(Minghui.org) After being detained for over 10 months, two Falun Gong practitioners, Mr. Li Shiping and Ms. Yuan Hongxia, were tried in the Yi County Court on November 16, 2016. They were charged with “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

The trial lasted nearly five hours. Both of the practitioners' lawyers pleaded not-guilty on their clients’ behalf and questioned the evidence, the lack of legal basis for the charge, and the blatant interference in the case by the 610 Office. They demanded that the judge drop the case and release their clients.

Th practitioners also testified. When Ms. Yuan said that her health and temperament improved after practicing Falun Gong, the judge interrupted her and shouted, “Don't talk about Falun Gong!”

The judge adjourned the trial without announcing a verdict.

Inaccurate Evidence

The practitioners testified that the evidence used by the prosecutor was inaccurate.

Ms. Yuan argued that while the witnesses said that they saw several people distributing Falun Gong related materials, they could only describe her appearance, but not the others. The witness' testimony described the clothes she was wearing when she was in the detention center, not when she was arrested.

610 Office Influenced the Case

While reading the indictment, the prosecutor said that, according to an order from the Yi County 610 Office, “This is a special case, and the desktop calendars confiscated from the practitioners will not be counted in units, but in pages.”

The practitioners' lawyers argued that the 610 Office doesn't have the legal authority to intervene in the case or determine its outcome. The 610 Office also should not be able to dictate that the calendars be counted in in pages, rather than in units.

The lawyers also argued that the calendars are not evidence supporting the charge of “undermining law enforcement.” And, because there has never been any law that criminalizes Falun Gong, their clients shouldn't have been prosecuted in the first place.

The lawyers asked to have all the witnesses appear in court to crosscheck the evidence and to have the prosecutor present all the other physical evidence at the next hearing.

Lawyer Removed from Courtroom as Trial Begins

Ms. Yuan requested to have all CCP members leave the courtroom to avoid conflict of interest. After the presiding judge denied her request, her lawyer argued that the decision should be made by the president of the court and Procuratorate, not the presiding judge.

The judge shouted at the lawyer and ordered the bailiffs to remove him from the courtroom. When Ms. Yuan and her family members at the trial protested to the judge, four bailiffs escorted Ms. Yuan back to her seat and tightened her handcuffs. The judge then called for a recess.

The trial resumed 30 minutes later, and the lawyer was allowed back into the courtroom.

Ten Months of Detention Before Trial

Both Mr. Li and Ms. Yuan were arrested on January 20, 2016, while distributing Falun Gong related materials. Mr. Li's car was confiscated by the police. The police first took them to the Domestic Security Division and then to the hospital, where they drew blood samples against their will. When Mr. Li resisted, the police beat him.

The police ransacked their homes that evening. Their arrests were approved on February 26, 2016.

Their cases were submitted to the Procuratorate by the Domestic Security Division on April 26, 2016, and to the court on May 27, 2016.

The practitioners' lawyers filed an appeal with the court and asked the judge to dismiss the case and return it to the Procuratorate.

Although the judge notified the practitioners in early August that he would cancel their trial, he still refused to release them and said he was waiting for updated instructions from his superiors.

On September 6, the judge issued a notification to extend the two practitioners’ period of detention by another three months, from September 6 to December 5, 2016.

The practitioners' lawyers received another notice from the court that their clients would be tried on November 16, 2016.

After nearly ten months in detention, Ms. Yuan and Mr. Li were emaciated when they appeared at the trial. Ms. Yuan's hair had turned gray. Their family members wanted to speak with them before the trial, but the judge and bailiffs refused to allow it.

Perpetrators' contact information:
Xu Xiaoliang (徐晓亮), presiding judge: +86-17731207560
Fan Yutong (范玉桐), judge: +86-17731207530Wang Guoping (王国平), prosecutor: +86-13111605168, +86-312-8221629Qi Gao (齐高), head of Yi County 610 Office: +86-312-8887610Yang Shuai (杨帅), head of Lianggang Town Police Station: +86-15103127177Tian Guojun (田国军), head of Yi County Domestic Security Division: +86-13532205568Zhao Huixiang (赵会祥), Chinese Communist Party secretary of Longjiapu Village: +86-13930849076