(Minghui.org) After more than ten months of a hunger strike, a Shanghai resident was tried for practicing Falun Gong in his hospital room through a video conference on November 26, 2020. Mr. Du Ting's lawyer and a family member entered a not guilty plea for him. The presiding judge from the Jing’an Court sentenced him to one and half years in prison. 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Du Ting

Mr. Du, 54, was arrested on September 26, 2019, for passing out informational materials about Falun Gong. The Putuo District Procuratorate approved his arrest on October 30, 2019, and indicted him on January 21, 2020. 

When Mr. Du’s lawyer went to the local detention center to visit him on January 19, 2020, he had been hospitalized for holding a hunger strike. This was his second hospitalization since his arrest, for having a hunger strike.

Prior to his hearing on November 26, the judge warned Mr. Du’s lawyer and family member that they weren’t allowed to mention the lack of legal basis for the persecution. 

When his family member said that the government’s cult list didn’t include Falun Gong in it and that the Chinese publication bureau has lifted the ban on Falun Gong books in 2011 during the hearing, the judge stopped him and asked him to summarize his point. Mr. Fu’s family member said one more sentence that no law ever criminalizes Falun Gong, before the judge completely barred him from talking anymore.

Mr. Du’s lawyer argued the violation of legal procedure in how the police handled the case and collected evidence. He said the judge should address such violations before the hearing, but now the hearing became just a formality.

Mr. Du, who was sitting in a wheelchair during the hearing, also testified in his own defense. The judge didn’t allow him to finish reading his statement and cut him off.

Mr. Du’s family is preparing his appeal and will submit it to the Shanghai City No.2 Intermediate Court.

Because of not renouncing his faith, Mr. Du was imprisoned in Tilanqiao Prison between 2001 and 2009. The guards shackled him naked on a bed in a spread-eagle position for almost four years. They kept a feeding tube in his stomach and had him relieve himself in the bed. He suffered pleural effusion, tuberculosis, and pneumonia, and almost died.

Related reports:

Shanghai Resident Facing Trial for His Faith—Family Unable to Visit Him or Check Case Status Due to Coronavirus Epidemic

Two Shanghai Residents on Hunger Strike, Denied Visits by Their Lawyers

After Eight Years of Imprisonment, Mr. Du Ting from Shanghai Arrested Again