February 09, 2015 | By a Minghui correspondent in Hebei province, China
(Minghui.org) A total of 42 residents of Cangzhou City, Hebei Province were arrested last August while gathering at a private home to share their experience of practicing Falun Gong, a self-cultivation system being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
Nine of the practitioners are likely facing trials as the local police resubmitted their cases to the local procuratorate on January 16, less than two weeks after the procuratorate returned the cases, citing insufficient evidence.
The seven lawyers representing the nine practitioners have submitted a written request to have their clients’ cases dismissed.
The lawyers argued that it is their clients’ constitutional right to believe in Falun Gong and to share their experiences with each other. Their gathering at a private home caused no harm in any way, let alone undermine law enforcement. The persecution of the practice has been illegal from the onset.
In the lawyers’ words, the charge against their clients of “using a cult organization to sabotage law enforcement” is groundless. (Editor’s Note: Despite the fact that Falun Gong is not a cult, and has never been labeled as one in China’s criminal law, the charge of “using a cult […]” is very commonly used to illegally imprison Falun Gong practitioners.) The lawyers asked for their client’s immediate and unconditional release. The police and the procuratorate, however, haven’t responded to their request at the time of this writing.
Forty-two practitioners were arrested on August 17, 2014 for gathering at a home. Though most of the practitioners were released days later, the rest were sent to Cangzhou City Detention Center, where they were forced-fed and tortured.
Two practitioners, Ms. Liu Lixin (刘立新) and Ms. Zhao Xiang (赵翔), were previously released but arrested again when they accompanied the family of another practitioner to ask for his release. Ms. Zhao was taken away for blood sampling on the spot. Both women were later forced to ingest unknown substances during their detention.
In addition to Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhao, the following seven practitioners also face possible trials: Ms. Li Li (李丽), Ms. Cao Yanxiang (曹延香), Ms. Kang Lanying (康兰英), Ms. Zhao Junru (赵俊如), Mr. Xu Kai (徐凯), Mr. Chang Shouxuan (常寿轩) and Mr. Hou Dongliang (侯东亮).
Forty-two Practitioners Arrested at Private Gathering in Cangzhou, Hebei Province
Eight Practitioners Charged for “Stubbornness” in Their Beliefs
Hebei Province Businessman Illegally Detained
Category: Accounts of Persecution