(Minghui.org) A judge in Hebei Province expressed his unwillingness to handle Falun Gong cases during a recent hearing of three local practitioners. He returned the cases to the Procuratorate after the hearing, citing insufficient evidence. 

Ms. Bian Yanjuan (also known as Bian Xiujuan), Ms. Zheng Yanmei, and Ms. Li Yuemian appeared in Anping Court on November 8, 2019 for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Three lawyers, including Ms. Zheng’s court-appointed lawyer, entered not-guilty pleas for the practitioners. Court-appointed lawyers are usually instructed to enter guilty pleas for Falun Gong practitioners, so Ms. Zheng was grateful that her lawyer stood up to defend her innocence.

The lawyers argued that it was their clients’ freedom of expression to pass out information about Falun Gong, which didn’t violate any law. The practitioners also testified in their own defense. 

None of the witnesses listed in the indictment appeared in court to accept cross-examination. 

The judge said at the end of hearing, “Why did they move all Falun Gong cases here? I don’t want to take Falun Gong cases either.”

Arrests and Indictment

The three Xinji City, Hebei Province residents were arrested on April 12, 2019 after being reported for distributing information about Falun Gong. They have since been held at Hengshui City Detention Center.

When the practitioners’ families went to the Procuratorate on May 9 to submit their applications to defend their loved ones in court, they were told that the prosecutor had already returned the practitioners’ cases to the police. 

Ms. Bian’s daughter, son-in-law, and another family member went to Datunxiang Police Station to demand her release on May 13, only to be rejected and held at the police station from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The police continued to harass them for months after they were released.

The police re-submitted the practitioners’ cases to the Procuratorate on May 30.

Ms. Bian’s lawyer went to the Procuratorate on the morning of July 30 to review her case documents and visited her at the detention center in the afternoon.

Ms. Bian told the lawyer that she had been experiencing high blood pressure, dizziness, and a heart condition at the detention center. 

The prosecutor indicted the practitioners and submitted their cases to Anping Court around October 6.