Six Attorneys Openly Defend Falun Gong in Chinese Court
Wang Bo, her mother and her father, Falun Gong practitioners from Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, were arrested and prosecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Wang Bo's hearing was scheduled for the morning of April 27 at the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court. Six attorneys from Beijing: Li Heping, Li Xiongbing, Zhang Lihui, Li Shunzhang, Teng Biao and Wu Hongwei, appeared to defend the three defendants at their hearing.
This is especially noteworthy because the regime has made it illegal for attorneys to defend Falun Gong practitioners. The six attorneys attended court at great personal and professional risk.
Neighborhood Under Martial Law
According to a report on Minghui.net, three police vehicles escorted the three family members to the court. Over 600 policemen were on guard around the courthouse. The entire street in front of the courthouse was blocked by police, and other officers were lined up two deep on the sidewalk. Many court police and plainclothes police officers walked in and out of the court.
Pedestrians watching this event couldn't comprehend why all this was necessary for a hearing merely about a Falun Gong case. Why were so many policemen gathered, as if they were ready to fight?
After the police vehicles passed, a policeman from the National Security Team of the Shijiazhuang Public Security Bureau arrested Wu Lei, also a Falun Gong practitioner, for photographing the scene.
Attorneys Present an Excellent Defense
Wang Bo's attorney, Li Heping read their opening statement, entitled “The Constitution is supreme and beliefs are innocent,” which was co-authored by the other attorneys on the defense team. Arguing on the basis of the supremacy of the Constitution, which enshrines freedom of belief and the protection of human rights, the defense expounded on the case at the different levels of the constitution, the legislature, the judiciary and points of law.
Each from a different angle, the defense attorneys pointed out that at the first hearing of this case, the law had been improperly applied, the facts were unclear, evidence was found to be insufficient, and incorrect judicial procedures had been followed. From the angle of legal theory and human rights, Wu Hongwei cited examples such as the defendant only being allowed to wear a single layer of clothing on cold winter's days.
The judge frequently interrupted and threatened the defense attorneys as they presented their case.
When Li Heping responded that believing in Falun Gong belongs to the territory of freedom of belief, the judge Liu Bin couldn't rebut the point legally or logically; instead he argued that, “Li has some ideological problem.”
Defendants Disclose the Truth of the Persecution of Falun Gong
When on the stand, defendant Wang Bo, her mother Liu Shuqin, and father Wang Xinzhong exposed the criminal actions of the judge and prosecutors at the first hearing, and also stated that all three practitioners had been physically tortured to coerce their confessions.
When making her final statement, Wang Bo was repeatedly interrupted by judges Lu Ling and Liu Bin.
Defense Attorneys Threatened
Because of the pressure from the Chinese communist regime, Teng Biao was not able to join the defense team, but still attended the hearing to show his support. Teng, when leaving the court, was assaulted by a group of court police. They seized him and threw him down in the dirt on the side of the road outside the courthouse
Teng is a Doctor of Law, a renowned researcher and a teacher at the China University of Political Science and Law. He once wrote to the National Congress recommending the elimination of the detention system. He was elected as one of the Top 10 figures on the rule of law in the country in 2003, and is also a recipient of a social achievement award from the Gleitsman Foundation.
More and More People Are Speaking Up for Falun Gong
Ever since 1999, the Chinese Communist Party has spread rumors and lies about Falun Gong to justify its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. After eight years of practitioners persistently telling the truth about Falun Gong, more and more people have understood the truth and have started to speak up for Falun Gong. The six attorneys strove to fight the strictures placed on them by the communist regime and openly defended Falun Gong in the court.