecuting the seven practitioners:

Wang Yutang (王玉堂), president of the Changyi District Court: 86-13304400071(Cell);86-432-62404701(Office)Shan Lianhong (单莲红), case representative of practitioner Li Dexiang: 86-432-62404780Zhang Fuhong (张福洪), president of the Chuanying District Court: 86-13904443318(Cell)Pu Haidong (蒲海东), vice president of Chuanying District CourtLi Zhongcheng (李忠诚), case representative from the Chuanying District Court: 86-13704316606(Cell), 86-432-62404965(Office)

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