Two Hebei Women Tried for Distributing Information About Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Two Laishui County residents appeared in Baoding City Court to face charges that they “used a cult organization to undermine implementation of law,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Ren Junying and Ms. Zhao Qiuyun were arrested on October 5, 2016, while distributing materials exposing the persecution of Falun Gong. During the trial on April 27, 2017, their defense lawyers entered not-guilty pleas on their behalf.
The lawyers argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that their clients were merely exercising their constitutional rights to raise awareness of the illegal persecution of Falun Gong.
The lawyers also refuted the prosecution evidence, which included Falun Gong materials confiscated from Ms. Ren and Ms. Zhao. They argued that the confiscated items were their clients’ lawful possessions and caused no harm to anyone, much less undermine enforcement of law.
The lawyers demanded an acquittal. The presiding judge adjourned the session without issuing a verdict.
Ms. Ren and Ms. Zhao remain at Baoding City Detention Center. Ms. Ren had a relapse of her heart problems but is not being treated.
Lawyers Refute Prosecution Evidence
Prosecutor Wei cited a statement from the local 610 Office saying that Ms. Zhao and Ms. Ren had broken the law, but he did not specify which law was broken.
The lawyers pointed out that the 610 Office is an extralegal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and that it has no legal authority to determine who has broken which law.
Wei proceeded to say that the Falun Gong materials confiscated from Ms. Zhao and Ms. Ren were enough to warrant heavy sentences.
In addition to their defense arguments, the lawyers noted that the prosecution evidence included some books that had apparently been damaged by water and rendered illegible. Wei had no answer when questioned what books he was trying to use against Ms. Zhao and Ms. Ren.
Defendant Testifies Against Abuse of Practitioners
Ms. Ren testified how the detention center guards abused incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners, including her. She was forced to get up at 5:20 a.m. every day to do hard labor without pay. In just a few short months, she had a relapse of her heart problem, which had disappeared after she began to practice Falun Gong years ago. The guards, however, denied her medical treatment.
Ms. Ren also revealed the shocking abuse she witnessed happen to another practitioner, Ms. Zhang Xiaofen, who has now been transferred to a local prison to serve three years for her faith. The guards once directed some inmates to insert a toothbrush into Ms. Zhang’s vagina and poke around.
Ms. Ren’s lawyers demanded that Judge Sun order an investigation of abuse against their clients at the detention center, but Sun ignored the request.
Judge Threatens Defense Lawyers
As the lawyers defended their clients, Judge Sun interrupted them many times, scolding them for promoting Falun Gong in her court. More than once she threatened to toss them out of the courtroom for contempt of court.
Sun, however, allowed prosecutor Wei to address the lawyers after she adjourned the session. While the spectators were still leaving the courtroom, Wei spoke to the lawyers and warned them to abide by the Chinese communist regime’s legal system. The lawyers tried to refute Wei but were stopped by Judge Sun.