(Minghui.org) On April 12, 2013, the Lingyuan City Court officials illegally tried Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Du Qingxiu, an English teacher at Linggang High School. The trial was conducted in the Chaoyang City Court instead of Lingyuan City Court. Ms. Du Qingxiu's family hired a lawyer from Beijing to represent her not-guilty defense.

This is the first time in either Lingyuan or Chaoyang City that a Falun Gong practitioner retained a defense lawyer to represent her in court. Ms. Du was arrested on October 30, 2012 while working in her school for sending truth-clarification text messages to some people in the legal system.

"A Case of Injustice"

By 8 a.m. a long line of vehicles were already parked near the Chaoyang City Court, as many Falun Gong practitioners had come to be present at the trial. A criminal case was awaiting trial that same day and in the same court. One person attending the criminal case remarked in surprise, "So many people! Their case must be a very big one or a case of injustice." A person who looked like a chief officer came up and said that because space was limited, only 12 people would be admitted into the courtroom for Ms. Du's case. The other people who had come to attend the case were told to leave.

Around 9:30 a.m., Ms. Du Qingxiu's family members and friends were allowed to enter after they underwent a thorough body search and an ID check.

After they were allowed to enter the courtroom, the 12 people had to sit in the last two rows of seats. More than 10 police officers stood behind them and many other officers stood beside them. The court officials said room was limited; however, more than 10 seats in the first three rows were empty. Shortly after the judges, jurors, public prosecutor and the lawyer were seated, Ms. Du Qingxiu was brought in by the police officers. She was wearing a prison yellow vest, and her hands were cuffed behind her back. One officer unlocked her handcuffs and made her sit, then the judge declared the trial had started.

The first step was the so-called "court investigation." The public prosecutor held a thick pile of files, and read item by item to Ms. Du. He said Ms. Du Qingxiu committed the crime of "utilizing a cult to undermine the implementation of laws." Ms. Du stated that she practiced Falun Gong to improve her heath, and tried to be a good person by conducting herself according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and she had done nothing wrong. She said that Falun Gong is a high level cultivation way in the Buddha School, and teaches people to be good. While Ms. Du was speaking the presiding judge kept interrupting her.

The Not-guilty Defense Was Well Grounded, All Attendees Listened Carefully

The second step was the court plea. The defense lawyer pled innocent for Ms. Du Qingxiu. It was a well-grounded and justified plea. Ms. Du's lawyer refuted the so-called proofs raised by the public prosecutor one by one:

1. There was no relationship between the items mentioned by the public prosecutor and the crimes Ms. Du was accused of, therefore, those items could not be deemed as evidence. It was unlawful to arrest someone without the right evidence.

2. When the legal enforcement departments conduct house searches, they must carry "search warrants," and the person implicated as well as the witness must be present during the search; meanwhile, a list of searched items must be signed by the person implicated and the witness. However, no signature of the person implicated or the witness on this list were found; furthermore, the 10,800 yuan in cash and the new printer that Ms. Du purchased for her child were confiscated, but the 10,800 yuan and the printer were not on the list, where did they go?

3. It is in accordance with the freedom of belief endowed by the Constitution for Ms. Du Qingxiu to practice Falun Gong, and it is permitted by freedom of speech to clarify the truth and send multimedia messages. There's nothing illegal at all in doing so. In the public prosecutor's accusation, he failed to specify which "cult" the defendant had utilized and which laws she had undermined; therefore his accusations had no lawful grounds. Practicing Falun Gong is the person following her belief. The laws should be directed at illegal activities, not one's belief or ideology.

The lawyer accounted item by item, clearly and reasonably. Everyone present listened attentively.

The Judge Was Nitpicking and Forbade the Lawyer to Gesture

The lawyer conducted his argument in a reasonable manner, and occasionally gestured with his hands to make his points. The presiding judge became impatient, and loudly told the lawyer, "speak faster, don't make gestures." The lawyer said, "I gesture to aid my speech and make my points."

The lawyer continued, “As for the 'undermining implementation of laws', there must be four subjective and objective conditions to define it. No one condition can be omitted. My client never broke any law, neither did she hurt other people, jeopardize society, or bear malice or objective crime features. Therefore, there were no sufficient criminal conditions to support accusing her of a crime."

The lawyer stated, "All my client's activities fall under the category of her exercising her freedom of brief, including practicing Falun Gong and sending multimedia messages; therefore, she should be protected by the Constitution. To convict her for practicing Falun Gong is against the universal rule of freedom of belief, and is therefore against the spirit of the Constitution and the principle of the 'separation of religion from politics'."

He said, "All the actions against Falun Gong practitioners of confining or depriving them of their personal freedom, including monitoring, following, house searching, fining, transforming, forced labor, and so on and so forth, are all unlawful actions."

The lawyer also declared, besides the laws, everyone has a conscience, and the judiciary should be independent. At the end of his defense statement, the lawyer requested the judges to respect the Constitution and carry out their historic responsibilities, and then make a fair judgment and exonerate the defendant.

When the lawyer finished, the presiding judge asked Ms. Du Qingxiu to declare her attitude. Ms. Du said loudly, "I have not broken any laws by practicing Falun Gong! I request to be freed!"

The presiding judge then asked the public prosecutor for his opinion. The public prosecutor would not respond to any questions raised by the lawyer; instead, he insisted that Ms. Du Qingxiu be sentenced to four to five years. In the end, the presiding judge announced the trial was adjourned.

Court Disregards the Constitution and Illegally Sentence the Practitioner

On April 15, 2013, the Lingyuan City Court sentenced Ms. Du Qingxiu to six years of imprisonment, despite the reasonable defense put forth by her lawyer. In doing so the court completely disregarded the Constitution and violated her freedom of belief.

Through the above trial process, we can see that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does not follow any laws in treating Falun Gong practitioners. Their so-called trials and court hearings are merely for show. But we believe that by listening to the defense lawyer's words, the court staff and police officers can surely understand who is actually acting illegally and breaking the laws.

The continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is only speeding up the extermination of the CCP. We are truly worried about the future of those who work in police departments, the procuratorate and court, and willingly serve as the hatchet men for the CCP in order to keep their own ranks and salaries. When the CCP gasps it's last breath, what future do they have?