Practitioner Mr. Li Shujun was arrested on the evening of August 24th, 2013, by officers from several police stations led by 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) deputy head Chen Zhicheng and Domestic Security team head Wang Changshun. His home was ransacked. His telephone had been bugged and monitored prior to his arrest.
The Xingcheng City Court scheduled Mr. Li's trial for 9 a.m. on March 27th, 2014. When Mr. Li's lawyer and over 30 observers showed up at the courthouse lobby to get registered and pass the security checkpoint, the court declared that the trial had been postponed until the next day due to the judge having other commitments.
Mr. Li's lawyer telephoned presiding judge Cui Baomin to complain. Cui denied that the court ever notified the lawyer of the trial date.
The lawyer filed a complaint with the local Procuratorate, where the staff heard his complaint and told the lawyer they would reprimand the judge for delinquency. In the end, the trial was rescheduled for the next day.
Chaos in the Courthouse Lobby
The next morning, Mr. Li's family and friends gathered in the courthouse lobby again waiting to get in. The court suddenly announced that only 20 observers were allowed. The security checkpoint staff asked if anyone was a Falun Gong practitioner, and, if so, that person would not be admitted.
Some of Mr. Li's family and friends told the court police, “According to the law, the first trial is supposed to be open to the public and you cannot limit how many people can attend. Anyone with a valid ID should be allowed in. You are violating the law.”
The court police said, “We are merely carrying out our superiors' orders.”
Family and friends said, “The Constitution says any organization or individual should not have any privilege above the constitution and the law. Your superior's order is not the law. If you carry out an illegal order, you will be held responsible yourselves. If you continue to keep us from entering, we will get your name and title and sue you later.”
The police then tried to evade the family and friends' questions.
When the situation did not improve, Mr. Li's lawyer refused to enter the courthouse and asked to speak to the court director. Chen Zhicheng, head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, took the lawyer into a room and threatened that he would use his connections in the government to revoke the lawyer's license.
At the same time, several court bailiffs started to videotape everybody in the lobby from all angles. When the lawyer also started taking pictures with his mobile phone of the officers who were doing the videotaping, the police took the lawyer's mobile phone and deleted all the pictures.
The trial started around 10:40 that morning with 20 observers present.
During the trial, Mr. Li Shujun told the court that he used to suffer from several health problems before practising Falun Gong and that he regained his health completely after two months of practising.
He said, “Falun Gong is a belief. The Constitution protects citizens' freedom of belief. Is it a crime to be a good person?”
Because he was accused of “sabotaging the implementation of law,” Mr. Li asked the prosecutor to name the specific law he had sabotaged. The prosecutor did not reply.
Part of the evidence provided by the prosecutor was a book called the Huludao Elegy , which documents scores of Falun Gong practitioners from the Huludao area who were persecuted to death and to disability. The judge asked, “Is the content of the book true?” Mr. Li replied, “It is all true. It is the Huludao authorities that sabotage the implementation of law.”
The prosecutor claimed that Mr. Li committed a crime against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by printing information about the stone that was discovered to have the Chinese characters “Chinese Communist Party perishes” written on it. Mr. Li replied that the stone was naturally formed and he did not commit any crime.
Judge Cui Baomin said, “Li Shujun, your wife divorced you, your mother is old, and your child is unattended. It is all because you practise Falun Gong.” Mr. Li replied, “No, all this happened because the CCP persecutes Falun Gong practitioners. It is the CCP authorities that are committing crimes.”
During the trial when the judge and prosecutor spoke, the speaker volume was loud and clear. When Mr. Li and his lawyer spoke, the volume was abnormally low. To make it worse, while the lawyer spoke, the volume fluctuated with each word, which made his words very hard to understand.
In the end, the court did not allow any time for debate as is usual for such cases, nor was the verdict announced.
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