Trial of Falun Gong Practitioners Canceled, Supporters Arrested
(Minghui.org) A local court in Jingmen City abruptly canceled a trial of four locals moments before it was set to begin, when the authorities saw that more than 20 non-family supporters had shown up at the courthouse. Except for five elderly people, the other supporters remain detained at the time of writing.
These supporters were targeted because they also practice Falun Gong, just like the defendants, who were arrested on March 13, 2016 for their ongoing efforts to expose the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of the spiritual discipline.
The trial of Mr. Peng Yaxin, Ms. Fu Chuanying, Mr. Zhang Guangjie, and Ms. He Shifeng was set for September 9. Many local Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the courthouse earlier that morning to show solidarity.
The defense lawyers were ready to defend their clients’ constitutional right to freedom of belief, but they were told minutes before the start time that the trial had been rescheduled for September 23.
The four practitioners’ supporters were intercepted while on their way back home. A group of ten practitioners riding the same bus were all removed by government agents.
Leading the efforts to arrest the supporters were Xiang Jun from Yuelianghu Police Branch Domestic Security Office and Zhang Jinbo from Jingmen 610 Office.
The arrested practitioners were first held at Shangyang County Police Department, and then moved to various local detention centers the next day.