November 14, 2015 | By a Minghui correspondent in Gansu Province
(Minghui.org) Six residents in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province were tried on October 20, 2015. All of them were charged with undermining law enforcement by possessing and/or spreading information about Falun Gong.
In each of the separate trials, the respective prosecutors used items seized from the practitioners’ homes as evidence, but none of said objects, including Falun Gong books and materials exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, were ever presented during the court sessions.
The defense lawyers argued that it is their clients’ constitutional right to believe in and disseminate information about their spiritual belief. Moreover, there has never been any law that criminalizes Falun Gong. Therefore, the persecution is illegal from the onset and the seized items undermined no law whatsoever.
The practitioners also testified to the benefits they had gained from practicing Falun Gong and demanded acquittal and unconditional release.
All of the sessions, however, ended with the judges declining to acquit the practitioners. It is not clear what is in store for these practitioners.
Restricted Courtroom Access
While there were three rows of seats in the courtroom, only up to two family members were allowed at each practitioner’s trial. The rest of the seats were filled with people videotaping the family members during the court sessions.
Heavily Guarded Courthouse
There were bailiffs stationed in the courtyard of the courthouse. Outside the building were three vans filled with armed police. There were also plainclothes police patrolling the vicinity of the courthouse.
Two people who were taking a walk nearby had their bags searched. A third person was asked to produce his ID as he passed by the courthouse.
Mr. Lu Yunfei, who was tried by judge Liu Dongyu, remains at Lanzhou City No. 3 Detention Center following his arrest nine months ago.
The other five practitioners, Ms. Tu Yuchun, Ms. Wang Yurong, Ms. Jiao Lili, Ms. Meng Yurong, and Ms. Du Shuzhen, were tried by the same judge Wang Songshuang. Prior to their latest trials, they were once tried jointly back in January of this year. They remain detained at Lanzhou No. 1 Detention Center following their arrest on September 15, 2014.
Category: Accounts of Persecution