(Minghui.org) A trial was scheduled for two local Falun Gong practitioners in a local court on January 26, 2016. Their families hired two lawyers from Beijing. We took advantage of this opportunity to raise awareness of the persecution. I would like to briefly share what we did.
We invited the public to attend the hearing in advance. The purpose was to let people know that lawyers do defend practitioners. Some practitioners bought invitation cards, filled them out, and distributed them. Some made phone calls to inform people. Some told passersby on the street or in markets. Some posted short notices on public bulletin boards, and sent notices to smart phones.
It was very cold on January 24 and 25. I saw a fellow practitioner, a woman in her seventies, standing outside a grocery store telling people that lawyers would be defending Falun Gong practitioners at their hearing on the 26th. Other practitioners told their family, friends, classmates, and colleagues. Many people were stunned that lawyers would risk their own safety to defend Falun Gong practitioners. I told a young man buying breakfast about it. He was surprised and said, “Good. Very good.”
For the past 17 years, the communist regime has defamed Falun Gong and illegally arrested practitioners, and many practitioners have been sentenced to jail. Many had their homes ransacked and were fined and fired from their jobs. These all left an unfavorable impression on those who are unaware that the persecution is unfounded.
The lawyers' legal defense provided us with a good opportunity to expose the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) lies. This would let people know that the CCP violates the law and unlawfully persecutes Falun Gong practitioners.
Many practitioners went to the courthouse early and sent forth righteous thoughts on the day of the trial. A few entered the courtroom. Their presence encouraged the two practitioners who were to be tried.
The defense lawyers refuted the prosecutor's charges based on the law. The judges and police officers listened attentively to the lawyers’ defense. The two practitioners had strong righteous thoughts and made statements in their own defense.
We continued raising awareness of the persecution and the lawyers’ defense by writing an open letter to the police after the trial, and sending it to each police substation. We wrote an open letter to our fellow citizens and mailed it to many people. We prepared a voicemail message using an auto-dialing program and used auto-calling for one month during the Chinese New Year. We also sent short messages to smart phones. We printed the lawyers’ defense statement and distributed it to each family in the township. We explained the issue when we visited relatives and colleagues during the New Year.
I went home after the trial and ran into two people in my neighborhood. I told them that I'd just been to the courthouse to attend a hearing, and that two lawyers from Beijing had defended two Falun Gong practitioners. My neighbors were stunned to hear this, because they had been misled by the CCP propaganda about Falun Gong. One asked, “Is there another hearing tomorrow?” The other said, “Falun Gong teaches people to be good!”
A cousin of mine works in the local county government. She participated in brainwashing people when the persecution began. I tried to clarify the truth to her many times. She finally agreed to quit the CCP organizations. I called her and asked her to attend the trial with me this time. She was busy and couldn’t go, but she said, “I am happy to hear this. Defending them in a court of law will avoid injustice.”
I feel that using the lawyers’ defense statements to raise awareness of the persecution is powerful. This requires us to cooperate well so that people will understand Falun Gong and become aware of the persecution.