Defense Lawyers Again Demand Acquittal for Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Eight residents from Changsha, Hunan Province were tried a second time this February for intercepting TV signals to broadcast the persecution of Falun Gong. Their lawyers, including one appointed by the court, again defended their innocence and demanded their acquittal.
The evidence used against them consisted of items seized from their homes, including Falun Gong books, flyers printed with messages exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, computers and printers.
The lawyers reiterated that there has never been any law that criminalizes Falun Gong. It is their clients' constitutional rights to practice Falun Gong and spread information about the practice. As such, their possession of the above-mentioned items broke no law.
Upon the lawyers' insistence, the judge allowed some of the “prosecution evidence” to be presented in the courtroom. One of the lawyers randomly picked a flyer to read, and it was about how the Chinese Communist Party persecutes Falun Gong.
As the lawyers saw it, the flyers demonstrated that Falun Gong practitioners are the victims and those carrying out the persecution should be the ones being prosecuted. The prosecutor interrupted the defense lawyers frequently, but was unable to refute their arguments.
The eight practitioners are Yan Hong, Li Xuangang, Guan Dengyang, Zhou Deyuan, Zhang Lingge, Liu Chunxia, Zhang Xinqi, and Yao Dahua. They were first tried on January 30 this year following their arrest in March 2014.
The latest trial took place over a three-day period from February 9 to 11, but the judge again stopped short of issuing a verdict. He announced that a new session would be held later.