Two Hebei Women Face Prison Time for Hanging Up a Banner about Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Two Tangshan City, Hebei Province residents were tried for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Li Xiuhua, 56, and Ms. Deng Deping, around 47, were arrested on May 13, 2019, after being reported for hanging up a banner reading “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” the core principles of Falun Gong.
The police interrogated and beat Ms. Deng at the local police station. She was found to have injuries when going through a physical examination before being sent to Tangshan City No.1 Detention Center.
Ms. Li and Ms. Deng appeared in Lubei District Court on November 8, 2019. Their lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them.
The lawyers argued that their clients didn’t violate any law in upholding their faith and were exercising their constitutionally protected rights in raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Li and Ms. Deng were charged with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used by the Chinese judiciary system to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.
“Which law was undermined by the defendants, and how?” the lawyers asked the prosecutor, who couldn’t answer the question or provide any evidence to support the accusation.
The two practitioners also testified in their own defense and talked about how practicing Falun Gong improved their health and elevated their character. They felt compelled to share their stories so that more people may appreciate the goodness of Falun Gong and have the opportunity to benefit from practicing it too.
The judge adjourned the hearing about two hours later. The two practitioners were taken back to the detention center.
Two Families’ Plight
Ms. Deng, a native of Sichuan Province, took up Falun Gong in 1998. She credits the practice for giving her the strength to take care of her bedridden husband and two children, as well as running a laundromat to make a living. With the onset of the persecution, she stopped practicing, only to see that her health quickly declined. She was very thin and weak.
Her husband later passed away and she later remarried. With the help from a local practitioner, she picked up Falun Gong again and regained her health. Once declared infertile by her doctor, she became pregnant in her late 30s and gave birth to a healthy son. The 10-year-old boy struggles to cope with his mother's arrest.
Ms. Li, an environmental control engineer, also credits Falun Gong for giving her good health. Because of refusing to give up her faith, she and her husband, Mr. Meng Fanquan, were repeatedly arrested and detained in the past 20 years. Their son was bullied at school because of their detention and grew up in fear.