Five Liaoning Falun Gong Practitioners on Trial For Their Belief
(Minghui.org) Five residents in Fushun City, Liaoning Province were tried on December 12 for telling people about the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
A total of four attorneys defended the innocence of the five practitioners, who also emphasized that their freedom of belief is protected by the Chinese Constitution.
These five practitioners are Mr. Ding Guozhu, his wife Ms. Wang Haichao (also known as Wang Yan), Ms. Yang Xiufang, Ms. Xu Junying, and Ms. Zhang Chuanwen.
Since all legal channels to appeal for their right to practice Falun Gong have been blocked, practitioners often use creative means to tell the public about the illegality of the persecution and share their own positive experiences with Falun Gong.
Mr. Ding, Ms. Yang, Ms. Xu, and Ms. Zhang went to Yujiabao Village on June 21, 2018 to distribute Falun Gong informational materials. After one villager reported them to police, officers from both Qingyuan Police Department and Aojiabao Police Station arrested them.
When Ms. Wang, unaware of the arrest of her husband and other practitioners, went to visit Ms. Zhang, she was arrested by police officers who were ransacking Ms. Zhang's apartment at the time.
The police next went to Ms. Wang's place and confiscated a computer, a printer, and Falun Gong materials. At least 1,800 yuan in cash was also taken away.
Mr. Ding has been kept at Qingyuan Detention Center, while the four female practitioners are kept at Fushun Detention Center.
When family members of Ms. Zhang, Ms. Wang, and Ms. Yang went to Aojiabao Police Station to inquire about the case on July 31, police chief Liu Feng blocked them and did not answer questions.
Liu later called officers from Qingyuan Police Department and other branches to come and interrogate each family member one by one, followed by blood sampling and fingerprinting. Even Ms. Zhang's 93-year-old mother and Ms. Wang's deaf-mute parents were not spared. These family members were detained for over five hours before being released.
The family members hired attorneys from Beijing and local law firms to represent the practitioners. When a lawyer visited Ms. Zhang on October 17, he saw bruises on her forehead. Ms. Zhang said a drug addict, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison, had beat her twice.
All four attorneys defended the five practitioners during the trial at Qingyuan Court on December 12. They pointed out inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the prosecution witnesses' testimonies. The prosecutor responded by presenting forensic evidence validation issued by the police.
The lawyers argued that the police did not qualify as an independent forensic validation agency. They also testified that the police had failed to follow legal procedures in the arrest and prosecution of their clients.
Ms. Zhang, 51, used to smoke and play mahjong. After she began to practice Falun Gong, not only was she able to kick her bad habits, but her severe arthritis and intestinal problems also disappeared. She no longer needed medical care and lived a happy life.
Mr. Ding and Ms. Wang (a couple) had a similar experience. The husband became more open-minded and generous, while his wife's health improved significantly.
The detention caused a huge burden for these families. In particular, Ms. Zhang's mother, already 93, was left unattended. Ms. Wang's parents, both deaf and mute, needed her support on a daily basis.
Key Responsible Personnel:
Yuan Chao: judge of Qingyuan Court, +86-24-53072152, +8615041361601Zhao Lihong: director of Qingyuan Court, +86-24-53072101, +86-15641387788