Once Imprisoned for 8 Years, Beijing Man Condemns Latest Illegal Trial of Him for His Faith
(Minghui.org) A 49-year-old man in Beijing was tried on charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its persecution of Falun Gong.
This is not the first time that Mr. Zhao Bingzhong has been targeted for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He was imprisoned between 2002 and 2010, during which time his wife divorced him and his mother died from stress.
Mr. Zhao's latest arrest took place on October 11, 2017. He was visiting his father when dozens of agents broke in and seized him.
Mr. Zhao's lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him during the trial on April 12, 2018. The lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult, and that his client should never have been prosecuted for his constitutional right to freedom of belief.
The prosecutor failed to specify what Mr. Zhao did that undermined law enforcement. He alleged that both Mr. Zhao's father and brother, who were made prosecution witnesses, testified against Mr. Zhao.
The lawyer countered that Mr. Zhao's father and brother only stated that they knew Mr. Zhao practiced Falun Gong in the past, which in itself said nothing about whether Mr. Zhao broke any law.
Mr. Zhao testified in his own defense and advised everyone to remember that Falun Gong is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. His lawyer demanded his acquittal.
A court bailiff initially refused to allow Mr. Zhao to review court proceedings, but he relented when Mr. Zhao said it was his legal right. Upon reviewing the document carefully, Mr. Zhao wrote “the illegal trial is invalid” before pressing his fingerprints on the document.