(Minghui.org) Twelve Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning Province were arrested for their belief and have been detained for more than 17 months without a trial. No explanation has been given for this extended detention, and inquiries by their lawyers have been denied.

The practitioners were arrested at their homes on July 21-22, 2016. The police department filed a joint case with the Procuratorate on March 13, 2017, after being rejected twice for insufficient evidence. The case has been waiting for the Dongzhou District Court to schedule a trial date, but no date has been set as of this report.

Ms. Liu Fengjuan's lawyer said, “My client has been detained since last July. She has not received any legal documents explaining why the deadline for prosecution has been extended.” The lawyer also tried to submit documents to the court on December 1, to defend Ms. Liu. He was told to submit the documents in person, but when he contacted judge Tian Hao, he was hung up on.

Ms. Liu's other lawyer went to the Dongzhou District Court and tried to meet with judge Tian Hao. Mr. Tian threatened that all the lawyers defending the case would be investigated, and that their parents and grandparents would also be investigated.

The other lawyers involved in this case have encountered similar responses. When they phoned judge Tian Hao, he kept hanging up on them. When they contacted the court president Jiang Tao, he said that the practitioners' detention should be extended.

Two of the attorneys came to the district court on December 12, 2017, and contacted Judge Hao over the internal phone at the gate. When they asked why the case kept getting delayed without a hearing, he refused to answer and hung up.

The twelve practitioners who have been held in the Nangou Detention Center in Fushun City include Ms. Lu Qing, Mr. Fan Fude, Ms. Xu Guirong, Mr. Li Mingyu, Ms. Liu Fenjuan, Mr. Dong Weirong, Ms. Hu Fengqiu, Mr. Li Gang, Ms. Li Yanrong, Ms. Zhang Guiping, Ms. Jiang Shunai, and Ms. Qin Zengyun.

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