(Minghui.org) A Falun Gong practitioner from Lishui District in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province was tried for her spiritual belief on March 16, 2016. Her lawyer pleaded not guilty on her behalf.

In the past, Lishui District practitioners who were prosecuted for their faith either had no legal representation or saw their lawyers file guilty pleas for them under pressure from the authorities. Ms. Xiao Yuzhen's case is the first in the district in which a lawyer had pleaded not guilty.

As more people understood the peaceful nature and innocence of Falun Gong, they have stood up against the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of the practice. Ms. Xiao's lawyer is one of these people, who firmly believes in his client's innocence.

Lawyer: Persecution Lacks Legal Basis

Ms. Xiao was arrested in September 2015 after filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, former head of the communist regime who launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.

Ms. Xiao stated in her complaint that she was given two years of forced labor and repeatedly sent to brainwashing centers because she refused to renounce her belief. She also thanked Falun Gong for the tremendous improvements in both her health and her character.

In the indictment that led to the March trial against Ms. Xiao, the prosecutor charged her with “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to frame Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Xiao's lawyer rebutted the charges, saying that there has never been any law that criminalizes Falun Gong, and that the persecution started by Jiang has been illegal from the beginning. He emphasized that his client was merely exercising her constitutional right to seek justice against Jiang.

No verdict was announced after the trial.

Ms. Xiao is currently being held at Baima Brainwashing Center in Lishui District, after over one month of detention at Nanjing City Detention Center.

Local Practitioners Harassed Before Trial

Since May 2015, over 200,000 Falun Gong practitioners across China who have suffered torture, imprisonment or financial extortion as a result of the persecution have filed legal complaints against Jiang. Many of them were arrested or harassed by the police.

Prior to Ms. Xiao's trial, the police threatened many Falun Gong practitioners from Lishui District with arrest or being fired from their jobs if they attended the hearing.

On trial day, police and staff from the local 610 Office and Political and Legal Affairs Committee were standing in front of the courthouse and preventing local Falun Gong practitioners from entering.


In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.

The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.

Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.

Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.

Related report:Approximately 700 Falun Gong Practitioners from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province Sue Jiang Zemin Since Last May
Practitioners in Nanjing City Arrested for Suing Former Chinese Dictator