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Judge defers trial of 4 charged with “illegal business operations” after lawyers refuse to submit to baseless restriction

ICC Note:
When the lawyers for a Christian woman, accused of illegally printing a book for kindergartners, attempted to enter the courtroom for trial, they were faced with “baseless requests” and new protocol that is suspected to be fabricated. Meanwhile, the family and friends of the woman on trial were told they couldn’t go in the courtroom to see her trial because it was full, when, in fact, it was empty.

1/19/2015 China (China Aid)-The defendants in the case are Cheng Jie, the director of the Liuzhou-based Hualin Foreign Language Experimental Kindergarten, which was founded by Liangren Church of Guangzhou, Li Jiatao, a Hong Kong national and member of Liangren Church, Huang Qiurui, a church elder, and Fang Bin, a Guangzhou local who printed the books for the church. Cheng was detained from the school on Feb. 18, along with another woman who was later released. Li, Huang, and Fang were detained on June 23 from their homes in Guangzhou by Liuzhou police. Li was taken after police smashed through the front door.

The indictment against the four states that Fang Bin printed the unauthorized textbooks compiled by the kindergarten, which authorities claim qualifies as illegal business operations because the textbooks don’t have identification numbers. The indictment also says that Li Jiatao was in charge of the financial revenue and expenses of the character-building textbooks and that Huang Qiuri was in charge of shipping the books to Cheng Jie, who would then control the distribution of the books.

The indictment states that all activity by the four defendants was done under the direction of Sun Haiping, the wife of former Liangren Church pastor Wang “Joshua” Dao. Sun is accused of having organized the group to compile the books without approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television. Sun and Wang now live in the United States.

Dozens of supporters arrived in Liuzhou Thursday to attend the trial the next morning but weren’t allowed in.

“They deployed many Domestic Security Protection Squad agents to monitor the whole process,” Du Hongbo, Cheng’s husband, said. “The DSPS agents were deployed at every level of the court, both inside and out. Christian supporters came from afar, and each defendant’s family could only get three tickets to sit in on the trial. However, there are 27 seats in the court. When the out-of-town supporters inquired about the seats, they were told the court was full.”

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