Sichuan Resident Faces Ten Years in Prison for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A Kaijiang County, Sichuan Province, resident was tried in a secret hearing on April 9, 2019, after being detained for more than a year for refusing to give up his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
The prosecution evidence against Mr. Deng Daoheng consisted of items confiscated from his home during his arrest. They included banknotes with information about Falun Gong printed on them, nearly 100 Falun Gong books that were legally published before the persecution, as well as greeting cards created by local Falun Gong practitioners to celebrate the introduction of the practice to the public in 1992 on his computer.
With the strict information censorship in China, many Falun Gong practitioners turn to grassroots channels to raise awareness about the persecution, including printing messages on banknotes.
Judge Zhang Guangyong of the Kaijiang County Court appointed a lawyer to represent Mr. Deng. The lawyer was instructed to enter a guilty plea for him.
Mr. Deng testified in his own defense. He denied all the allegations against him and argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. He said he was exercising his right to freedom of belief by practicing Falun Gong and following its principles to be a good person. The judge adjourned the hearing without announcing a verdict.
Mr. Deng's family learned from various sources that his arrest was ordered by the provincial Domestic Security Division and the authorities are planning to sentence him to ten years in prison.
Mr. Deng, in his 60s, was arrested on January 13, 2018, while he and his wife were studying the Falun Gong teachings together. The police ransacked his residence and confiscated his computer, cellphones, and banknotes with information about Falun Gong printed on them.
The couple was taken to the Domestic Security Division in Dazhou City that evening. After 15 days of administrative detention, the police switched them to criminal detention and transferred them to another detention facility.
Mr. Deng's wife was released after she experienced heart problems. Her home phone was monitored by the police after she returned home.
Mr. Deng has been held in custody and denied family visits ever since. His arrest was approved on February 26, 2019.
Improved Health and Work Ethic
Mr. Deng was a volunteer assistant at his local Falun Gong practice site before the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999. He experienced tremendous improvement in his health after learning Falun Gong. His wife also saw her severe stomach problems disappear shortly after she picked up the practice.
With the onset of the persecution, Mr. Deng was demoted from the position of manager at the Supply and Marketing Cooperatives in Kaijiang County and his salary was reduced, because he refused to renounce his faith. But he remained dedicated to his work and sometimes worked overtime on the weekends until he retired two years ago.