(Minghui.org) A 61-year-old resident of Hefei City was tried for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Mr. Ji Guangkui was arrested on March 18, 2017, and appeared in court on December 6. The courthouse was heavily patrolled. Only five of Mr. Ji’s family members were allowed inside, and the remaining seats in the courtroom were occupied by unidentified people.

Mr. Ji’s two lawyers were initially held up outside because they refused to go through a security check. By law, lawyers are exempt from security checks.

When presiding judge Liu Dongsheng opened the hearing, one of Mr. Ji’s family members yelled, “Our lawyers are still outside. How can you go ahead without them?” Two staff members went outside and finally let in the lawyers.

The lawyers entered a not-guilty plea for Mr. Ji, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

Mr. Ji testified that the officers who searched his home didn’t allow him to make an inventory of items confiscated, nor did they give him a copy of the inventory that they made themselves.

Mr. Ji also testified against the officers who interrogated him for more than 13 hours, during which time he was brutally tortured. One officer pushed four bamboo sticks into Mr. Ji’s middle finger and ring finger, causing excruciating pain and bleeding. He also hit Mr. Ji in the head and chest. At one point, he put Mr. Ji in a choke hold. Two other officers watched the torture unfold, saying, “Nothing to worry about treating you guys (Falun Gong practitioners) like this!”

Mr. Ji further testified against guards at Chaohu City Detention Center, who put him in handcuffs and shackles for more than one month straight.

The prosecutor alleged that a total of 1,300 flyers bearing Falun Gong messages were found in his home. Mr. Ji stated that the interrogation record that he signed indicated that the police found only a little over 100 flyers. He questioned why the number had changed without his knowledge.

The judge adjourned the session without issuing a verdict.

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