14 Falun Gong Practitioners Illegally Tried in Dalian Courts in a Single Week
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners Mr. Ma Ruitian, Mr. Han Xueming, and Ma Aibing were tried in the Jinzhou District Court in Dalian City on January 22, 2014. Ms. Qin Yulan was tried in the same court the following day. Mr. Liu Qingtao was also tried on January 23 but in the Kaifa District Court. Nine practitioners were sentenced in the Zhongshan District Court on January 27.
The trials were announced as "public," so many people working for the legal system were directed to sit in the courtrooms as spectators, which meant only a few of the defendants' relatives were allowed to be present.
Jinzhou District Court Tries Mr. Ma Ruitian, Ma Aibing, and Mr. Han Xueming
Relatives and friends of Mr. Ma Ruitian, Ma Aibing, and Mr. Han Xueming gathered outside the courthouse early in the morning on January 22. Police guarding the courthouse gate prevented them from getting in. Only five relatives, including Ma Ruitian's wife and his second daughter, were allowed to enter. Mr. Han Xueming's mother begged the guards to let her in: “I am his mother, why can't I see him?” But to no avail.
During the trial, the defense attorney pointed out why the practitioners were innocent. His defense was strong and he was not interrupted. The public prosecutor, Gao Xin, was initially very arrogant but later had no reply to the defense attorney's arguments. Judge Wang Zhongwei ignored the arguments put forward by the defense, conducted the trial in a routine manner, and called for a recess at 10:30 a.m.
Ms. Qin Yulan Tried in Jinzhou District Court
The trial of Ms. Qin Yulan started at 9:45 a.m. and lasted until 11 a. m. on January 23. Only three relatives were allowed to enter the courtroom. Her daughter told the court she was connected to the case and hoped to attend as a second defendant, but she was not allowed in. The public gallery was full of disinterested spectators, including Political and Legal Affairs committee members, court staff, police etc.
The lawyer entered a plea of innocent on Ms. Qin's behalf. When he asked her why she practiced Falun Gong, Ms. Qin replied that, after practicing, ailments she had suffered for many years were cured.
Judge Yang Huichao presided. Liu Dongxue and Gao Jie were the prosecutors.
Mr. Liu Qingtao Tried in Kaifa District Court
Mr. Liu Qingtao's trial started at 9:30 a.m. on January 23. The judge was Wang Qian, and the public prosecutor was Wu Lin. Again, the courtroom was full of public officials, and only three relatives were allowed to enter.
Mr. Liu's son submitted an application to the court in advance to be a second defendant. Judge Wang said he could attend if he showed a regular ID. However, on the day of the trial, Wang broke his word and required Mr. Liu's son to submit a “No Crime Certificate” in order to enter the courtroom, which meant the son could not attend to testify on his father's behalf.
During the trial, the lawyer asked, “What 'cult' did my client use to break the law? What's the name of the cult? What law was broken?” The public prosecutor did not respond. The lawyer then made strong arguments for the practitioner's innocence. The judge and public prosecutor did not respond to anything. They just followed their routines and announced a recess at 10:23 a.m.
Nine Practitioners Sentenced in Zhongshan District Court
At 9:30 a.m. on January 27, judge Liang Yongguo pronounced judgment on nine Falun Gong practitioners, including Che Zhongshan, Zhu Chengqian, and Wang Shouchen.
Very few relatives were allowed to enter the courtroom, while many others were kept away. The nine practitioners had been detained for more than a year and were all very weak. Ms. Pan Xiuqing, who is over 60, could hardly eat since almost all her teeth had fallen out. She was so weak that she has to be carried into the courtroom by police.
All the practitioners were sentenced to prison: six years for Che Zhongshan, five years and nine months for Zhu Chengqian, four years and six months for Wang Shouchen, five years and six months for Pei Zhenbo, five years and three months for Pan Xiuqing, four years and six months for Shi Zhanshun, four years and six months for Bai Ruyu, four years for Yu Bo, and four years for Guo Song. All nine practitioners have appealed their sentences.
After the sentences were pronounced, the practitioners' relatives were very agitated. Someone cried, someone shouted, “Unfair,” and one relative in tears shouted to a practitioner, “I will keep appealing for you even if I become bankrupt.”
The practitioners were arrested on July 6, 2012, when the 610 Office, Political and Legal Affairs Committee, domestic security team, national security bureau, public security bureau, police stations, and community committees started a large-scale campaign to apprehend Falun Gong practitioners who had installed satellite TV receivers to receive NTDTV.
They located almost 100 practitioners, detained them, and tortured them. More than ten practitioners are still in the detention center.
According to Chinese law, a decision should be made after no more than one month of detention. However, the authorities have shifted the responsibility back and forth and refused to release the practitioners.
In November 2013, the cases involving these practitioners were again sent to different courts.