Two Women Appear in Court One After Another to Face Same Charge
(Minghui.org) Two women in Guiyang City appeared in Nanming District Court for two back-to-back hearings to face the same charge that they “used a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame Falun Gong practitioners.
The same lawyer, Mr. Wang Yajun, entered not guilty pleas for both Ms. Zeng Xianglian, in her 60s, and Ms. Zeng Guiyun (no relation). He argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that his clients should never have been prosecuted for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief.
Both practitioners also testified in their own defense and argued that they broke no law by following the Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be good people. Their respective judges adjourned their sessions without issuing any verdict.
Ms. Zeng Xianglian was arrested while grocery shopping on September 1, 2016. Ms. Zeng Guiyun was seized while reading Falun Gong books together with other practitioners on January 8, 2017. Both are held at Nanming District Detention Center.
Details of Hearings
The two hearings were held on September 26, with Ms. Zeng Xianglian appearing before judge Luo Shiyan from 10:20 to 11:30 a.m. and Ms. Zeng Guiyun appearing before judge Qin Jiazhu from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Ms. Zeng Xianglian’s sister, daughter, and son-in-law were present, while Ms. Zeng Guiyun’s son and five siblings attended her hearing. Local Falun Gong practitioners who came to support both women were denied entry into the courthouse. The same group of court clerks (excluding the presiding judge and prosecutor) participated in both hearings.
Su Yuan, the prosecutor for Ms. Zeng Xianglian’s trial, alleged that she broke the law by owning Falun Gong books. Ms. Zeng testified against the officers who took her key after her arrest and ransacked her house when her family wasn’t around. Her lawyer, Mr. Wang, also argued that the confiscated books were his client’s lawful possessions and caused no harm to anyone, much less undermine law enforcement.
Li Cheng, the prosecutor for Ms. Zeng Guiyun’s trial, alleged that her reading Falun Gong books together with other people constituted “unlawful assembly.” He also claimed that the Falun Gong books later confiscated from Ms. Zeng’s home were also illegal. Mr. Wang refuted that it was within his client’s constitutional rights to have a private gathering and to read books that caused no harm to anyone.
In both hearings, Mr. Wang challenged the prosecutors to specify which law his two clients broke. The prosecutor failed to provide any legal basis for their indictments against the two practitioners.
Ms. Zeng Xianglian’s son-in-law told Mr. Wang after the hearing that he didn’t believe any lawyer would dare to defend Falun Gong practitioners’ innocence, but now he feels confident to say that his mother-in-law broke no law by practicing Falun Gong.