Court Appointed Lawyer Demands Acquittal of Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) A Guangzhou City resident detained for her faith was doing her assigned task at the local detention center when she was suddenly brought to the local courthouse.
The presiding judge asked Ms. Wang Jiafang, “Do you admit guilt? If not, I'll sentence you to at least three years in prison!”
The 54-year-old woman replied, “I am not guilty. Why should I admit guilt?”
The judge then changed his tone, “You're right. We won't be able to find out whether or not you are guilty until after the trial.”
Ms. Wang was arrested in October 2017, less than one year after she finished serving nine years for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Wang's court-appointed lawyer agreed with her during the latest trial. The lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that Ms. Wang should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief. The lawyer demanded her acquittal.
Court-appointed lawyers in Falun Gong cases are often instructed to enter guilty pleas for detained Falun Gong practitioners. It was very courageous of Ms. Wang's defender to defy the judge's order and to seek justice for her.
Background of Ms. Wang
Ms. Wang used to be an associate professor of mathematics at Guangzhou University. She had a son who suffered from congenital heart disease, and she became interested in Falun Gong after hearing numerous stories about the practice's miraculous healing power. She and her son decided to give Falun Gong a try. The boy's condition improved significantly, which cemented Ms. Wang's determination to practice Falun Gong. Ms. Wang held firm to her faith. She lost her job after she was released and was arrested several more times in the years that followed. She was sentenced to a nine-year prison term after her arrest in September 2007.
Ms. Wang resumed her efforts to tell people about the persecution of Falun Gong after she was released from prison. She was once again arrested in October 2017, and is now being held at the Yuxiu District Detention Center, where she has been suffering from abdominal pain since an inmate kicked her repeatedly.