(Minghui.org) Seven Beijing residents stood trial on July 16, 2019, for not renouncing their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

While Ms. Wang Hong, 78, defended her innocence, her own lawyer and the lawyers representing Ms. Wu Ye, Ms. Ren Lin, Ms. Fu Yamin, Ms. Li Luying and Ms. Zheng Yunyun entered a guilty plea for them, fearing being implicated in the persecution.

Only Mr. Wang Shunli's lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him. The presiding judge Zhang Youming frequently interrupted his defense with the excuse that time was running out.

Mr. Wang's lawyer argued that his client didn't violate any law in practicing his faith, and the prosecutor also failed to present any evidence to support the charge of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Mr. Wang's lawyer also pointed out that none of the electronic devices, including a computer, flash-drive and printer confiscated from his client were sealed after home-ransacking. He said he couldn't rule out the possibilities that the police tampered with the devices later on and fabricated evidence against his client.

Although the other lawyers entered a guilty plea for the practitioners, they all agreed that the practitioners' reading Falun Gong books together didn't cause any harm to the society, let alone obstructing law enforcement. They requested acquittal or lighter sentences for the practitioners. But prosecutor Zhang Li of Dongcheng District Procuratorate proposed heavy terms for the practitioners.

Arrested for Reading Falun Gong Books Together

The seven practitioners were arrested on September 6, 2018, while reading Falun Gong books together.

Ms. Wang, Mr. Wang, Ms. Wu, and Ms. Ren has been detained at Dongcheng District Detention Center since. Ms. Fu, Ms. Zheng and Ms. Li were released on bail.

An eighth practitioner arrested together with them, Ms. Liu Shengping, 70, was released four days later after she experienced heart problems. She was later forced to live away from home after being frequently harassed by the authorities.

Related report:

70-Year-Old Practitioner in Beijing Suffers Symptoms of Heart Problems During Arrest