(Minghui.org) Six Chengdu City, Sichuan Province residents stood trial on March 5, 2021, for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Their lawyers entered not guilty pleas for them and demanded their acquittals.

A group of police officers broke into 84-year-old Ms. Liu Guoxiu’s home on November 18, 2019. Upon seeing calendars printed with information about Falun Gong at her home, the police called in more officers and arrested Ms. Liu, as well well five other practitioners, at her home. All of her calendars were confiscated.

The five other practitioners are Ms. Luo Zhaolan, Ms. Huang Gangjun, Ms. Shen Guofeng, Ms. Du Huizhen, and Ms. Wei Guohua. All of them are in their 70s.

The practitioners were held at Chengdu City Detention Center. Their arrests were approved on December 26, 2019.

During the practitioners’ hearing by the Xindu District Court on March 5, 2021, the presiding judge Fu Hua joked that he almost specialized in sentencing Falun Gong practitioners. Since 2016, nine Falun Gong practitioners have been sentenced by judge Fu.

The prosecutor Wang Wenlu started by accusing the practitioners of making 589 calendars with information about Falun Gong and charged them with “undermining law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Liu’s lawyer argued that it’s his client's constitutionally protected right to practice Falun Gong. Her making the calendars didn’t cause harm to anyone or violate any law. The lawyer added that Ms. Liu suffered from high blood pressure and a heart condition in the detention center, but the authorities have kept delaying the approval of her bail release. The lawyer demanded that the judge acquit her.

Another lawyer said that he and other lawyers in the case have all read the calendars and didn’t find anything inappropriate. “Regarding whether the calendar has content that could harm society, why not take one to the court and show its content to everyone?” he asked.

The lawyer also questioned the testimonies submitted by the practitioners’ family members, which only confirmed that they practice Falun Gong, but nothing about making the calendars. He suspected the police have threatened or deceived the practitioners’ families into testifying against their loved ones. He requested to have their family members appear in court to accept cross-examination, but the prosecutor remained silent.

A third lawyer said that the police officer Pu Xiong and others broke into Ms. Liu’s home without showing any official document, after a neighbor reported her for having a few guests. Then the police called for more officers, some of whom weren’t wearing their police uniforms, to arrest the practitioners and ransack Ms. Liu’s home. None of them showed their IDs in the process.

“Having friends or relatives coming over is a very common thing. Why would the neighbor report on that? On the other hand, the police didn’t have the right to break into a private residence just because the owner has a few guests.” the lawyer said.

Ms. Luo testified in her own defense and said many of her ailments were cured after practicing Falun Gong, especially how her gallstone that was 2.5 cm in diameter disappeared without any medical intervention. Before she finished, judge Zhang Lin stopped her with the excuse that what she said wasn’t related to the case.

At the end of the hearing, the prosecutor suggested giving a suspended sentence to Ms. Liu, Ms. Huang, and Ms. Du. Because Ms. Liu maintained that she is innocent, prosecutor Wang immediately withdrew her suggestion.

Related report:

Six Sichuan Residents Face Trial for Their Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution