(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Zixuan and Ms. Ye Linlin appeared in court for the second time on August 4, 2021, two years after they were arrested for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Liu’s grandmother, who is in her 80s, traveled nearly 150 miles to attend the hearing, but was rejected by the judge, who claimed that she wasn’t an immediate family member.

Ms. Liu, 29, and Ms. Ye, 31, were arrested at their shared apartment in Beijing at around 10 p.m. on August 7, 2019. Officers from the Xisanqi Police Station ransacked their place and confiscated their Falun Gong books, printers, laptop computers, and 40-50 copies of informational booklets about Falun Gong.

A prosecutor later revealed that they were recorded by surveillance cameras entering a residential area, and were suspected of distributing Falun Gong materials there. The pamphlets found by officers in the neighborhood were later used as prosecution evidence against them.

The police ordered both practitioners to write statements renouncing Falun Gong. They also showed them the renouncing statements written by two other practitioners and asked them to shift the blame to other practitioners to exonerate themselves. But both refused to comply.

The two practitioners’ arrests were approved on September 13, 2019. They have since been held at the Haidian District Detention Center.

The Haidian District Procuratorate returned their case to the Xisanqi Police Station in late 2019, citing insufficient evidence. The police re-submitted the case on January 3, 2020, and saw it returned again on January 19.

On March 18, the police submitted the practitioners’ case for the third time. The prosecutor accepted the case this time and indicted the practitioners on April 29.

The Haidian District Court initially scheduled a hearing for September 2020, but postponed it at least five times before finally holding a hearing on February 25, 2021.

During the practitioners’ second hearing on August 4, both Ms. Liu’s grandmother and Ms. Ye’s mother came to attend it. Judge Tan claimed that Ms. Liu’s grandmother, the only person from her family who could attend the hearing, wasn’t her immediate family and blocked her entry into the courtroom.

When the elderly woman tried to argue with Tan, a tall and strong-build officer came over and shouted at her, “Go, go, go! You are already interfering with our job! Get out of here immediately!” Together with another officer, they dragged the elderly woman outside of the courtroom. Ms. Ye’s mother was allowed to attend the hearing.

Related reports:

Two Young Women Face Prison Time for Practicing Falun Gong

Two Young Women Face Indictment for Practicing Falun Gong

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution