(Minghui.org) A Yingkou City, Liaoning Province resident was tried for not renouncing his faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Shan Baogui appeared in Zhanqian District Court on July 3, 2019. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him. Mr. Shan also testified in his own defense.

Although the judge informed the lawyer of the court date one week ahead of time, he only updated him about the sudden location change, from the local detention center to the courthouse, on the morning of July 3. The lawyer rushed to the courthouse and barely made it to the hearing.

Targeted in Group Arrests

Mr. Shan was seized by the police at work during a group arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning Province on August 22 and 23, 2018. Another thirty Falun Gong and their family members were also arrested during those two days.

The Yingkou procuratorate approved Mr. Shan's case on September 18, 2018.

Mr. Shan was transferred from Bayuquan Detention Center to Yingkou City Detention Center on January 9, 2019, where he has been held since.

No Legal Basis and Invalid Evidence

Mr. Shan's lawyer argued during the hearing that the persecution of Falun Gong didn't have any legal basis as no law in China ever criminalizes the spiritual practice. He pointed out that it's his client's freedom of belief to practice Falun Gong and that he didn't break any law in upholding his faith and telling people about it.

The lawyer said that while the prosecutor charged his client with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” he didn't provide any evidence to show what law enforcement was undermined and what cult activities Mr. Shan was involved in.

Mr. Shan testified that he has been enjoying very good health in the past 25 years because of practicing Falun Gong and that his character has also elevated by living by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. He said his own experience demonstrates the beauty of the practice, which only brings benefits to society without any harm.

The judge frequently interrupted him as he talked about his experience of practicing Falun Gong.

The prosecutor alleged that Mr. Shan's possession of a computer and a radio transmitter was enough to show that he sent text messages and broadcast radio programs to spread information about Falun Gong. There, however, was no forensic evidence from Mr. Shan's telecommunication company or other independent agencies to prove that he had ever sent out any Falun Gong-related messages or anyone had ever received the alleged messages. The lawyer pointed out that no witness testified in court against his client either.

The judge adjourned the court session after one and a half hours and said he would discuss the case with the collegiate bench (who didn't attend the hearing) before announcing the verdict.

Related report:

31 Falun Gong Practitioners and Their Family Members in Liaoning Province Arrested in Two Days