(Minghui.org) An 85-year-old man was tried at his village office on August 20, 2021, for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Zhang Wanxin of Zhangzhuanghu Village, Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was previously arrested in April and August 2019 after being reported for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong at a farmer’s market in Luannan County.

After that, the authorities often harassed him at home and pressured him to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong, causing him and his family tremendous distress.

On August 20, 2021, Mr. Zhang was taken to the village office, where the Luannan County Court judge announced that he would be tried there. Village chief Zhang Zhanli and director of the women’s federation Zhang Shuying were also present.

The officials told Mr. Zhang that they were just going through the formality. If he just signed a document to renounce Falun Gong, they would leave him alone and he could freely practice Falun Gong at home. Deceived by the officials, Mr. Zhang signed the document.

At around 11 a.m., Mr. Zhang’s daughter, who had not been informed of any “trial,” went to the village office to look for him.

After realizing what was happening, she told officials that the trial was illegal and she asked for their names. None of the officers was willing to tell her. One of them replied that they were handling the case according to the law.

Mr. Zhang’s daughter disagreed and she criticized the officials for trying her 85-year-old father in secret.

One person then identified himself as Mr. Zhang’s lawyer. Mr. Zhang’s daughter said that they’d never hired a lawyer for him and asked for his name. He refused to answer.

Someone named Yang Kuo often harassed Mr. Zhang at home. It’s not clear what agency Yang worked for.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution