(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. You Yuehong's appeal hearing ended on November 27, 2014 without a verdict from the chief judge, who did not refute defense arguments asserting that Mr. You did not break the law by practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. You had been sentenced to four years in prison for “using a cult organization to sabotage law enforcement,” a charge regularly used by the Communist Party-controlled judicial system to sentence Falun Gong practitioners as part of the regime's nationwide suppression of the spiritual discipline.

At his appeal hearing, Mr. You addressed the “evidence” against him and argued that it is not against the law to possess a computer, books, DVDs, stamps, and banknotes with messages exposing the Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. Because the subject is heavily censored, Falun Gong practitioners in China often use these marked bills as a covert means of raising public awareness of the persecution.
Mr. You's lawyer, Mr. Lan Zhixue, pleaded not guilty on his behalf and argued that his client had a constitutional right to believe in Falun Gong.

Mr. Yan had previously been sentenced to forced labor in 2003 for practicing Falun Gong. When the prosecutor attempted to use that sentence to prove Mr. You's guilt, his lawyer asserted that the forced labor system itself was illegal.

“Practicing Falun Gong Breaks No Law”

Mr. Lan argued that the charge of “using a cult organization to sabotage law enforcement” against his client had no legal basis.

“Firstly, China's lawmaking authority, the National People's Congress, never issued any law banning Falun Gong. As such, my client's practicing Falun Gong breaks no law,” he asserted.

“Secondly, the accusation of 'sabotaging law enforcement' is groundless. How could an ordinary individual sabotage the enforcement of law? Did he have the power to do so?” he challenged the prosecutor. “How did my client use this organization? What was his position in this organization? What power did he have to 'use' this organization? What harm did he bring to state property and the general public? None of these was detailed in the indictment,” he continued.

He further argued that Article 36 of China's constitution clearly stipulates that citizens enjoy the freedom of religious belief. Therefore, his client hasn't broken any law by practicing Falun Gong and believing in “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”

When challenged with these questions, the prosecutor repeatedly referred to the “explanations about cults by the Supreme Court and the Supreme Procuratorate.”

“'Explanations by the Supreme Court and the Supreme Protectorate' are not law, nor is an official's speech or a newspaper article,” Lawyer Lan rebutted, “No organization or individual is above the law and the Constitution. No one should be allowed to replace the law with one's own words, and no one should be allowed to undermine the law using their power or bend the law for selfish ends.”

“The System of Forced Labor Itself Violates the Law”

Mr. You graduated from Dalian University of Technology and worked at the Taxation Office of Lianshan District of Huludao City. He said he once had severe tuberculosis but quickly regained his health after starting to practice Falun Gong.

In 2003, police arrested Mr. You at work and took him to Xingcheng Brainwashing Center, where they threatened to sentence him to a forced labor camp if he refused to give up his belief in Falun Gong. Mr. You insisted that he didn't do anything wrong by practicing Falun Gong and following the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” He was sentenced to three years of forced labor that November.

During the present appeal hearing, the prosecutor argued that Mr. You's past labor camp sentence and term in the brainwashing center indicates his guilt.

Mr. Lan replied, “The system of forced labor itself violates the law and China's constitution, because it illegally restricts personal freedom of innocent citizens. The brainwashing center has even less legal ground. It is no less than illegal detention and abuse of power to repress citizens' right to belief and restrict personal freedom. This is what needs to be rectified. How can you use it as an excuse to frame a case against my client?”

The lawyer added that the police did not wear uniforms or show any identification or search warrant when they arrested his client and seized his personal belongings. He alleged that all of the required procedures were fabricated later, and thus officers' conduct was illegal.

Personnel involved in appeal:

Wang Heng (王 亨), chief judgeLiu Danhong (刘丹红), people's assessor:+86-0429-3166419Liu Jishi (刘纪世), judgeTian Zhuhua (田柱华), prosecutorSu Fei (苏飞), prosecutor

Personnel involved in the original trial:Longgang District CourtGu Yue (古月), chief judgeZhang Dongyun (张冬云), people's assessorChen Long (陈 龙), people's assessorQin Na (秦 娜), clerk

Longgang District ProcuratorateYu Yanqiu (于艳秋)Wang Fubiao (王福飙)