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Communist Regime Prohibits Lawyers from Defending Falun Gong

Five attorneys walk out in protest
By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times
July 12, 2009

During a court hearing for three Falun Gong practitioners in northeast China’s Panshi City, Jilin Province,  lawyers for the practitioners had no choice but to leave the hearing in protest due to the regime’s requirement prohibiting them from entering a plea of innocence for the Falun Gong practitioners.

One of the lawyers told The Epoch Times that the case included 20 Falun Gong practitioners, and the three cases they were defending would normally be dealt with in the same hearing.

However, the court insisted on separating them into several different groups. The court had even planned to separate the three practitioners into different hearings, but gave up after the lawyers rejected this unreasonable demand.

The hearing was scheduled to start at 8:30.a.m., but was delayed because the “610 Office” staff , the National Security police, and the Legal Bureau office staff came to pressure the lawyers to not enter a plea of innocence for the Falun Gong practitioners.

“The court showed us an internal document stating that lawyers will be severely punished for defending Falun Gong practitioners,” one of the lawyers told the Epoch Times.

Lawyer Han Qinfang told us that the hearing lasted for three hours, and that the Falun Gong practitioners’ statements were interrupted many times.

Attorney Jin Guanghong read his statement in their defense: “Falun Gong practitioners commit no crimes and benefit society.  Falun Gong can improve people’s health and contribute to a harmonious society because people who practice Falun Gong always think of others first and tolerate others.”

The judge rudely stopped him and ordered him out of the hearing. “Then we had no choice but to leave the hearing in protest,” Han said.

The lawyers also disclosed that after the incident, the Chinese regime’s Legal Bureau sent people to negotiate with them, requiring them to cooperate with the judge to finish the procedure in the manner arranged by the regime. The lawyers, however, rejected this since their right to speak had not been respected in the court.

Recently, the Beijing Legal Bureau has made use of the lawyer license assessment to deprive several lawyers of their right to practice their profession because they defended Falun Gong practitioners.

The Epoch Times tried to contact the judge, but he declined to answer any questions.

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