(Minghui.org) Ms. Luo Xizhen's family was informed that there was an internal regulation that Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to hire their own lawyers. When Ms. Luo's family requested a copy of the regulation from the judges, they were given the run around.

Ms. Luo was arrested on June 26, 2014, for handing out Shen Yun DVDs. Her case file was submitted to the local court on July 21, 2014.

Family Given the Run Around

Ms. Luo's family tried to contact judge Zou Xishan from the Dongchang District Court for days. They asked Zou on the phone when the lawyer could look at the files. Zou replied, "Anytime, as long as the lawyer brings his license and identification." But when Ms. Luo's family called him on July 28 to confirm the date and time, Zou said that he needed instructions from his superiors.

Zou informed Ms. Luo's family the next day that they were not allowed to hire a lawyer themselves and could only use lawyers appointed by the court. Ms. Luo's family protested.

Zou told the family, “You must report to us if you want to have your own lawyer. We need to get permission from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee.”

Ms. Luo's family went to the Dongchang District Court on July 30 to meet Zhao Yan, chief judge of the criminal tribunal, to request a copy of the regulation. Zhao said, “This is an internal regulation issued by the Central Government Political and Legal Affairs Committee. It states that, in Falun Gong cases, the lawyer must be appointed by the court. This was an oral notification, so we don't have hard copies of it. You just can't hire a lawyer yourselves.”

Ms. Luo's family again went to the Dongchang Court on the morning of August 4 to talk to the deputy chief of the court, Yao Guiying. Yao said on the phone that she would consult her superior. But when Ms. Luo's family called her again, she said exactly the same thing as Zhao had told them.

Ms. Luo's family then called the appeals office of the court and the inspection and supervision office, but no one answered. They called Yao again and told her, “It is our right to hire a lawyer. Your regulation is unreasonable.” They also asked Yao to give them a copy of it. Yao said again that she would contact her superior.

On the afternoon of August 4, Ms. Luo's family went to the court again. The person in the appeals office told them that Yao had the last word about this issue, so Ms. Luo's family called Yao again. Yao insisted that what she had said earlier still held. Later, Ms. Luo's family called her again, and Yao repeated the same thing and then hung up the phone. After that, she no longer answered the phone.

Parties Responsible for the Persecution of Ms. Luo Xizhen:

Liu Donghai (刘东海), chief of the Dongchang District Court: +86-435-3947299, +86-13704353350 (Cell)Yao Guiying (姚桂英), deputy chief of the Dongchang District Court: +86-435-3947298, +86-13844587677 (Cell)Zhao Yan (赵岩), judge of the criminal tribunal at the Dongchang District Court: +86-435-3947289, +86-15844587666 (Cell)Zou Xishan (邹喜山), case clerk at the Dongchang District Court:+86-435-3947285, +86-13069276789 (Cell)Cui Yueqin (崔岳琴), the person in charge of the inspection and supervision office: +86-435-3947216, +86-13804458466 (Cell)Yang Ping (杨萍), staff at Dongchang Court Appeals Office: +86-435-3947294, +86-13324358895 (Cell)