Retired Teacher Tried Through Teleconference for Her Faith, Denied Family Visits for Almost 8 Months
(Minghui.org) A 68-year-old retired teacher is awaiting a verdict following a teleconferenced trial in March 2019 for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhang Shumin, a resident of Laizhou City, Shandong Province, was arrested on November 7, 2018 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was held for 15 days at Laizhou City Detention Center before being transferred to Yantai Detention Center on November 22. The detention center denied her family visits and refused to accept the clothes that her daughter sent her.
Ms. Zhang was tried through a video call at the detention center on March 19, 2019 by Laizhou Court. She testified in her own defense and argued that she didn't violate any law in upholding her faith. The judge remained silent most of the time during the hearing.
Ms. Zhang's family attended the hearing in Laizhou, which is more than 100 miles away from Yantai Detention Center. Towards the end of the hearing, they were allowed to get closer to the video conferencing screen for Ms. Zhang to take a closer look at them. But to this day, they haven't been allowed to visit her in person.
Ms. Zhang is still awaiting the verdict at the detention center.