Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhang Xingqi from Xiangtan City, Hunan Province was arrested at her home around 5 p.m. on September 3rd, 2013 as she was cooking dinner. Li Shaotie from the Yuhu District 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) led a dozen Yuhu Police Department officers and other officials from the neighbourhood committee to enter her home and forcibly take her to the Wujiahuayuan Brainwashing Centre, where Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted for over ten years.
Ms. Zhang’s husband, Mr. Li Zhen, was arrested for transporting Falun Gong materials. He was beaten and injured, and sentenced to two years of forced labour, but the Xinkaipu Forced Labour Camp refused to accept him due to his health. Mr. Li’s family paid 3,000 yuan1 so that Mr. Li could be on medical parole. Mr. Li Zhen, 52, passed away on May 26th, 2004.
Ms. Zhang and Mr. Li lived in the Gongrenxincun community of the Yuhu District. They started practising Falun Gong in 1997. Mr. Li was an economist at a former equipment company under the Xiantan Science Committee. He lost his job due to improper management of the company. He later made a living by driving a motorcycle cab. He suffered many illnesses, especially cardiovascular diseases, before he started practising Falun Gong. His illnesses disappeared without taking any medication soon after he started practising.
Husband Mr. Li Zhen Died from Persecution
Mr. Li, who was driving a motorcycle cab, picked up a 30-year-old man in front of the Lianchen Bookstore in Yuhu City around 9 a.m. on February 2nd, 2002. The man asked Mr. Li to take him to a coal yard. As soon as they arrived there, eight police officers from the Xiangtan Police Department pinned Mr. Li to the ground. They quickly pulled his coat over his head, almost suffocating him.
Mr. Li was taken to the National Security Bureau (NSB) where he was body searched. They took away his mobiel phone, 190 yuan cash, driver’s licence, cab permit and two sets of keys. Huang Zhi and Tan Jigan from the NSB led a group of officers and forced Mr. Li’s daughter to accompany them in an illegal search of her home. They took two tape recorders and Falun Gong music tapes, handwritten Falun Gong articles, a piece of yellow cloth, and ten audio tapes, etc. As they were leaving, they said to Mr. Li’s daughter, “Is there a bank book in your home?” A neighbour witnessed the incident and described it saying, “Those people were like bandits.”
Mr. Li was detained at the office of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), and the officers used all sort of methods to extract a confession from him. When he refused, he was not allowed to sleep for 24 hours. A 6 foot tall plainclothes policeman punched him in the rib cage and broke his ribs. NSB director Zhang told Mr. Li, “We were given permission to have you disappear from this planet at any time.”
Mr. Li was officially arrested on February 10th, 2002. He was detained at the Sanjiaoping Detention Centre of Xiangtan City, and his family was not allowed to see him. He was put in a small, crowded cell, where he was forced to sleep on the damp floor. Due to maltreatment, Li Zhen coughed constantly, his heartbeat became faster and his blood pressure higher. The food quality at the detention centre was very poor. One would often find tissues and mud in the food. As a result, Mr. Li ate very little and was very thin. He was physically and mentally devastated.
Mr. Li was sentenced to two years of forced labour by the NSB on March 28th, 2002, and sent to the Xinkaipu Forced Labour Camp. The labour camp officer saw that Mr. Li was in such bad shape and asked him, “Are you sick?” “No, I was beaten by NSB officers,” answered Mr. Li.
Labour camp officials did not want to bear responsibility, so they refused to accept him. Police took Mr. Li to a hospital for an examination, and both his ECG and EEG were abnormal. They brought Mr. Li back to the labour camp, and when the officers at the labour camp saw the ECG and EGG results, they again refused to take him. The police finally had to take Mr. Li back to Xiangtan City, and Mr. Li’s family was told to pay 4,000 yuan for medical parole. His family eventually paid 3,000 yuan and an additional 200 yuan for a physical exam before Mr. Li was allowed to go home.
Due to constant threats, illegal searches and harassment from the local police and neighbourhood committee officers, Mr. Li passed away on May 26th, 2004.
Multiple Arrests of Ms. Zhang Xingqi
Ms. Zhang Xingqi, 59, was a teacher at the Hongqi Steel Factory. When the factory went bankrupt, she lost her job. She made a living by operating a small shop. Ms. Zhang had been persecuted multiple times and was monitored for a year from September 11th, 2008 to October 2009.
Police broke Ms. Zhang’s double doors and ransacked her place around 8 p.m. on September 11th, 2008. They confiscated a laminating machine and 5,000 yuan in cash. Ms. Zhang’s son-in-law was detained overnight for not cooperating with the police. He was released the next day after being extorted 2,000 yuan. The perpetrators were Tian Jiangtao and Zhang Weixing from the Domestic Security Division of Yuhu Police Department, officers from the Pingzheng Road Police Station, director Xu Zhiwen and deputy director Yan Hong of the Dabuqiao residential area, and director of the Nanbujie residential area Chen Yue’e.
Ms. Zhang was taken to the Xiangtan City Detention Centre by Pang Han of the Domestic Security Division on the morning of September 12, 2008. Ms. Zhang was released on October 15th after being detained for 35 days.th
Ms. Zhang was interrogated at the Yuhu Domestic Security Division on August 18th, 2009. Police officer Tang Jianxiang led the interrogation, and one male and one female officer were present.
Tian Jiangtao led a group of police officers to break into the home of Ms. Zhang’s daughter and her shop separately on the evening of April 20th, 2009. Ms. Zhang was at her daughter’s shop at the time. They confiscated three pictures of the founder of Falun Gong, an incence burner, a music player, and a picture on the wall.
Officers Lei Zhinong and Tan Yunfei from the Xiangtan NSB led a group of officers to ransack the home of Ms. Zhang’s daughter, her shop and Ms. Zhang’s home on the evening of July 18th, 2009. The search warrant was signed by director Xu Gangqiang of the NSB. They broke the safe and left after midnight.
Zhao Yuefeng from the 610 Office led a group of people who waited and kept watch across the street of the shop of Ms. Zhang’s daughter on September 16th, 2009. Ms. Zhang was taken to the Pingzhenglu Police Station around 10 a.m., and the police got a temporary search warrant and searched the shop and Ms. Zhang’s home. They confiscated a computer from the shop and one from Ms. Zhang’s home. (The computer from the shop was returned three days later, and the computer from her home was returned after a month.)
Policeman Chen, Zhang Weixing and two other officers took Ms. Zhang to the Wujiayuan Brainwashing Centre the same afternoon. She was detained there for three 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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