Thirteen Arrested for Practicing Falun Gong in One Day – Two Have Died and Eight Put on Trial
(Minghui.org) Eight Yongning County, Ningxia Province residents were tried jointly by the Xixia District Court for their faith in Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. The hearing lasted two days, from July 27 to 28, 2020.
The eight practitioners were among 13 practitioners arrested on September 19, 2019 for their faith. Four of the 13 practitioners were later released, but nine remain in custody.
One of the detained practitioners, Mr. Xie Nanfang, 64, died on February 28, 2020 at the Yinchuan City Detention Center. Mr. Ren Chuntian, 85 and among the four who were released, died on June 2, 2020, after being terrified by the continued harassment after he came home.
The other three practitioners who were released and have been cleared of prosecution include Mr. Jiang Tao, Ms. Chen Shuhui (Mr. Ren’s wife) and Ms. Ma Xiaofeng.
The eight practitioners who are still detained and appeared in court together include Ms. Na Qin, Ms. Jiang Chunmei, Ms. Sun Fanghong, Ms. Sun Fanghui, Ms. Xiao Yanzhi, Ms. Wang Xiuhua, Ms. Chen Bo, Ms. Zhu Haiyan (Mr. Jiang’s wife).
Two practitioners’ lawyers hired by their families entered a not guilty plea for them. Six other lawyers appointed by the court echoed the two lawyers’ defense argument and said the prison terms recommended by the prosecutor were too long for the practitioners.