(Minghui.org) The defense lawyer for a Chaoyang City resident was threatened with license suspension for entering a not guilty plea for his client, who ended up being sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Mr. Yuan Zhenxing was arrested on May 25, 2017 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. He was home that day when Li Guozhu (a local community security guard), Wang Jiang and Luo Hongjiang (both officers of Yanduxinqu Police Office) showed up claiming to be doing a household registration check.

They called in more officers after discovering Falun Gong materials at Mr. Yuan's home. They ransacked his home and took him into custody.

Mr. Yuan appeared in Shuangta Court on October 3, 2017. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

Presiding judge Bai Lan warned the lawyer, “I'll send your defense statements to the local political and legal affairs committee (PLAC)!”

The PLAC is a non-judicial agency given power to override the judicial system in cases involving Falun Gong.

Several days after the hearing, agents from the PLAC found the lawyer to threaten him, “Withdraw your not-guilty defense arguments or else we'll suspend your license!”

Mr. Yuan was sentenced to 7 years in prison in 2018. He is now serving time at Jinzhou Prison.