Lawyers Argue in Defense of Falun Gong Practitioners’ Right to Freedom of Belief

February 15, 2014 | By a Minghui correspondent from Liaoning Province, China

( Following their illegal arrest on September 24, 2012, six Falun Gong practitioners from Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province, were tried by Baita District Court on May 31, 2013.

During the lengthy trial that ran from 2 to 8 p.m., the defense lawyers delivered convincing arguments to counter the allegations against the practitioners Ms. Liu Yanrong, Ms. An Yongzhi, Ms. Zhang Lixia, Ms. Sheng Xiuqin, Ms. Liu Yanli, and Mr. Zhao Delin.

As a result, the judge wasn’t able to reach a verdict. In addition, he returned all the case documents, citing insufficient evidence.

Eager to reverse the legal outcome, Ma Wenbo of the 610 Office in the Baita District Police Department had the police fabricate more “evidence” against the practitioners and managed to schedule a second trial for December 25, 2013 at Liaoyang City Detention Center, where the wrongly accused were held.

Highlights of Lawyers’ Defense Arguments

First, no Chinese law has ever stipulated the definition of “cult” or what government agency would make that determination. Though the Chinese communist regime maintains a list of so-called “cults,” Falun Gong has never been on it. That means no court has the legal authority to prosecute Falun Gong practitioners for being part of a cult, and no law exists that can be used against practitioners.

Second, the Chinese Constitution guarantees citizens’ right to freedom of belief, so Falun Gong practitioners have every right to practice their belief system. Such rights cannot be taken away by any government agency, including the judicial system.

Lastly, the practitioners’ faith in Falun Gong does not cause any bodily injury or physical damage to anyone. Therefore, any evidence claiming they cause substantial harm to society is, at best, a fabrication.

At the end of their closing arguments, the lawyers emphasized again that their clients committed no wrong and they urged the judge to acquit them.

Parties Involved in the Practitioners’ Arrest and Trial

Baita District Court: +86-419-2952500 (Office)

Liu Lihua (刘力华), judge at the Baita District Court: +86-419-2952577 (Office), +86-13841989696 (Cell)

Liaoyang City Detention Center: +86-419-3149101 (Director’s Office), +86-419-3149100 (Office)

Qiu Jin (邱金), director of the Liaoyang City Police Department: +86-419-2128333 (Office)

Ma Wenbo (马文博), officer of the 610 Office at the Baita District Police Department: +86-18241958569 (Cell), +86-15041979993 (Cell)

Sui Haigang (隋海刚), head of Domestic Security Division: +86-13941978822 (Cell)

Zhou Wenju (周文举), head of Baita District Police Department: +86-15841900001 (Cell)

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

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