(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhang Lanxiao (张兰肖) was arrested by Ren County officials while she was doing household chores on October 15, 2014. The officials noted that the Party's Fourth Plenary Session was going to be held in Beijing, so they had to arrest a few practitioners to show that they were following the Chinese Communist Party's dictates.

Officers from the Chengguan Police Station, director of the 610 Office Mao Mengqiao (毛梦巧), and Yin Hongbin (尹洪彬) from the Domestic Security Division participated in the arrest.

Ms. Zhang told them that Falun Gong is protected by the freedom of belief as stipulated in the Chinese Constitution, and that there was no legal basis for the persecution. The officials ignored her argument. Several men carried her to the police car. She struggled, and one of her shoes fell off. It was not retrieved.

Ms. Zhang is currently detained at the Xingtai Brainwashing Center, a black jail where many Falun Gong practitioners are imprisoned and tortured.

Because they practice Falun Gong, Ms. Zhang and her family have been repeatedly persecuted. Two of her sisters were sentenced to three years in prison. Her mother, in her 70s, was arrested three times. Government officials have extorted over 50,000 yuan from her and her family over the past 15 years.

Ren County is an area where the persecution is most severe. County officials ordered police to arrest local practitioners and extort huge amounts of money from them as early as 1997, two years before the onset of the persecution.

Illegality of Black Jails

Human Rights Watch identified these secret, unlawful brainwashing centers as “black jails” in its 2009 report “An Alleyway in Hell.” Qinglongshan Brainwashing Center, a similar facility in Heilongjiang Province, became notorious internationally earlier this year when four prominent Chinese lawyers were detained and tortured in retaliation for seeking the release of Falun Gong practitioners detained there.

Such black jails are illegal and have no official or legal status. They are used to hold anyone who ran or runs afoul of local, state, or central government officials.