(Minghui.org) After an unsuccessful attempt to “transform” Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Fan Longsheng in his first trial and “set an example” for other courts, the Jiansanjiang Court authorities announced a second trial to be held on July 28, 2014.

Local Authorities' Attempt to “Set An Example”

Mr. Fan's first trial was held on July 11, 2014, at the Jiansanjiang Court. His lawyer made a strong argument in defense of his client, emphasized the legality of Falun Gong in China, and demanded that his client be acquitted. Mr. Fan also stated in court that he was innocent and should be acquitted. The trial ended with no verdict announced.

Court officials called Mr. Fan's family and lawyer on July 24, 2014, and informed them that a second trial had been scheduled for the afternoon of July 28. They also said that Mr. Fan had written a statement to dismiss his lawyer.

This came as a surprise to Mr. Fan's family. They speculate he was forced to dismiss his lawyer.

In the second trial, the local authorities hope to improve their image, since the incident in March was exposed internationally by media outside of China, and to retaliate against Mr. Fan for the embarrassment caused by his lawyer's defense during the first trial.

Background Information

Mr. Fan is one of the five practitioners still in police custody since the March incident where practitioners and human rights lawyers were arrested and beaten.

He was arrested on March 29, 2014, by officers from the Qixing Police Station when he was posting posters to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong and the March arrest. He was taken to the Qixing Detention Center.

Mr. Fan's family went to pick him up at the detention center after his two-week term had ended, but the Jiansanjiang authorities refused to release him. The police illegally extended his detention, and filed a case against him.

According to a report on the Minghui website, Jiansanjiang authorities had planned quick trials for the five practitioners in an attempt to minimize international attention. The other four practitioners still detained are Ms. Wang Yanxin, Ms. Li Guifang, Ms. Meng Fanli, and Mr. Shi Mengwen.