Shandong Woman Tried for Raising Awareness about Her Faith that Renewed Her Life
(Minghui.org) A Qingdao City, Shandong Province resident was tried for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong on September 18, 2019.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhou Minglan's lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her during the trial at Huangdao District Court. The 57-year-old woman's husband also submitted a written statement to say that his wife broke no law by practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhou's lawyer refuted the prosecutor's accusation of Ms. Zhou that she “undermined law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by authorities to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
The lawyer countered that no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China or labels it as a cult. It is her freedom of religion and freedom of expression to practice Falun Gong and talk to people about it, which are her basic rights and should be protected by the Constitution.
The lawyer pointed out that the prosecutor failed to specify which law's enforcement was allegedly interfered with by his client, or what harm it has caused to anyone or to society.
The prosecution evidence included Falun Gong materials confiscated from Ms. Zhou. Her lawyer cited a notice issued by the Chinese publication bureau in which they revoked the ban of Falun Gong publications in 2011. He argued that it was totally legal for his client to own and distribute Falun Gong materials.
Ms. Zhou denied any wrongdoing in upholding her faith and distributing materials about it. She testified in her own defense: “I used to suffer from leg disability and problems with my stomach and liver. The hospital simply couldn't cure my conditions. After I began to practice Falun Gong in 2009, I live by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance and improved my character. I experienced tremendous improvement in my health. My leg was healed and my many other problems also disappeared.”
The judge adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict. Ms. Zhou's lawyer urged him to make a decision following his conscience, not the persecution policy imposed by the communist regime.
Ms. Zhou was arrested on March 10, 2019 after she was reported for distributing materials about Falun Gong. She has been held at Pudong Detention Center since.
The police savagely beat her during the interrogation and threatened to bury her alive if she didn't cooperate with them.