(Minghui.org) Eight Mianzhu City, Sichuan Province, residents stood trial on October 29, 2019, for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Four of the practitioners had their families hire lawyers for them. The lawyers entered “not guilty” pleas on their clients’ behalf. The lawyers argued that no evidence could prove that their clients undermined the enforcement of any law, which has been a standard pretext used by the authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners.

The other four practitioners didn’t have their own lawyers. The court-appointed lawyers were instructed to plead “guilty” on their behalf.

Ms. Cai Yifeng refused to accept the court-appointed lawyer and the “guilty” plea. The judge decided to hold a separate hearing for her at a later time and ordered the bailiff to take her back to the local detention center.

The hearing for the seven practitioners lasted an entire day, with the judge adjourning the proceedings at around 6:20 p.m. He said he would announce the verdicts at a later time.

Only a few of the practitioners’ family members were allowed to attend the hearing. Dozens of police officers stood outside the courthouse and took pictures of the practitioners’ relatives and friends who came to show their support for their loved ones.

The eight practitioners, including Ms. Cai, Mr. Yang Xuncheng, Ms. Wan Mengrong, Ms. Yin Guangsu, Mr. Guo Yuanjun, Ms. Huang Bohui, Ms. Lu Shangrong, and Ms. Li Yongfang, were arrested on May 28, 2019. 

Six of the practitioners (from left to right): Mr. Yang Xuncheng, Mr. Guo Yuanjun, Ms. Huang Bohui, Ms. Yin Guangsu, Ms. Cai Yifeng, and Ms. Li Yongfang

The two males practitioners have since been detained in the Huagai Detention Center and the six female practitioners in the Mianyang City No.3 Detention Center.

The Anzhou District Procuratorate approved their arrests on June 28 and indicted them on October 9.

Related reports:

Eight Sichuan Residents Scheduled to Appear in Court on Friday for Not Giving Up Their Faith

Eight Sichuan Residents Face Further Prosecution for Their Faith