Sichuan Court Beats Defense Lawyers, Another Trial Held in Their Absence
(Minghui.org) Just two weeks after bailiffs beat one of the lawyers representing three Falun Gong practitioners after a hearing, the presiding judge ordered another hearing for the practitioners, before the lawyers were able to recover and retrieve their confiscated laptops and cellphones.
Because the lawyers were unable to attend the hearing on November 30, 2017, the judge appointed new lawyers for the practitioners.
The three practitioners, Ms. Zhang Huiqiong, Ms. Hua Wanxia and Ms. Cui Deli, protested to the judge and refused to accept the court-appointed lawyers.
The three court-appointed lawyers then left the courtroom. The judge proceeded with the hearing without any lawyer representing the practitioners, who protested by refusing to answer her questions.
Ms. Hua said to the judge, “No law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. It's our constitutional right to practice Falun Gong.” Ms. Zhang also tried to persuade the judge not to participate in the persecution for her own good.
“You are threatening me,” judge Qiu Yun responded.
After practitioners' persistent refusal to cooperate, the judge adjourned the hearing at noon.
Lawyer Beaten by Court Bailiffs
During the first hearing of the three practitioners on November 17, 2017, judge Qiu Yun ordered their three lawyers to turn in their laptops as they entered the courtroom. When the lawyers refused to do so, the judge adjourned the hearing.
As the lawyers left the courtroom, the bailiffs overheard their conversation about filing a complaint against the judge for her unlawful demand. The bailiffs then shoved the lawyers.
Lawyer Lu Tengge recorded the bailiffs as they shoved his colleagues. Then the bailiffs dragged him into their office and beat him.
After the beating, the bailiffs confiscated the lawyers' laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices, legal documents, and paperwork in their briefcases. They handed the confiscated items over to the Internet Supervision Department and threatened to take further measures against the lawyers.
The three practitioners were arrested on August 24, 2016. Ms. Cui was bailed out for medical treatment one week following the arrest. The other two have been detained in Huili Detention Center ever since.
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