(Minghui.org) A teacher in Lechang City was tried for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. His wife and daughter were barred from entering the courthouse, while more than two dozen strangers were allowed to attend the trial.

Mr. Liang Jianjun, 49, has taught at Lechang Vocational School for more than 20 years. He was seized at work on May 25, 2017, and appeared in court on November 7.

Li Weizhong, head of the local domestic security office, arrested and ransacked the home of Mr. Liang and patrolled the courthouse with his officers, including Yan Jun, Han Zhen, and Wu Zhiyong. Also present were Huang Xuebin, Li Genquan, and Liu Lan of the local 610 Office, an extralegal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given the power to override the judicial system.

The above agents brought in people to line the street in front of the courthouse. They were heard saying that they were there to show their support for the prosecution.

More than two dozen of them went in, with the rest leaving shortly before the hearing was set to open.

Mr. Liang’s wife and daughter, however, were not allowed to attend the trial. The wife had been intimidated numerous times by police for trying to seek her husband’s release. Judge Qiu Huihua approved three of her relatives to attend the trial. One relative wasn’t able to make it on time, so a fourth relative went in, but he was driven out by judge Qiu.

Prosecutor Qiu Weijing (no relation) questioned whether Mr. Liang was tortured during interrogation. Mr. Liang said yes and testified that the police threatened to arrest his wife if he refused to cooperate with them.

Prosecutor Qiu said, “You have no evidence to testify against the police!”

One of Mr. Liang’s lawyers countered, “There is a videotape of the police interrogation of Mr. Liang.”

Prosecutor Qiu did not reply.

Mr. Liang testified in his own defense, and his two lawyers also entered a not-guilty plea for him.

Prosecutor Qiu charged Mr. Liang with violating Article 300 of the Criminal Law, which stipulates that those using a cult organization to undermine enforcement of the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

The lawyers argued that since the People’s Congress (China’s legislative body) has never enacted a law deeming Falun Gong a “cult,” former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin directed the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to issue a statutory interpretation of Article 300 in November 1999, which required that anyone practicing or promoting Falun Gong be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

A new statutory interpretation that replaced the 1999 version took effect on February 1, 2017. The new interpretation made no mention of Falun Gong and emphasized that any indictment for engaging in a cult must be based on solid legal grounds. Since no law in China labels Falun Gong a cult, the indictment against Mr. Liang was groundless.

Judge Qiu adjourned the session without issuing a verdict. The two lawyers had a talk with him afterward, and he said he wouldn’t know the legal outcome until about three months later.

Mr. Liang remains in Sangongli Detention Center.

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