(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yang Huanping was retried by the Qiaoxi District Court on June 27, 2017, three years after her arrest.

Arrest and Sentencing

Police from Shijiazhuang City and nearby counties arrested over 30 Falun Gong practitioners, among them Ms. Yang, on November 15, 2013. Her home was also ransacked.

Ms. Yang was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Qiaoxi District Court in Shijiazhuang City on September 8, 2015. She was released on bail due to poor health.

She appealed the verdict at the Shijiazhuang Intermediate Court. The judgment was reversed and the case was returned to the Qiaoxi District Court for retrial.

Defending Innocence

Ms. Yang defended her innocence during the June 27 court hearing. She stated that she suffered from several illnesses and also had a bad temper before practicing Falun Gong. Her health greatly improved after she took up the practice, and she became kind to others and followed the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. She told the court that practicing Falun Gong is not a crime.

Ms. Yang's attorney pointed out that the police violated legal procedures as they arrested Ms. Yang first and then tried to find evidence to convict her.

Ms. Yang's attorney rebutted the procurator's charges against his client. He pointed out that Falun Gong is beneficial and is not a cult. He defended Ms. Yang from the aspect of human rights violations, and he contrasted the circumstances of practicing Falun Gong in China to how it is treated overseas. He also examined the deplorable state of China's current laws, the current social situation, and moral justice.

Ms. Yang said that as a Falun Gong practitioner, she does not hate anyone. She simply hoped that the judge would listen to the voice of her inner conscience and make the right decision.

A juror told the attorney privately after the trial that she knew that Falun Gong has been wronged.