Name: Luo Xuemei
Address: Xiangtan County, Hunan Province
Occupation: Family member of staff at Hongqi Steel Factory in Xiangtan County, Hunan Province
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 23rd, 2012
Most Recent Place of Detention: Shuyuanlu Police Station
City: Xiangtan County
Persecution Suffered: Arbitrary detention, brainwashing, extortion, home ransacked
When Ms. Luo Xuemei, a Falun Gong practitioner, was on her way to visit a coworker on the morning of August 23rd, she was stopped and searched by Liu Xiaohua from the Shuyuanlu Police Station in Yuetang District. Liu did not have a search warrant and found Shen Yun [a world-class traditional Chinese cultural show] DVDs in her bag. She was then taken to the Shuyuanlu Police Station, and was released the next day.
While Ms. Luo was detained, a dozen officers from the Xiangtan City 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), Domestic Security Division and Hekou Police Station broke into her house. They had to force open three steel doors to get into her house and then ransacked it without a search warrant. An agent from the 610 Office threatened to take Ms. Luo to a psychiatric hospital and torture her, but her son, who is not a practitioner, told them, “Whoever dares to take my mother to a psychiatric hospital will have to deal with me first.”
Despite Ms. Luo suffering from heart problems and high blood pressure, the police tried keep her in the Xiangtan Detention Centre. A staff member at the detention centre told the police, “You tried to send her here last time but we did not take her because of her poor health. Now you want to try putting her here again despite her health having deteriorated? We won't take her. Why don't you put her in the city's Central Hospital?”
Officers from Shuyuanlu Police Station took Ms. Luo to the Central Hospital, where she was diagnosed with severe health problems, and they also refused to accept her. The police then had no choice but to release her.
Returning to health after practising Falun Gong
When the Hongqi Steel Factory went bankrupt a dozen years ago, Ms. Luo and her husband Mr. Zhang Fake opened a small restaurant to help provide for their family. Due to the stress and heavy work load of running their own business, their health quickly deteriorated and they developed many illnesses, such as hypertension, back problems, migranes, asthma and more severe heart problems.
Shortly after Ms. Luo and Mr. Zhang started practising Falun Gong in 1997, all of their illnesses disappeared. Several people who saw this happening started practising Falun Gong themselves.
Previously detained five times
When the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20th, 1999, Ms. Luo went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practise. She was arrested and taken to the Qilipu Detention Centre in Xiangtan County, where she was held for 15 days. During that time, officers from Yangjiaqiao Police Station in Xiangtan ransacked her house and confiscated all of her Falun Gong books and materials. The police threatened Ms. Luo's family and extorted almost 15,000 yuan1 from her daughter.
In 2006, officers from the Yangjiaqiao Police Station broke into Ms. Luo's house. They ransacked it and confiscated all of her Falun Gong materials. She was held in Qilipu Detention Centre again for 15 days.
Officers from the Hekou Police Station, which had merged with the Yangjiaqiao Police Station, broke into Ms. Luo's house in 2007. An officer with the surname of He told her to pack up some clothes and go with them. Ms. Luo went into her room and locked herself in. The police broke down the door and dragged her into a police car. When Ms. Luo told He that Falun Gong is good, he slapped her in the face three times, and said that she had disturbed the social order. Ms. Luo was held in Jintangwan Detention Centre for 15 days.
Ms. Luo's husband stopped practising Falun Gong due to the constant harassment and threats he was receiving from the authorities. He suddenly died twenty days later, which was a few days before the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Officers from the Xiangtan County 610 Office and the Hekou Police Station broke into Ms. Luo's house. She was taken to the Wujiahuayuan Brainwashing Centre, where she was held for 28 days until the end of the Olympics. Ms. Luo was forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong, and the staff there tried to force her to renounce her belief. But she refused.
In April 2012, Ms. Luo was distributing Shen Yun DVDs near the Xiangtan City 4th Middle School. A woman with the surname of Wang claimed that she was the director of the District Residential Committee, and said that the DVDs are about Falun Gong. She then reported Ms. Luo to the Chengzhengjie Police Station in Yuhu District. Wu Weilai and other police took Ms. Luo to the Jintangwan Detention Center. Ms. Luo was found to have severe heart problems and hypertension after the health check. The deputy director refused to admit her into the detention centre. He said, “We can't afford it if anything happened to her.” Ms. Luo was released after 15 days.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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