Former Businessman Tried for His Faith, Lawyer Questions Shaky Evidence
(Minghui.org) After over one year of detention, a Lanzhou City, Gansu Province resident stood trial on October 15, 2020, for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Mr. Han Xu is now awaiting a verdict at the Xiguoyuan Detention Center.
Mr. Han, 54, a former businessman proficient in four languages, was arrested on May 29, 2019, after being reported for passing out informational material about Falun Gong. The police didn’t inform his family of his arrest. They only found out about it while reporting his disappearance.
During his one year and five months of detention at Xiguoyuan Detention Center, the Lanzhou City Court canceled three hearings scheduled for November 14, November 22, 2019, and January 10, 2020, respectively, before finally holding a hearing on October 15, 2020.
Mr. Han was brought into the courtroom at around 10 a.m. on October 15, handcuffed and shackled. The bailiffs first refused to unlock the cuffs as requested by his family, but then relented when his lawyer said that it was illegal for the court to keep his client chained during the hearing. They removed Mr. Han's handcuffs, while keeping on his shackles.
One police officer testified that Mr. Han urged him to join the Falun Gong organization. Mr. Han’s lawyer argued that Mr. Han has clarified that Falun Gong doesn’t have any membership or organization and it didn’t make sense if he asked the officer to join it.
The lawyer asked the police officer what exactly Mr. Han said to him. The police officer replied, “Before he started to talk, I knew he was about to promote Falun Gong.”
“If my client didn’t even talk, then how did he promote Falun Gong?” asked the lawyer.
The prosecutor accused Mr. Han of having cards printed with instructions on how to break the internet censorship in China. The lawyer responded that Mr. Han didn’t break any law in having that information, as many government officials themselves are using software to overcome the internet censorship in China and visit websites abroad, including social media Twitter.
The prosecutor didn’t directly address the lawyer’s rebuttal, but repeated that Falun Gong has been designated as a cult, without providing any legal basis for the claim.
The lawyer also asked, “One of the witnesses said that my client Han Xu talked to him about Falun Gong at 2 p.m. and Han Xu was taken away by two officers at 2:05 p.m. According to the testimony by another witness, my client promoted Falun Gong to him at 2:40 pm. If my client has already been arrested at 2: 05 pm, how could he talk to people about Falun Gong again at 2:40 p.m.?”
The prosecutor remained silent.
Mr. Han also testified in his own defense, but the judge didn’t allow him to finish his argument.
Mr. Han used to work at the commercial department of Gansu Province Carpet Import and Export Corporation. He was also a translator for the provincial Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
After the persecution of Falun Gong started, his workplace fired him, and his wife also divorced him. He was arrested multiple times and sentenced to ten years in prison. He was beaten multiple times, handcuffed behind his back for long hours, shocked with electric batons, and also locked in solitary confinement for six years because of not giving up his faith.