Practitioners’ Lawyers Fight Ningxia Court’s Violation of Procedures and Refute Baseless Charges
(Minghui.org) Two women in Yinchuan City were tried for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Xu Runye and Ms. Tan Xiuxia were arrested on November 23, 2016 and appeared in court on July 26, 2017.
Court’s Repeated Violations of Legal Procedures
The two women’s defense lawyers were ordered to go through a security check before being allowed into the courthouse. They refused to comply, as lawyers are legally exempt from security checks.
The bailiffs wouldn’t budge, and the lawyers reached an agreement with them: if the lawyers went through security check, then everyone who came after them should also be required to do the same thing.
Three staff members from Yinchuan City Procuratorate arrived, and the bailiffs wanted to let them in without a security check. The lawyers immediately protested, and the bailiffs only allowed the one with his ID to go inside. The other two staff members weren’t allowed in until they had fetched their IDs an hour later.
Only three family members of the two practitioners combined were allowed to attend the trial. The rest of the gallery was filled with police and staff from the local procuratorate and the court.
As soon as the hearing began, Ms. Tan’s lawyer requested the two prosecutors to show their licenses to prove that they were qualified to prosecute the defendants. One prosecutor had his license, but the other one forgot to have hers with her.
The presiding judge said it was fine for prosecutors not to show their licenses, but Ms. Tan’s lawyer insisted the court follow legal procedures. The judge recessed the hearing for about one hour until the female prosecutor went back to get her license.
Lawyers Refute Baseless Accusations
Ms. Tan’s lawyer argued that his client's charge of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement” had no legal basis as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult.
The female prosecutor yelled, “Don’t mention Falun Gong!” The judge did nothing to stop her.
The lawyers requested that all the prosecution evidence be presented piece by piece for them to examine. The prosecutors said there was no need, since the evidence had been verified by the Ningxia Public Security Bureau. The lawyers insisted, and the prosecutors presented the evidence, which included Falun Gong books and materials bearing Falun Gong messages.
The prosecutors accused Ms. Xu and Ms. Tan of breaking the law by owning Falun Gong books. They cited two notices issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication in 1999 to ban the publication of Falun Gong books. The lawyers countered that the notices had already been repealed by the General Administration in 2011.
Ms. Xu and Ms. Tan also testified in their own defense.
The judge adjourned the session without issuing a verdict.