Taiyuan Court Prevents Lawyers from Defending Mother and Daughter

December 27, 2013 | By a Minghui correspondent in Shanxi Province, China

(Minghui.org) Wanbailin District Court in Taiyuan City illegally tried two Falun Gong practitioners from the Xishan Area on August 30, 2013: A mother, Duan Fengqin, and her daughter, Li Mianzhen. Their family hired two lawyers to defend them, but one of the lawyers was chased out of the courtroom by the bailiffs in the middle of the trial.

Ms. Duan Fengqin, 70, and her daughter, Ms. Li Mianzhen, were brought into the courtroom wearing heavy handcuffs and shackles. The lawyers immediately pointed out that this was illegal and that the trial should be conducted with the plaintiffs handcuffs and shackles off. Judge Li Zhiqiang said, “We always do it this way!” The only change was that the handcuffs were switched from the back to the front.

The bailiffs attempted to do body searches on the two lawyers, claiming it was a “security search.” When the lawyers refused to comply, they were denied entrance into the courtroom. Although it was a violation of their rights, the lawyers underwent the search in order to be allowed entrance to the courtroom and defend their clients. More than ten fully armed bailiffs watched them closely throughout the proceedings.

The law allows litigants to ask their family members or friends to defend them. But the court denied them this right. In making his defense, one of the lawyers stated that Falun Gong is not a cult and that the laws cited to sentence his clients were not related to Falun Gong and were against international laws. The judge interrupted him and shouted, “It is forbidden to talk about anything unrelated to this case! Are you trying to tell me what is legal? If you continue, we’ll throw you out!” The lawyer said, “This is totally related, because if I do not clarify the issue, you will not know you have broken the law [in detaining Falun Gong practitioners]! Even if you want to throw me out, I will continue to say what I need to say!” Several bailiffs rushed up and forced him out.

The other lawyer told the judge, “My point of view is the same. Falun Gong believes in Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance and is a peaceful cultivation practice. They never break any laws. Even if you try to silence me, I need to clarify all these facts.” The judge said, “Are you defending Falun Gong or the accused?” The lawyer answered, “I am defending Falun Gong and my clients.”

The lawyer pointed out that they had used irrelevant laws to sentence the plaintiffs, who were not guilty of any of the crimes they were charged with; furthermore, that neither the explanations about cults of the Supreme Court and Supreme Procuratorate, nor the list of cults drawn up by the Ministry of Public Security defined Falun Gong as a cult. The lawyer’s defense took over an hour, and the judge had little to say.

At the end, the lawyer asked the court to unconditionally release the practitioners. The practitioners’ family members and friends asked for two minutes to defend them, but judge Li Zhiqiang said, “No more defending! You can come to my office to talk this afternoon.”

Ms. Duan and Her Daughter’s Arrest

Ms. Duan Fengqin and her daughter, Ms. Li Mianzhen (nicknamed Caiyun), and two other practitioners, Huang Jinxiang and Chen Yanhua, were arrested by officers from the Wanbailin District Police Station. The practitioners were distributing truth-clarification materials in Peng Village in the Wanbailin District around 4 p.m. on April 6, 2013.

Wanbailin Police Station is notorious for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. For example, Zheng Yongsheng, a policeman from that station, shot two practitioners, Cui Zhongjiang and Meng Fengwei, on October 1, 2002. The two practitioners ended up being disabled.

Ms. Duan Fengqin was made do forced labor for more than 10 hours every day despite her advanced age.

Related responsible persons involved in the persecution: Li Zhiqiang(李志强), judge: +86-351-2829541, +86-351-2829545 ext. 8512 Li Na (李娜), public procurator The people who reported practitioners: Sun Jianxin (孙建新), Wang Haibin (王海斌)

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution


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