Lawyer Denounces Secret Trial As a Violation of the Law
(Clearwisdom.net) At 9 AM on October 28, 2010, the Court of Duyan City in Guizhou Province secretly held a trial against Mr. Liang Rongqi, a Falun Gong practitioner, who was arrested on May 27. His lawyer stated in court that a hearing which is not open to the public is a violation of the law. Under pressure, the Court allowed two family members into the courtroom as observers.
On the date of the hearing, the Court blocked all nearby crossroads and inspected passers-by. The court officers even put pressure on law firms by prohibiting them from representing Falun Gong practitioners.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Persecutes Falun Gong Practitioners Who are Good People
Mr. Liang Rongqi, aged 42 years was employed by the Duyun Shipping Company in Guizhou Province. He started practicing Falun Dafa in 1995 and has benefited from the practice tremendously. He quit all bad habits such as drinking, gambling and smoking.
On May 27, 2010, under the instigation of the "610 Office" and the Duyun Municipal Committee, dozens of people from the Municipal Public Security Bureau led by the deputy director, Zhou Shiqun and director of the police station in Yushan Town, Wengan County, Mao Guozhi, intruded into Mr. Liang's house and arrested him. They ransacked the house and took away his computer, printer, Falun Dafa books, cash, bank books and other valuables.
Mr. Liang's mother and his relatives went to seek lawyers for help. Many lawyers were afraid to represent Falun Gong practitioners because of the severe pressure from the Communist authorities. On September 20, they eventually hired a lawyer from Beijing who agreed to represent him.
Afraid of Having Open Trials
After going over all documents, Mr. Liang's lawyer went to meet with the judge, Liu Jiachai on September 20. He was told that the Court decided to have a non-public hearing on October 28. No family members would be allowed in the courtroom. The lawyer protested on the phone by stating that it was a violation of Article 152 in "Criminal Procedure Law" if no family members were allowed to sit in the hearing and if it was not open for the public. He also said it would create a negative image for the government. Judge Liu said he would report this matter to his superior.
The judge, Liu told Mr. Liang's mother before the hearing that the case was political. It would not be open for the public and family members would not be allowed in the courtroom. He said it was an order from "above."
The lawyer arrived in Duyun City from Beijing on October 25. He went directly to the court to inquire about the case and was told that the hearing would be open to the public. They were required to bring their IDs and go through a security check before entering the court. Mr. Liang's mother informed her friends and relatives after she heard the news. On October 27, the hearing date, the Court announced that the hearing had been rescheduled to the following morning.
Many Plainclothes Police Were Wandering in the Court
In the morning of October 28, about 60 police from the "610 Office," Municipal Committee, and City Police State Security Brigade arrived outside the court. They spread around and filled every corner of the court. They watched Mr. Liang's family and relatives and disrupted passers-by in the area. They prevented Falun Gong practitioners from entering the court and treated them as if they were their enemies.
Originally, the Court had granted an open hearing and family members could attend. After the hearing began, the security guards in the court blocked Mr. Liang's family and relatives from entering, saying that they needed permits. In order to block more people from knowing the persecution of Falun Gong, the Municipal Committee and the "610 Office" had only issued six permits. Mr. Liang's mother and sister couldn't enter the court even though they had permits. There were about 20 seats in the courtroom and all of them were filled by personnel from the "610 Office" and State and City Municipal Committee.
Giving in to the pressure exerted by Mr. Liang's lawyer, the security guards in the court reluctantly allowed Mr. Liang's mother and sister into the court room after the hearing began. Mr. Liang had about a dozen direct relatives and some of them had come from rural areas. They arrived at the court in the night and waited the entire morning in chilly weather just wanting to witness the trial. But they didn't even have a chance to see Mr. Liang.
Lawyer's Convincing Argument Render Prosecutors Speechless
Faced with the prosecution's charge of "Suspecting the use of a cult organization to undermine law enforcement", the lawyer pointed that according to the Chinese Constitution, Falun Gong has never been included by law as a cult. There is no document that says non-communist party members are not allowed to practice Falun Gong. Thus, the prosecution's charge did not exist. On the contrary, Falun Gong believers should be subject to the Chinese Constitution's protection of the freedom of religious belief.
Secondly, the lawyer stated that producing and distributing Falun Gong promotional materials and criticizing the CCP is not against the law. On the contrary, freedom of speech is protected by the Constitution.
Finally, the lawyer pointed that the prosecutor's accusation of Mr. Liang's being "suspected of using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement" was completely ridiculous and illogical.
The lawyer urged the judge to respect the constitutional rights of citizens, practice the rule of law, acquit the case and release Mr. Liang. The judge had no choice but to hastily announce the end of the hearing and asked them to wait for further notice.