(Minghui.org) A Dongyuan County resident was tried on January 20, 2017 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime. Both the defense lawyer and the defendant’s family were denied entry to the courtroom.

Ms. Deng Shi’e was home on September 24, 2016 when about two dozen agents pried open her door and broke in. Her family didn’t discover her whereabouts until days later.

The January trial took place in a courtroom within Dongyuan Detention Center, where Ms. Deng remains captive.

Ms. Deng’s lawyer was stopped at the entrance of the detention center when he refused to go through the security check. By law, defense lawyers are exempt from such security checks. He waited outside for more than 10 minutes before being summoned to the security guards’ office by police.

When he came out, he told Ms. Deng’s family that the police had asked where he parked his car, and that he responded it had nothing to do with the hearing.

The lawyer waited a bit longer, but the police still refused to allow him inside. He had no choice but to drive away.

Ms. Deng’s family was also barred outside. The police claimed there was no more seats available in the courtroom.

The trial went on without the presence of the lawyer or any family member. It’s unclear whether a verdict had been reached.