The trial of a Falun Gong practitioner detained since May has begun in the coastal Chinese city of Rizhao, in a case that has attracted global attention to the communist regime’s eradication campaign against the faith group.
Ding Yuande, a tea farmer, was arrested in the early morning of May 12, along with his wife and 70 other local residents targeted by the ruling communist Party in its suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline.
According to relatives and Minghui, a U.S.-based website dedicated to recording the persecution, Mr. Ding was scheduled to stand on trial in Rizhao city of Wulian County on Nov. 28. Such proceedings are often conducted under intense secrecy.
Ding Lebin, Mr. Ding’s son who lives in Germany, said the police had threatened to sentence his father to prison before the hearing, citing his campaign that has attracted global attention.
The younger Ding, who has been traveling to Paris, Athens, and other European countries to urge international leaders to help his father, underscored the case has no legal basis, as all his father did was practice Falun Gong.
The law enforcement agents “didn’t explain what law [his parents] break, because they know what they’re doing is illegal,” Mr. Ding, who works in a law firm while studying the major at the Humboldt University of Berlin, told The Epoch Times on Nov. 27.
But in communist China, the Party stands above the law, Mr. Ding Lebin said.
The ferocious persecution of Falun Gong was launched by former Party boss Jiang Zemin in 1999 after the authorities estimated around 70 million to 100 million had taken up the practice. Viewing its surging popularity as a threat to the Party’s dominance over daily life in China, Jiang personally gave an order to “eradicate” Falun Gong. While the 96-year-old retired Party chief passed away last December, his successors have never changed the Party’s stance on the spiritual discipline.
Mr. Ding said his parents’ experience offered a glimpse of the decades-long persecution of Falun Gong adherents across China, who are constantly under threat of arrest, torture, slave labor, and even forced organ harvesting for persisting in their faith.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution against my parents and other Falun Gong practitioners in my hometown illustrated its evil nature,” Mr. Ding Lebin said, calling the ongoing persecution a “crime against humanity.”
Mr. Ding has been calling attention to his parents since they were taken away by dozens of police from their tea plantation in Rizhao on May 12. With the help of volunteers across the world, who phoned the local police to appeal for the couple’s freedom, his mother was released on bail on May 24.
But the authorities formally arrested his father on July 20. Rights advocates warned that the elder Ding is “at risk of torture and longer-term imprisonment.”
So far, the 35-year-old Berlin resident has received support from current and former parliament members from Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as Japan, who called for the regime to immediately release the Falun Gong practitioner. Several members of the European Parliament also sent letters to the regime’s diplomats or local officials, demanding freedom for the couple.
The regime appears to be feeling the pressure. On July 14, Rizhao’s Domestic Security Bureau, a secret police force tasked with overseeing the persecution, harassed Mr. Ding’s mother. They threatened to sentence the elder Ding to prison if Mr. Ding continues his campaign.
According to Mr. Ding, the officers showed his mother letters received by Rizhao’s Party chief, Zhang Hui, as well as media reports on his campaign, including those by The Epoch Times.
Despite the efforts to silence him, Mr. Ding is determined to obtain freedom for his parents.
“The persecution has barred me from reuniting with my parents for more than 11 years,” said Mr. Ding, who came to Germany as a college student in 2012.
With his father’s case heading to trial and his mother being kept under police surveillance, Mr. Ding said the plight of his family shows the anti-human nature of the persecution.
He appealed to the public to join him in bringing freedom to his parents and ending the 24-year persecution of Falun Gong.
“Rejecting the Chinese Communist Party and doing everything we can to stop this unprecedented crime against humanity has become everyone’s moral obligation to defend human conscience and morality.”
From The Epoch Times