Trial of Falun Gong Practitioners Aborted Within Minutes; Supporters Kept Outside
(Minghui.org) Three local residents from Fuxin City, Liaoning Province, were tried in late January for practicing Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), a self-cultivation system being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
The defense lawyers pointed out that People's Congress (China's law-making body) has never enacted any law that criminalizes Falun Gong, which means that the persecution of the practice has been illegal from the outset.
The lawyers concluded that their clients should never have been prosecuted for striving to be good people following Falun Gong's principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in the first place.
In the lawyers' view, no one was fit to try their clients. They requested recusal of the judges and the public prosecutor. The presiding judge recessed the trial for five minutes before returning to announce an immediate adjournment.
The prosecutor didn't even have a chance to read his indictment of the practitioners when the hearing was halted. It is not clear if or when the court planned to re-try the wrongfully accused.
The short-lived trial at Fumeng County Court on January 27, 2015, saw hundreds of supporters waiting outside the courthouse, because they were not allowed to enter and see the practitioner defendants, Mr. Wu Junhe, Mr. Li Feng, and Mr. Wang Liang.
Defense Lawyer's Request to Remove Shackles Denied
When the presiding judge announced that the trial was in session, the three practitioners, who were handcuffed behind their backs and shackled, were brought into the courtroom. Mr. Wu Junhe's daughter gasped to see that her father appeared to have aged ten years in just ten months of detention and that most of his hair had turned grey.
One of the defense lawyers asked to have the shackles and handcuffs removed on the grounds that the defendants were innocent until being convicted. When the presiding judge denied the request, another defense lawyer challenged the legal basis for his denial. The judge did not reply but later ordered the bailiffs to move the handcuffs from behind the back to the front.
Waiting Relatives and Friends Shout “Falun Dafa Is Good”
Hundreds of relatives and friends of the defendants, who were not allowed to witness the proceedings, gathered outside the courthouse hoping to see them for the first time in months. The bailiffs did what they could to obstruct them, dragging and shoving them away.
The crowd began to chant in unison, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good! Release the innocent practitioners!” Some the court staff and police officers were moved, too, and started to join the crowd, chanting, “Dafa is good! Dafa is good!”
In the end, the court police vehicle backed up into the tightly guarded garage to pick up the defendants and did not allow anyone to see them.