(Minghui.org) An 81-year-old woman is facing trial for her faith in Falun Gong. The authorities are trying to block her family from hiring a lawyer for her.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Li Shunhua, of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, was arrested at home on October 23, 2020. A dozen officers from the Zhanqian Police Station confiscated her over 50 Falun Gong books, 240 Falun Gong magazines, two music players that she used to do the Falun Gong exercises, a cellphone and some other informational materials. The police interrogated her and ordered her to renounce Falun Gong at the police station. She refused to comply.
During a physical examination the next day, Ms. Li was found to have high blood pressure and a severe heart condition. The doctor said to the police that her life could be in danger at any time.
Despite her condition, the police took her to the Maoming City No.1 Detention Center on the same day. The guards ordered an inmate to closely monitor her and report to them if she fell sick.
At 4 p.m. on October 26, the inmate noticed that Ms. Li’s face was flushed. She reported it to a guard and Ms. Li was released on bail at 11 p.m.
A year later, on October 9, 2021, the police submitted Ms. Li’s case to the Maonan District Procuratorate. The prosecutor indicted her on October 22, on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The indictment stated that since Ms. Li took up Falun Gong, she has been actively promoting the practice to others, especially to Guo Weiqing and Zheng Caiqin between 2015 and 2020.
Both Guo and Zheng were members of the Gaoliangnan Residential Committee. They harassed Ms. Li multiple times between 2015 and 2020, with the latest harassment in July 2020, and ordered her to renounce Falun Gong. As Ms. Li remained firm in her faith, they reported her to the police, which resulted in her arrest and indictment.
On the early morning of October 28, the prosecutor ordered Ms. Li’s son to bring her to the Maonan District Court at 8: 30 a.m. for a subpoena. Her son insisted that she didn’t violate any law and refused to take her there.
Deng Haichao of the Maonan District Domestic Security Office called Ms. Li on October 29 and asked whether she was planning to hire a lawyer. Deng offered to find a lawyer to represent her for free. Ms. Li said she would hire a lawyer on her own, knowing that the court-appointed lawyer would enter a guilty plea for her.
The police and court staff members called Ms. Li’s son and daughter again in early November and threatened them that they weren’t allowed to hire a lawyer for her or help her to contact other local Falun Gong practitioners.
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