(Minghui.org) After practitioners are arrested, we often hire lawyers to defend them and to secure their release. In some instances this has worked well, but other times it did not. I would like to share what we have learned from a recent experience in our area.
Several practitioners in our area were arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong. We sent forth righteous thoughts and publicized the incident throughout the community. Many people supported us. One police officer even went to a practitioner's home to apologize.
What should we do next, we wondered.
Some of us suggested we didn't need to hire a lawyer: The detained practitioners could defend themselves and their family members could help, too. Master talked in his lectures about hiring lawyers, and, in our understanding, it mainly involves explaining Falun Gong and the persecution to the people involved.
Since a lot of people already understand what Falun Gong is and why it is being persecuted, perhaps we don't need to waste time and money on doing this. In the past, some human rights lawyers were arrested for defending practitioners. Would other lawyers stand up to help us?
Other practitioners had a different opinion: Lawyers know more about the judicial system and how to deal with different situations. As a third party, they are in a unique position to clarify the truth, and they also have chances to meet with the detained practitioners.
Despite our disagreement, we contacted lawyers. The lawyers were initially hesitant but, after persistent efforts, agreed to work with us.
As we worked with the lawyers, another problem arose. They were uncooperative, and discussions often turned into arguments.
We practitioners shared among ourselves and discovered that we had expected too much from these lawyers. We had asked them to enter a plea of not guilty, to emphasize that detaining practitioners was illegal, and to warn the court officials not to follow the former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin's clique to persecute Falun Gong. Because of the recent lawsuits being filed against Jiang, some practitioners even asked the lawyers to submit criminal complaints against Jiang in court.
The lawyers could not understand our reasoning and refused to work with us.
As we continued to discuss it, we realized that we had hoped the lawyers would confront the court officials. This exposed our strong attachment to being confrontational, which could easily turn the officials against us. Our mindset when doing things is very important.
From Teacher's lectures we know that officials in the justice system are also victims of the persecution. By blindly following the Party to suppress innocent Falun Gong practitioners, they are jeopardizing their futures.
We need to tell them that they should not to be scapegoats for the communist regime, like Zhou Yongkang, a senior communist official who fell from power after persecuting Falun Gong. If they continue to persecute Falun Gong, these officials are harming others even as they put themselves at risk.
After we became more considerate of others and displayed genuine compassion, our discussions with the lawyers went very well. They completely agreed with us and made detailed plans to defend the practitioners.
The lawyers met with the detained practitioners and told them about our rescue efforts. They also passed on our encouragement. The practitioners appreciated this and agreed to work together on this.
A practitioner also visited the judge and told him about the recent wave of lawsuits against Jiang Zemin from inside and outside China. The judge and his family realized we were truly acting in their interests. The judge said he would not made a wrong judgement.
The trial went well, unlike a previous trial where a lawyer was removed for arguing intensely. Both the lawyers and the detained practitioners made excellent statements based on the facts. The prosecutor's charges were groundless.
The judge adjourned the trial without reaching a verdict. No announcement has been made since the trial, but most of the detained practitioners were released a short time later and several local authorities said they would not harass them anymore. Only one practitioner is still in detention.
From this case we learned to look within and improve as one body. As long as we meet the requirements of Dafa and do things without pursuit, we will make breakthroughs.