October 07, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Gansu Province, China
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Duan Xiaoyan was illegally tried in the Qingcheng County Court in Qingyang City, Gansu Province on August 16, 2016, even though she was in poor health and paralyzed from the waist down due to previous torture.
Many police officers were present on the day of the trial. More than a dozen domestic security agents were allowed in the courtroom, but only two of Ms. Duan’s family members were allowed to attend the hearing.
Mr. Wang Haijun who is Ms. Duan’s lawyer, questioned the judge about why he and Ms. Duan were not notified of the trial at least three days in advance, as required by the law, but the judge refused to answer.
The judge repeatedly interrupted the lawyer throughout the trial and refused to speak Mandarin Chinese, making it difficult for the lawyer to understand him. The judge also criticized Ms. Duan when she spoke.
Mr. Wang then requested the judge to recuse himself from the trial for denying Ms. Duan her legal rights. The court adjourned for about 30 minutes, but rejected the lawyer’s request.
Personnel from the Gansu Province Political Directory and the “610 Office” tried to pressure Mr. Wang to drop his defense of Ms. Duan and threatened him, telling him not to mention anything about her spiritual belief during the trial.
Ms. Duan, 46, had filed criminal complaints in June 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese Communist dictator who had instigated the persecution against Falun Gong in 1999. She and other practitioners were then arrested in July 2015 by agents from the Xian City Political Directory, the “610 Office,” the Gaoxin District Police Department and the Changan District Police Department.
Ms. Duan detailed the persecution she endured: “In one month, I was shocked four times with electric batons on my head, back and legs. My back and face were covered with burn marks, yellow fluid oozed out from the blisters, I felt numb all over and my limbs were weak. I had difficulty walking and sometimes could not stand up.”
Before the 2015 arrest, Ms. Duan had been arrested and held in forced labor camps many times because of her belief in Falun Gong. She was sentenced to seven years in Qinghai Women’s Prison, where she was severely tortured, including being shocked with electric batons. She became paralyzed from the waist down as a result.
Category: Accounts of Persecution