(Minghui.org) Officials from Guta District Court in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, tried Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Zhou Yuzhen and Ms. Wang Yanqiu, despite the fact that they were both in extremely poor health, on December 12, 2013, in the Jinzhou Detention Center, where they were being held.

Before the trial, officers from Jinzhou Political and Legal Affairs Committee had already fabricated the charges and decided on the sentences. Ms. Zhou's lawyer left the courtroom during the trial to protest the illegality of the proceedings, while Ms. Wang's lawyer told the court that Ms. Wang had been targeted for persecution by the authorities and stated that she was “not guilty” of the charges brought against her.

Ms. Zhou, in her 60s, from the Guta District of Jinzhou had learned about Falun Gong from other practitioners when she was held in a detention center in 2001. She began practicing and conducted herself in accordance with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Over the past years Ms. Zhou has been persecuted in detention centers and the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province, where she was tortured until she was in critical condition.

On the evening of July 23, 2013, Ms. Zhou and Ms. Wang went to the southern gate of the Children's Park in Jinzhou to distribute Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs, an overseas performing arts group that is reviving traditional Chinese culture. Officers Yang Tieli, Zhang Zheng, Wang Jinhui, and Wang Xu from the local police station saw them. Zhang Zheng then reported them to the Anti-cult Group of the Jinzhou Police Department, and they were soon arrested.

At the time of the trial the women were in extremely poor health. Ms. Wang was suffering from severe anemia and hypertension and had a tumor in her uterus. She looked very thin and was unable to walk. Ms. Zhou had high blood pressure and anemia.

The Trial

The lawyers representing Ms. Zhou and Ms. Wang received notification on December 5 from Judge Pan Lili of Guta District Court that the defendants would be tried in the detention center where they were being held. The lawyers argued that their clients were in no way fit to stand trial due to their poor health.

Officials from the Jinzhou Detention Center had previously called Ms. Zhou's and Ms. Wang's lawyers many times regarding the grave condition of the women's health. Their lawyers argued that, in view of the defendants' poor physical condition, a trial would be illegal as they could fall ill during the trial and be unable to speak to defend themselves. Pan said that they had already considered the practitioners' health when they decided to hold the trial in the detention center where they were being held.

The trial started at 9.30 a.m. on December 12. Six of Ms. Wang's family members went, but only two of them were allowed to enter. Staff persons claimed that the room was too small for so many people. When she saw Ms. Wang, her sister was so astounded by her debilitated appearance that she burst into tears. A bailiff told her to control herself or she would be thrown out.

When Ms. Zhou appeared in court, two people had to hold her up. She was put down on a seat and seemed to be in great pain, unable to utter a word. Seeing how feeble she was, her lawyer asked Judge Pan Lili to suspend the trial immediately. The judge did not agree.

In protest, the lawyer announced that he would retire from the trial. A plainclothes police officer went over to him, grabbed his collar, and was going to hit him, yelling, “You are only a lawyer!” Ms. Zhou's brother tried to shield the lawyer from the officer and pushed him aside. Ms. Zhou's brother shouted at the officer, “What are you doing to him?” The lawyer quickly left and went out of the detention center gates.

Lawyer Discloses Secret Orders

Officials from the Liaoning Province Political and Legal Affairs Committee sent officers to supervise the trial and were seen giving orders to the court staff. One of the defense lawyers heard their conversation when he passed by.

When the trial started, the lawyer began his defense by revealing that the authorities were having secret dealings. The lawyer said, “This trial is not being conducted impartially. I know that you have received orders from the provincial Political and Legal Affairs Committee in regards to your judgment. When I came into this room a moment ago, I heard them giving you orders to sentence her to seven years in prison.”

Judge Pan was quick to interrupt him, stating that this matter was irrelevant to the case.

Ms. Wang's Lawyer Pleads “Not Guilty” for His Client

Ms. Wang's lawyer entered a plea of “not guilty” for his client. In his argument he focused on freedom of belief that is guaranteed in China's law and administrative regulations, the misinterpretation of the law presented by the prosecutors in the case, and the fact that the case lacked any objective evidence and therefore did not constitute a crime. The judge and the prosecutors had no reply.

Some 200 people had gathered outside the detention center while the trial was taking place, including Ms. Zhou's and Ms. Wang's relatives and friends. Police were there filming them from inside a car, while others were trying to evict them. A white police car and a black one with no license plate were outside the detention center. A police officer stopped a practitioner and searched her bag, but no one left before the trial ended, despite the cold weather.

The trial commenced at 9.30 a.m. and ended at around noon.

Parties involved in the persecution:

Jiang Long, deputy head of the Anti-cult Division in Jinzhou City Police Department: +86-416-2361181 (Home), +86-13841659777, +86-416-2572155 (Office)
Yang Tieli, officer in Guta District Police Department: +86-15174218865
Wang Shiyuan, chief prosecutor of the Guta District Procuratorate: +86-416-2326655 (Home), +86-416-3869111 (Office), +86-15041689999 (Cell)
Huang Ping, president of Guta District Court: +86-416-2872777 (Office), +86-18941603999 (Cell)
Pan Lili, judge of No.1 Guta District Court Court: +86-13804160717, +86-18941601838, +86-416-2872733 (Office)
Ma Ming, head of Jinzhou City Detention Center: +86-13840678866 (Cell)