(Minghui.org) A Falun Gong practitioner and her lawyer defended her constitutional right to freedom of belief when she appeared in Chaoyang County Court on August 31, 2018, to face charges for her faith.

Ms. Liu Yonglan said that she didn't violate any law or cause any harm to anyone by practicing Falun Gong to improve her health and following its principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance to be a better person.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Liu became emotional when she testified how Falun Gong lifted her out of the pit of despair. Her husband and daughter passed away due to terminal diseases. She herself, also seriously ill, was unable to work and relied on her mother's meager pension to get by. It was Falun Gong that returned her to health and gave her hope to carry on.

The prosecutor, however, kept asking her where her Falun Gong books and other materials came from.

Her lawyer argued that her Falun Gong books are necessary study materials for her to practice this spiritual discipline, and her freedom of belief, which is protected by law.

The lawyer also pointed to an announcement by China's General Administration of Press and Publication in 2011 that repealed its ban on publication of Falun Gong books.

Unable to refute the announcement referred to by the lawyer, the prosecutor then accused Ms. Liu of “undermining law enforcement,” a standard pretext to criminalize Falun Gong. He, however, failed to provide evidence showing that Ms. Liu caused any damage to society at large or to anyone specifically because of her practice of Falun Gong.

The lawyer also questioned the police about forging the signature of the village Party secretary on the list of confiscated items, when he wasn't present during the home search.

The judge adjourned the trial without announcing a verdict. Her lawyer demanded her acquittal.

Ms. Liu's trial came three months after her arrest on May 12, 2018. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her computer, printer and Falun Gong materials. She was sent to the detention center on the day of her arrest and has been kept there since.