(Minghui.org) There are different views among Falun Dafa practitioners on whether to hire attorneys to enter not-guilty pleas for those practitioners illegally arrested and facing prosecution for upholding their faith in China.

Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Dafa, it has used the state apparatus to arrest and sentence practitioners at will. Court trials merely go through formalities rather than following the law. Because of that, some practitioners feel that even if we hire attorneys who truly speak for practitioners, they are unlikely to change the show trial’s outcome.

To me, however, that view focuses too much on the result and forgets the process. Hiring attorneys who are brave enough to defend Falun Gong practitioners in court will help us deter the evil, clearly explain the facts of Dafa to people, and encourage practitioners in custody. Those righteous attorneys can be an integral part of our truth-clarification efforts. Let me share a few stories.

Attorneys Can Suppress the Evil and Deter Perpetrators

A local practitioner in Heilongjiang Province was arrested. Police confiscated 60,000 yuan ($9,200 USD) from his home. (Note: According to the Heilongjiang Provincial Statistics Department, the average city resident’s disposable income in the province was 31,115 yuan in 2020.)

I went with his family member to request the return of the money. The police denied taking the money. His family then hired an attorney with a strong sense of justice. The police admitted to the attorney that they took the money and were investigating its usage.

The practitioner’s family member and I went to the Police Disciplinary Office twice to report the illegal confiscation of money. The Disciplinary Office manager said it was not his business and drove us out each time.

When we went back to the Disciplinary Office with the attorney, the manager slammed the table and shouted, “What are you doing? What is your name? Is my office some place where anyone can come in at will? Show me your attorney ID!”

The attorney replied calmly but firmly, “If I don’t know what this place is, why would I bring the letter of complaint here? Are you in charge here? What is your job title? Are you going to accept my letter of complaint? If you don’t, I can sue you. I’m following the normal legal procedure.”

“Go ahead and sue me!”

“Sure,” the attorney presented his attorney ID. “You said that. I will sue you.”

The manager softened his attitude. He accepted the letter of complaint and signed the receipt. He also apologized to the attorney, walked him out of his office, and shook hands with him.

At another time, I attended the trial of an elderly practitioner couple. The judge banged his gavel to prohibit people from talking about Falun Dafa, claiming it was not related to the case. But the speech of the practitioner’s attorney awed everyone, including the judge. The judge held up the gavel but put it down softly. The public prosecutor made no statement when it was his turn to speak. In the end, the judge shook hands with the attorney and asked for a copy of what he said in court.

The practitioners’ son and other family members, who didn’t understand the elderly practitioner's practicing Falun Dafa before, also changed. During the attorney’s defense speech, they whispered among themselves, “Practicing Falun Dafa is not illegal.”

To me, these righteous attorneys play a unique role in the prosecution process. They understand the CCP’s law, and their statement that “practicing Falun Dafa is not a crime but persecuting it is” has a unique appeal.

Attorneys Can Reinforce Practitioners’ Righteous Thoughts

A practitioner was arrested and deceived by the police into signing a confession. After she talked to her attorney, she changed her understanding. She then pleaded not guilty at the court trial.

I was arrested two years ago and locked in a detention center. Since I refused the guard’s request to write a statement to give up practicing Dafa, the guards kept torturing me. After a while, my righteous thoughts diminished and I started wondering whether I should yield.

At that moment, the attorney that my family hired came to visit me. He informed me of my family's situation and the efforts of other practitioners to rescue me. I calmed down. I wanted to be worthy of Master Li Hongzhi’s salvation and worthy of other practitioners’ rescue efforts. I regained my righteous thoughts.

I had seen the attorney over ten times during my 14 months of detention. Whenever I dropped to a low point, the attorney visited me and strengthened my righteous thoughts.

Once an inmate wanted to beat me. I said, “If you beat me, my attorney would see it and report you.” She stopped.

A practitioner was sentenced to four years in prison. Guards ordered inmates to torture him. The torture almost took his life. A practitioner brought out a will he had written. Then practitioners outside contacted his family members and hired an upstanding attorney for him.

The attorney went to visit him, but the guards refused his request to see the practitioner. The attorney then went to office after office and eventually met with the practitioner. After that, the guards never told inmates to torture him.

We Should Have the Correct Motivation When Hiring Attorneys

Our goal of hiring attorneys is to save people and have them understand the truth of Dafa. What is important is the process, not the result.

Some practitioners felt hiring a defense attorney would be a waste of money because the CCP would still sentence practitioners in the end. Therefore, they think it is the same whether if they hire an upstanding attorney or just go with the court-appointed attorney.

An attorney once asked us, “Why are you so into the end result? What do you Dafa practitioners want? Don’t you want to eliminate evil and save sentient beings?”

There are several benefits when we hire attorneys who can truly defend practitioners: That attorney himself will have a better understanding of Dafa, the officials in the CCP’s legal system can hear the truth from the attorney’s defense statements, and even the practitioner’s family members may understand Falun Dafa better.

Though we may not be able to completely reverse the ruling, every direct battle in the courtroom helps to eliminate evil elements in other dimensions.

Actually there are cases of Dafa practitioners being acquitted. Though the number of acquittals is still small, it is a good start. It takes time for quantitative change to turn into qualitative change. I believe that with the progress of Fa-rectification and the elevation of practitioners’ cultivation, the positive field in society will grow ever larger. With the cooperation of practitioners, their families, and attorneys, more judicial officials will understand the truth and make the right choice. At that point, the number of practitioners acquitted could increase exponentially. This may well be the time when all of society begins to counter the persecution.

Some practitioners think that as long as an arrested practitioner maintains strong righteous thoughts, he can reject the evil and reduce the torture against him. Practitioners outside can also send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil to help him. Therefore, they think it is not that critical to hire an attorney.

However, like in my own experience, sometimes practitioner’s righteous thoughts may fade when he or she is detained. An upstanding attorney could bring positive messages to practitioners and reinforce their righteous thoughts.

So, we should not reject the idea of hiring attorneys. Of course, we should not put all our hope in the attorney either. After all, it is we practitioners who are validating the Fa and assisting Master to save people.

I feel that those attorneys who defend Falun Dafa are a special group of people. They play a special role in a special mission.

When hiring attorneys, some practitioners choose attorneys who have not taken any Falun Dafa cases before. This helps more attorneys to understand Dafa and expands the pool of upstanding attorneys. I think it is a right step based on Fa principles.

Editor's note: Views expressed in this article represent the author's own opinions, for which the author is solely responsible. Readers should evaluate the article's merits on their own.

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Category: Standing Up for Falun Dafa