Mr. Zhang Xingwu, a Falun Gong practitioner from the city of Jinan in Shangdong Province, has been illegally imprisoned in a detention center for the past five months. Ms. Zhang Chenglan, another practitioner, was illegally arrested in August 2008 and sentenced to a forced labor camp in Shangdong Province for a year and six months. Her family is filing a lawsuit to rescue her from the brutal treatment.

Professor Zhang Xingwu

On December 10, 2008, Mr. Zhang's lawyer and his family went to the detention center to see him and determine his physical condition. They were told that there was insufficient evidence against him, so his case had been returned to the Security Bureau. As a consequence, those in charge needed permission from a staff member of the Security Bureau before Mr. Zhang was allowed to have visitors.

Family members and Mr. Zhang's lawyer returned to the Security Bureau. They met with Mr. Han of the 610 Office, who redirected them to the Weijiazhuang Police Station, which he identified as the entity responsible for the case. Weijiazhuang Police Station officials contradicted the 610 Office and informed the family that they were not responsible for the case, even though they held the arrest warrant. The family and lawyer returned to the 610 Office to see Mr. Han, but he was unavailable, so they went to a branch-office to determine who was handling the case. There they were told that Mr. Han was indeed responsible. They returned yet again to the Weijiazhuang Police Station to verify the status of the case, and were told that officials there were handling the case, and that the records were kept in the prosecutor's office.

The family group traveled to the prosecutor's office in the central district of Jinan City. A staff member informed them that Mr. Zhang's case had been returned to the Security Bureau. He presented the document to the lawyer, which was labeled "Returned."

Mr. Zhang's lawyer informed his family that, according to current law, they should be allowed to see Mr. Zhang in the detention center, so they went there one more time but were turned away yet again.

In summary, Mr. Zhang was arrested on July 16, 2008. The lawyer hired to defend him was finally allowed to visit him on November 11, 2008. On November 20, 2008, the prosecutor's office returned the case to the Security Bureau due to a lack of evidence. On December 10, 2008 Mr. Zhang's lawyer asked to visit Mr. Zhang, but his request was denied.

Ms. Zhang Chenglan

Immediately after Ms. Zhang Chenglan was taken to the forced labor camp, her husband, Mr. Liu Ruping, tried to visit her, but the guards turned him away because he was also a practitioner. Mr. Liu hired a lawyer, who was allowed to see her. The lawyer informed Mr. Liu that his wife had been beaten by the guards. Mr. Liu returned to the forced labor camp and informed the officials that he would file a lawsuit against them. The officials still refused to allow him to see her.

On December 10, 2008, Mr. Liu met with the director of the forced labor camp and demanded that they honor the law. Mr. Liu indicated to them that the lawsuit required his wife's signature, so the director allowed her to sign the document. Mr. Liu also informed them that he would follow the legal procedures for the duration of the lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, it normally takes seven days for the court to decide whether or not to accept it.