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Chinese court tries religious couple in secretcomment (0)

January 6, 2000

WUHAN, China – A couple arrested in the crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement has reportedly been tried in secret in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, a rights group said.

Wang Hansheng and his wife, XU Xiangla, were charged with organizing and using a cult to undermine the law in their four-hour Dec. 23 trial, according to the Hong Kong based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China. The center said Dec. 30 that no verdict had as yet been made public. The center also said the court found no evidence to support accusations in the state news media that Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi shared huge profits made by the couple’s sales of books and photos. However, the center provided no information to back its claim about the court. A person who answered the telephone a the court abruptly hung up when asked about the case by the Associated Press.

The movement banned the popular spiritual movement in July calling it a threat to communist control. Falun Gong leaders say their movement, which claims tens of millions of followers in China, is concerned with healthy and moral living, not political power. Falun Gong combines elements of Buddhism and Taoism with “qigong,” traditional Chinese system of physical movements and meditation.

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