My View On Hiring Lawyers to Help Rescue Practitioners Incarcerated in China
(Minghui.org) There are differences of opinion among Falun Dafa practitioners regarding the question of whether or not to hire a lawyer to help rescue fellow practitioners illegally detained in China. As I see it, the course of action one needs to take in these situations largely depends on the method used to rescue the incarcerated practitioner(s).
In some areas of China, a lawyer would be called in immediately after a practitioner was arrested. The person in charge of the rescue efforts would coordinate things between the local practitioners and the lawyer, make all efforts to explain the persecution of Falun Dafa to the relevant authorities, and request the unconditional release of the detained practitioner. The lawyer would then meet with the detained practitioner, gather some details of the case, and encourage his client to remain positive.
In other areas, whenever a practitioner was arrested, instead of hiring a lawyer, practitioners would work together to try to get the practitioner released. Some practitioners would call all of those involved in the case—including their family members—to thoroughly explain the facts about Falun Dafa and the persecution; advise them to withdrawal from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, and request the immediate release of the detained practitioner.
Others would accompany the detained practitioner's family members to the relevant governmental departments to request the release of the said practitioner. Some practitioners would distribute massive amounts of informational materials in the form of fliers and posters in their local area, completely exposing the persecution and the details of the practitioner's arrest.
As you can see, there are no set procedures to follow in such cases. Rather, practitioners need to take action based on the circumstances before them. The most important thing is that all practitioners in the local area get involved in the rescue efforts.
Meeting with Detained Practitioners
Some practitioners write down their understandings of the situation and share them with the detained party, encouraging him or her to look within, maintain righteous thoughts, and clarify the facts to the guards and inmates to save them.
Practitioners often meet with interference when arranging a visit with a detained practitioner. One time, a lawyer went to a detention center to request a meeting with his client. The officer on duty told him that he first needed to secure written permission from the Domestic Security Division before his request would be granted.
The lawyer was about to leave when the practitioner accompanying him told the lawyer that he did not need special permission to meet with his client.
Bolstered by the practitioner's righteous thoughts, the lawyer sternly warned the officer on duty that depriving him of his right to meet with his client was against the law. The officer finally agreed to let the lawyer meet with his client.
Some lawyers have formed close social ties with various practitioners, and even know some Dafa principles. But they are not Dafa practitioners. The role that they manage to play in such matters, changes with the overall state of mind of the local practitioners.
They play supporting roles while practitioners play the leading roles. Every bit of interference that comes up during a practitioner's rescue efforts is arranged according to the detained practitioner's different attachments. We always first need to look within and completely deny the old forces' arrangements.
During the past few years, some lawyers were arrested while attempting to meet with their clients. When their fellow lawyers found out about their arrest, they immediately posted news of the event online, as well as warnings to the police involved of their violating the law.
Some lawyers would show their support by rushing to the detention center where the lawyer was being held to get them released. In most cases, the detained lawyer would be set free.
Lawyers Who Present an Unjust Defense and How to Recognize It
A lawyer once explained to the court that he agreed with the CCP's defamation of Falun Gong. He then argued for his client's acquittal, saying that the practitioner “had not distributed enough fliers” to constitute a crime.
Many practitioners were misled by the lawyer's words. One practitioner noticed this and shared his views with practitioners at a local experience sharing. He said the lawyer was actually assisting the CCP to persecute Falun Gong, then told others not to hire such lawyers.
Isn't the lawyer siding with the CCP by indirectly agreeing that it is a crime to distribute a lot of fliers exposing the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong, but a small, insignificant number of fliers is okay?
This lawyer suffered a stroke the next day. Some practitioners went to visit him in the hospital to explain why his defense was both incorrect and counterproductive. The practitioner who hired him looked within and sincerely shared his understandings with the other practitioners involved.
In another city, a team of lawyers mounted a similar defense. When the court adjourned, the lawyers got into a heated discussion about how to proceed with the case.
One practitioner thought it was appropriate to dismiss the lawyers who were presenting an unjust defense. However, some practitioners did not agree with him.
Local practitioners got together to share their understandings, and after much discussion, finally agreed to dismiss the lawyers who were advocating an unlawful defense.
They then contacted practitioners from other areas and overseas, in an effort to better clarify the facts to all of the police, prosecutors, and judges involved in the case.
During the second hearing three days later, the situation had greatly improved. The lawyers worked together seamlessly and cooperated well with their practitioner client. The whole court proceeding played the role of validating Dafa and rescuing the practitioner.
Don't Fully Depend on Lawyers; Also Clarify the Facts to Save People
When two practitioners were recently arrested, their family members used their “connections” to hire a lawyer. Some practitioners offered to help the families, but were asked not to intervene.
Their lawyer unknowingly presented an unjust defense to the judge, then argued for his client's release. One of the defendants was very depressed at the time, and the other passively accepted the charges lodged against him. The judge then handed down two prison sentences: one for seven and a half years and the other for seven years.
The local practitioners decided to step in at this point and hired a lawyer to assist with an appeal. They asked the lawyer to meet with the two imprisoned practitioners and to bring them various experience sharing articles.
The local practitioners formed small groups to call all of the judges, prosecutors and police involved in the case, clarify the facts to them, and advise them to quit the CCP.
The intermediate court finally returned the case to the lower court and ordered a retrial due to insufficient evidence. It was the first time in 16 years that a case had been sent back for retrial in this area!
During this process, the local practitioners did not wait or depend on the lawyer or the defendants' families; they focused on exposing the persecution and saving the people involved.
Throughout the years, many lawyers have worked tirelessly with practitioners to stand up to this brutal persecution. Their sense of justice is very admirable.
Although practitioners need to maintain righteous thoughts while dealing with lawyers, they must not fully depend on them, nor should they rule out using their services in the future.