UN report centre of controversy in Falungong trial

M Ravi (third from right) leaving the High Court with Falungong supporters.Mr M Ravi, lawyer for the two Falungong practitioners charged for conducting a protest against the Chinese government, today applied to the High Court to stay the on-going proceedings at the Subordinate Courts on the grounds that a fair trial has been denied the defendants.

At the centre of the controversy is the defence’s crucial evidence of a United Nations report about the persecution of Falungong followers in China.

The Singapore police arrested and charged the protesters for writing on a banner: “Stop persecution of Falun Gong in China.” The words, according to the prosecution, are insulting because the allegation of persecution of Falungong in China is untrue.

This goes against the findings of the UN report which Mr Ravi is trying to tender as court evidence. The Court has, however, refused to admit the report as an exhibit.

The judge then ordered Mr Ravi to proceed with the case. However, the lawyer took up the Criminal Motion application to the High Court this morning to stay the proceedings until the matter of the admission of the UN document could be sorted out.

The judge originally insisted that the hearing continue without interruption but changed his view and adjourned the trial to tomorrow afternoon after the High Court application is heard in the morning.

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