(Minghui.org) Seven residents of Lingshui County, Sichuan Province were tried on January 15, 2015, about six months after their arrests for practicing Falun Gong, a self-cultivation system being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.

All seven practitioners testified that the police abused them during interrogations, in order to extract confessions from them. They were hit on the wrists with water bottles and deprived of sleep. One young practitioner was slapped in the face and not allowed to close her eyes for several consecutive days.

A few older practitioners also revealed that the police threatened to implicate their children if they refused to comply with police demands.

The practitioners requested that the judge throw out “interrogation records” gathered through coercion.

Three defense attorneys affirmed that the police actions while trying to extract confessions violated the law. They also pointed out that the police officers ransacked the practitioners' residences without search warrants, which was clearly a violation of legal procedure.

Unable to refute the defense arguments, the judge called her supervisor to seek guidance. The public prosecutor was also often at a loss for words when questioned by the lawyers. A court bailiff then threatened the lawyers, and demanded they stop the questioning.

The judge stopped the trial several times, and eventually ended the hearing without a verdict. She announced that a new trial date would be determined later.

Coordinated Arrests

The seven practitioners were arrested along with fourteen other practitioners on July 25, 2014.

The Sichuan provincial government appropriated more than 400,000 yuan to fund the July arrests. Agents from the provincial and local governments were dispatched to follow, and round up local practitioners.

A total of 21 local residents were arrested and sent to various local hotels, detention centers, and police stations. Police officers and even employees from various government agencies, including the Science and Technology Bureau, Audit Office, and Tax Bureau, were sent to monitor the arrested around the clock.

Some practitioners were later released. The seven practitioners who were tried, Wang Zhengfeng (王正锋), Tang Sulan (唐素兰), Xu Kaiqong (徐开琼), Li Kunju (李坤菊), Zhong Dongsheng (钟东胜), Luo Xuefang (罗学放), and Zhang Bilan (张碧兰), are now being held at various locations.

Persons in charge of the arrest: Luo (罗), Feng Xiaojuan (冯晓娟), Hu Biao (胡彪)Lingshui County zip code: 638500

Teng Mingjie (滕明杰), Lingshui County court president: +86-13982662543 (mobile)Zheng Bin (郑斌), deputy president: +86-15982604888 (mobile)Wu Taisong (吴太松), deputy president: +86-15908282971 (mobile)Hu Xuepin (胡学品), deputy president: +86-13696173325 (mobile)Yu Tao (余涛), deputy president: +86-15983452528 (mobile)Qin Jichuan (秦继川), deputy president: +86-13696182480 (mobile)Qiu Gang (邱刚), deputy president: +86-13982604050 (mobile)