Tianjin Woman Testifies in Court to the Benefits of Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) When a Tianjin woman testified during a court hearing on July 26, 2018, that practicing Falun Gong significantly improved her health and character, the presiding judge stopped her and said that her better health was a result of her improved living conditions under the great leadership of the communist regime.
Both Ms. He Guirong and her lawyer protested the judge's biased comment.
The judge later adjourned the hearing after Ms. He's lawyer requested to have certain prosecution evidence excluded due to lack of authentication and to call prosecution witnesses to testify in court.
Ms. He's case was heard a second time in the Hebei District Court on October 31, 2018. The lawyer noted that none of the requests he'd made during the previous hearing had been honored.
When the prosecutor repeatedly focused on the amount of Falun Gong materials confiscated from Ms. He's residence, Ms. He argued that the issue was whether or not she should be prosecuted for practicing Falun Gong, not how many Falun Gong items she possessed.
Ms. He argued that her personal experience with Falun Gong only proved that the practice benefits both individuals and society as a whole and that the prosecutor failed to provide any concrete evidence showing how her practicing Falun Gong damaged anyone.
The judge interrupted Ms. He again and repeated his opinion that her improved health was the result of the government providing her with better living conditions.
Ms. He said that she related her own personal experience to benefit the judge and the prosecutor and that she hoped they would understand there is no legal basis to persecute Falun Gong.
The judge adjourned the hearing again when Ms. He's lawyer reiterated his requests raised at the first hearing.
Ms. He was targeted during a mass arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin on December 28, 2017. It has been confirmed that 39 practitioners were affected, adding to the initial tally of 24 practitioners. Some of them have already been sentenced to prison.
Ms. He has been detained in the Hebei District Detention Center ever since. After she was indicted, a staff member from the procuratorate went to see her in the detention center and said that they would release her if she pled guilty. She turned the offer down and insisted she was innocent, that practicing Falun Gong was not a crime.
The judge also talked to her after her case was assigned to his court and ordered her to accept the court-appointed lawyer, who would plead “guilty” on her behalf. She refused to agree and said she would defend herself even if she didn't have a lawyer.