(Minghui.org) Two Falun Gong practitioners in Shenzhen City were recently tried on charges of 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 three defense lawyers representing Mr. Feng Shaoyong and Mr. Chen Zeqi argued that the prosecutors lacked legal basis in citing Article 300 to charge their clients. The lawyers emphasized that the People’s Congress (China’s legislative body) has never enacted a law deeming Falun Gong a “cult” and that Article 300 thus did not apply to this case.

Mr. Feng and Mr. Chen also testified in their own defense. They requested an acquittal, but the presiding judge adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict.

One of the lawyers said after the hearing, “I felt really terrified today. I can’t believe the court treated Falun Gong practitioners like this. I am also a person of faith, and this could well happen to me in the future.”

Mr. Feng and Mr. Chen remain at Longgang Detention Center following their arrest on September 24, 2016.

Details of the Trial

Several dozen agents patrolled the Longgang District Courthouse on the early morning of December 1, 2017. They checked the identities of passersby and those who planned to attend the trial of Mr. Feng and Mr. Chen. Falun Gong practitioners were barred from entering the courthouse.

Mr. Feng’s wife, older sister, and another relative were present. Mr. Chen’s family couldn’t make it. Mr. Feng’s sister noted that her brother has lost a significant amount of weight.

Mr. Chen walked unsteadily and talked in a very low voice. He was punched in the chest during his arrest, and he once told his family that he had been suffering from increasing chest pain.

Both men were handcuffed and barefoot, and looked extremely pale.

Presiding judge Wang Xiaobo opened the hearing by asking if there was any request for recusal. The lawyers demanded that members of the Chinese Communist Party recuse themselves from the trial. The judge ignored them and signaled for the hearing to go on.

Wang and his assistant judge Su Xiaodong tried to stop the lawyers whenever the latter mentioned Falun Gong, law, human rights, or spiritual belief.

The lawyers were outraged, and questioned how they could avoid mentioning Falun Gong when their clients were being tried for their spiritual faith.

Prosecutors Xiao Yulian and Chen Shufen wrote in the indictment that there were five prosecution witnesses, but none of them were present to face across examination. Xiao and Chen also failed to produce original copies of their alleged evidence against Mr. Feng and Mr. Chen.

Xiao and Chen claimed that Mr. Feng, who has a PhD. in telecommunications, had intended to do something bad with his advanced degree. The prosecutors, however, failed to prove such an intent or show any solid evidence of what harm Mr. Feng has caused.

The prosecutors then moved onto items confiscated from Mr. Feng’s home and office, including his computer, flash drive, computer motherboard, and electronic devices. They alleged that those items were evidence that Mr. Feng broke the law. The lawyers countered that all those items were either Mr. Feng’s or his company’s lawful possessions, which caused no harm to anyone, much less undermine law enforcement.

During the recess, two court bailiffs were assigned to follow each lawyer when the latter had to use the restroom.

Mr. Feng’s wife testified in his defense after the recess. She recounted how her husband, who invented set-top boxes that are now widely used by Chinese households, turned away numerous people who tried to bribe him. This was so because his practice of Falun Gong taught him to be an upright person. She couldn’t understand why such a noble person is being persecuted for his belief. She was also particularly pained to see how traumatized their daughter was. The young girl didn’t dare to turn off the lights at night after her father’s arrest. Every time she saw a policeman or a police car, she would cling to her mother in fear.

Mr. Feng and Mr. Chen testified on their own behalves at the end of the hearing.

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