Police Set Road Blocks to Prevent Practitioners from Attending Court Hearing in Hubei Province
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners from Wuhan City took taxis to Ezhou to attend a hearing for five practitioners at the Huarong District Courthouse on November 21, 2017. However, police in Ezhou City set up road blocks to detain and interrogate anyone attempting to attend the hearing.
Many practitioners were questioned. Practitioner Li Shihong was illegally arrested, and his whereabouts are still unknown.
Police Block Road, Detain and Interrogate People
The five Ezhou City practitioners facing trial were Mr. Fu Guoqi, Ms. Xia Yulan, Mr. Xi Guoxiu, Mr. Chen Yanming, and Mr. Huang Liwu.
Practitioners from Wuhan were stopped at a roadblock at Chufan Avenue. Each practitioner was told to get out of the car and was individually taken to a room for interrogation. They were body searched, and the police confiscated cell phones, iPADs and Falun Gong truth-clarification materials.
The checkpoints were jointly organized by the Wuhan and Ezhou City Police Departments and were staffed by officers from the Duandian Town Police Station. Checkpoints had been set up the day before, with officers targeting cars with Wuhan license plates.
The police also conducted intensive screening near the train station and the Huarong District Court.
Shops Near the Court Forced to Close
Shop owners near the District Court were informed a day before that they had to close their businesses the day of the hearing. With shops closed, the police were able to easily monitor the area.
Practitioner Li Shihong Illegally Arrested – Whereabouts Unknown
Officer Cai Heng from the Wuhan City Police Department was very active in questioning taxi drivers that arrived near the court house. When he heard that Falun Gong practitioner Li Shihong had contacted taxi drivers to arrange rides for practitioners, he arrested Li.
Li Shihong was first sent to the local police station and then to the Ezhou Detention Center.
When Li's family went to the detention center five days later, they were told that he had been transferred to another facility, but they were not told where.
A number of other practitioners and taxi drivers were questioned that day and were ordered to give their contact information before they were allowed to leave. That evening, all area practitioners were questioned by people from their local community offices about their trips to Ezhou City.
Defense lawyers for the practitioners on trial were also obstructed from defending their clients. Officers surnamed Xia and Lou from the Huarong District Police Department, and He Yong from the Huarong District Procuratorate prevented the lawyers from communicating with their clients.
Related article: Ezhou Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested On Way to Attend Trial