(Minghui.org) Ms. Xiong Wenfang was arrested on October 30, 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

The Shenzhen City resident hired a well-known rights lawyer, Mr. Fan Biaowen, to defend her constitutional right to freedom of belief, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

Mr. Fan traveled hundreds of miles to visit Ms. Xiong at Luohu Detention Center in late January 2017. He was initially barred outside, but was later let in after he protested to the detention center director. He, however, was not allowed to talk about Falun Gong with his client.

The Luohu Procuratorate interrogated Ms. Xiong hours after Mr. Fan left and soon forwarded her case to the local court.

Ms. Xiong’s trial date was set for February 13, and the court officials only informed her daughter of the hearing. They threatened her to not tell her family and Mr. Fan about the session.

The daughter wasn’t able to find Mr. Fan’s phone number until the night before the hearing. By then, it was too late for Mr. Fan to get to Shenzhen in time.

Ms. Xiong testified in her own defense during the trial.