Officials from Acheng Court Hold Trial for Three Practitioners, Family Members Threatened and Barred from Attending

Officials from Acheng Court in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province held a trial for Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Tan Yurui, Ms. Tan Guiying and Mr. Chen Kun on December 5th, 2012.

Ms. Tan Yurui, her aunt Ms. Tang Guiying and Mr. Chen Kun had gone to Yupai Village, Xinhua and talked to the villagers about Falun Gong on July 10th, 2012. They were reported to police by villager Zhao Lianzhong, and officers from the Xinhua Township Police Station then arrested them. Officials at Acheng Court initially set a trial date of November 28th, 2012, but because Ms. Tan Yurui and her aunt hired lawyers to defend them, the trial was postponed to December 5th, 2012.

Many of the practitioners' friends gathered in the hall on the first floor of Acheng Court at around 8 a.m. on December 5th, 2012. Ms. Tan's family members also went there very early.

Wang Xiaoguang, the director of the Acheng 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), Wu Da and Li Juncheng went to the hall at about 9 a.m., and started to force the practitioners' family members and friends out of the building. They threatened them and said they would arrest those who did not leave.

Court officials limited the number of people in the courtroom. Every practitioner's family was given a limit of people who could attend. When the courtroom doors were opened, Yang Ziheng, a Domestic Security officer, came in and angrily asked who Tan Yurui's mother and younger sister were. When Ms. Tan Yurui's mother and sister tried to enter the courtroom, Yang stopped them and said that they had to leave with him. Their friends tried to stop Yang from taking them away. Yang Ziheng shouted, “You posted information about me and said that I was vicious!” He then made a few phone calls. Several police arrived and dragged Ms. Tan's mother and sister into a police vehicle. When Ms. Tan's sister tried to resist the arrest, an officer kicked her several times. Ms. Tan's mother and sister were taken to the Domestic Security Division.

Ms. Tan Yurui's younger brother went to the Domestic Security Division at about 10:30 a.m., to talk to the officers there. After about an hour, Ms. Tan's mother and sister were released.

Ms. Tan Yurui, Ms. Tan Guiying and Mr. Chen Kun were brought to Acheng Court at about 11 a.m. Two lawyers from Beijing defended the practitioners in court. The three practitioners pleaded not guilty and started to clarify the facts to those in the courtroom. The judge tried to interrupt them, but without much effect. The trial lasted for about two hours, and when it was over, Ms. Tan Yurui called out “Falun Gong is good” and stated that she was not guilty of breaking the law and should be set free. The trial ended hastily, but the judge did not pronounce the verdict.

Ms. Tan Yurui, 39 years old, was a teacher at Hongxing Forest Farm in Xinhua Town, but because of the persecution against Falun Gong, the person in charge of the farm and officers from the Forestry Bureau Police Station forced her to quit her job.

Ms. Tan is very kindhearted, and took great care of her critically-ill father-in-law and her cousin who had had surgery to remove a tumour from his brain. After she was taken away by police on July 10th, 2012, about 400 of her fellow villagers signed their names and pressed their fingerprints on an appeal letter, requesting the police to release her.

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