(Minghui.org) Thirteen Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in March 2013 and severely tortured. Their trial was scheduled for March 18, 2014, but proceedings were postponed when one of the defendants, Ms. Fu Hui, fainted after being taken to a basement room in the courthouse with the other practitioners at around 10:00 a.m. Ms. Zhao Shuyun was also due to appear in court, but was released before the court session because she suffered a mental collapse as a result of torture while in detention.
The trial of the remaining eleven practitioners reopened on April 15, 2014, at Dadong District Court in Shenyang City. Two of the practitioners fainted in the court room and one practitioner needed extra physical support, but the trial continued.
During the first trial in March, the defendants' lawyers asked the judge to hold an open trial to allow the public to observe. However, on April 15, the day the trial reopened, only two family members from each defendant were allowed to sit in the courtroom. The remaining 32 seats were occupied by unidentified people. Plainclothes officers and more than 20 police cars were stationed outside the courthouse.
Before the trial opened in the early morning of April 15, Mr. Liu Zhanhai, who had been detained for over a year, fainted in the courtroom. His heart rate was very high. Mr. Wu Qiuyan, who had high blood pressure, also fainted during the trial. The lawyers for both practitioners requested postponing the trial, but judge Chen Zhuangwei refused and announced that a separate trial would be held for Mr. Liu and Mr. Wu at a later date.
Ms. Li Yuping could not sit up straight and experienced a shortness of breath as a result of the torture she endured. The lawyers requested an adjournment. Around 10:30 a.m., staff removed Ms. Li from the courtroom for a little while and then brought her back. Despite her health issues, judge Chen claimed that Ms. Li had no health problem and allowed the trial to continue. Ms Li had to rest her legs on another chair.
Several prosecutors claimed that the practitioners were guilty of doing Falun Gong exercises in public places, and charged them with the crime of “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of law.” The lawyers for the practitioners pointed out that the so-called evidence couldn't be used against all the practitioners, as not all of them were arrested for doing the Falun Gong exercises. The lawyers pleaded “not guilty” for all of the practitioners.
Ms. Liu Jinxia, Ms. Li Yuping, Ms. Gao Xiufen, Ms. Liu Yarong and Ms. Zang Yuzhen defended themselves, and told the court how they had benefited from practicing Falun Gong. Some of those present in the courtroom seemed touched by the practitioners' speeches, and some even had tears in their eyes.
The judge didn't accept the lawyers' and practitioners' defense, and found all of them guilty on the afternoon of April 16. He claimed that the sentences would vary from between three to seven years. However, the final verdicts have not yet been announced.
Ms. Fu Hui and the eleven other practitioners are still being held.
Earlier reports:Several Practitioners Severely Injured, Including Mental Collapse—Shenyang Show Trial PostponedPolice Round Up Practitioners Doing Morning Exercises and Obstruct Families' Attempts to Find Justice