(Minghui.org) When Mr. Zhou Dulun was tried in the Shapingba District Court on January 15, 2014, his attorney was not allowed to finish his defense statement and, at the end, Mr. Zhou could only answer yes or no.

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhou Dulun, 65, from Chongqing was put on trial at 9:45 a.m. in the Shapingba District Court for trying to put up stickers with information about Falun Gong. His lawyer pleaded not guilty for him and asked for an acquittal.

Mr. Zhou was arrested on September 6, 2013, and has been held in Baiheling Detention Center in the Shapingba District.

Statements to the Court

In his statement to the court, Mr. Zhou spoke of how he returned to good health more than 15 years ago, concluding, “Falun Gong is really great for health and fitness. Falun Gong truly is great.” He pleaded not guilty and asked to be acquitted.

Mr. Zhou's lawyer argued that accusing his client of “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of law” has no basis under existing Chinese law, that the allegation itself is a misconception and does not apply to the case under discussion.

He said, “Different people have different understandings of religion. It is ideology and a matter of one’s thoughts. The Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to religious freedom. What is freedom? True religious freedom comes when a person is free to believe in anything, without the ruling party intervening. Otherwise, is it not true freedom. There is no legal basis for labeling Falun Gong a cult. It is lawful to practice Falun Gong in China.”

When the prosecutor stated that Mr. Zhou had in his possession printed materials criticizing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the lawyer argued that according to Article I Section Six of the Constitution of the Communist Party of China, citizens of China are encouraged to give feedback and criticism on perceived faults or mistakes of the Party and Party officials. Therefore, such criticism is legal and could not be used to charge his client with violating any law.

Presiding judge Xie Chuanjiang repeatedly interrupted and eventually stopped the lawyer from finishing his defense, saying that it was irrelevant.

Mr. Zhou was not given the opportunity to give a final statement and was only allowed to respond to questions with “yes” or “no.” The trial was adjourned.

Previous and Recent Arrests

Mr. Zhou formerly held a financial position. He also served as the vice president of the labor union at his workplace.

He had been diagnosed with advanced stage arthritis and many other ailments. He started to practice Falun Gong at the age of 47 and returned to good health. He also quit smoking, a habit of 20 years. He has lived by the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and no longer sought personal gain.

Since the CCP launched the persecution campaign against Falun Gong in July 1999, Mr. Zhou has gone to Beijing four times to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. He was arrested three times and fired from his job.

He became homeless, and the police put up an 80,000 yuan reward for his capture. In 2002, Mr. Zhou was illegally sentenced to a 13-year prison term and released in 2011.

Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Zhou Dulun (周笃伦)
Gender: Male
Age: 65
Address: Chongqing City
Occupation: Former vice-president of a workshop labor union, financial advisor
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 6, 2013
Most Recent Place of Detention: Baiheling Detention Center in Shapingba District (沙坪坝区白鹤岭看守所)
City: Chongqing
Persecution Suffered: Illegal sentencing, imprisonment, fired from job, detention

Parties Involved in the Persecution of Mr. Zhou:
Chen Hong (陈宏), chief procurator of the Shapingba District Procuratorate: +86-23-65315961 (Office)
Ren Yaodong (任耀东), deputy procurator of the Shapingba District Procuratorate: +86-23-65415955 (Office)
Ren Gongwang (任龚旺), director of the Shapingba District Political and Legislative Affairs: +86-23-61706130 (Office)
Yu Bin (虞斌), Political commissar of the Shapingba District 610 Office: +86-23-63755224 (Office)
Liu Wei (刘伟), team lead of the Shapingba District 610 Office: +86-23-63755335 (Office)
Chen Jiangyu (陈江渝), director of the Shapingba District Police Department: +86-23-63755190 (Office)