Beijing Resident Tried for Possessing Falun Gong Materials
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Yuhong was tried in a Beijing court on November 2, 2017. She was charged with having hard copies and electronic copies on her computer of Falun Gong-related materials and news reports from overseas media.
“My client's freedom of belief to practice Falun Gong should be protected by the Constitution,” her lawyer argued during the trial. He also argued that there has never been any law that criminalizes Falun Gong.
The lawyer added that the news reports that Ms. Wang downloaded from overseas media sites could be freely accessed by anyone in the world; only in China must people be forced to overcome Internet censorship to see them. The lawyer asked the prosecutor how such news reports could be construed as “evidence” against his client, since freedom of speech is another basic human right granted by the Constitution.
The prosecutor cited Ms. Wang's two stints in forced labor camps for practicing Falun Gong as a previous “criminal record” to support the charges.
“The 're-education through the forced labor system' has already been suspended because of its illegality. It shows that my client's previous incarcerations were illegal and cannot be used to charge her this time,” said the lawyer.
When he expanded on the details of the torture that Ms. Wang was subjected to during her imprisonment, presiding judge Zhang Jun interrupted him, saying the descriptions were unrelated to the case.
In addition to questioning the validity of the evidence, Ms. Wang's lawyer also cited the police for violating legal procedures during Ms. Wang's arrest and home-ransacking. “None of them showed their identification or proper paperwork. When the police issued a search warrant later on, it was obvious that the date had been modified,” the lawyer said.
He called for Ms. Wang to be acquitted and asked the judge to make a decision that could withstand the test of time.
The judge adjourned the trial without announcing a verdict.
Ms. Wang Yuhong, 54, is retired from a Beijing power company. She began to practice Falun Gong in 1996 and was repeatedly arrested, detained and sentenced after the persecution started in 1999.
Her latest arrest was on May 13, 2017. The police had been waiting at the door of her apartment building since early morning.
She was arrested as soon as she went out. The police took her key and ransacked her home. They confiscated her computers, printer, and Falun Gong-related materials.
They also arrested her son and interrogated him at the police station. He was released around midnight that day.
Ms. Wang has been detained at Chaoyang District Detention Center since then.
A Small Courtroom
The Chaoyang District Court in Beijing originally scheduled the trial at the detention center. At Ms. Wang's request, the judge agreed to change the location but only to a very small courtroom with just five seats in the gallery. Her husband and daughter-in-law were the only two people from her family allowed to attend.
According to them, Ms. Wang was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. She was emaciated and had more grey hair. When the lawyer pointed out that it was illegal to keep a defendant in cuffs during a trial, the judge only agreed to have her handcuffs removed, not the shackles.
Ms. Wang's family wasn't allowed to talk to her at any time before, during, or after the trial.