(Minghui.org) A Hubei woman was working at her family-owned neighborhood convenience store on May 25, when several police officers came in and took her into custody. Neighbors suspect her arrest was related to her attempts to secure her husband's release.

Ms. Tong Dongxiang's husband, Mr. Liu Xiong, was taken by police from the family store in the early morning of April 12. Police refused to disclose his whereabouts initially. Weeks later, his family was told that he had been officially arrested and detained in Qianjiang Detention Center.

Both Ms. Tong and her husband are practitioners of Falun Gong, a self-cultivation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime. The couple has been repeatedly detained and tortured by the authorities for practicing Falun Gong and informing the public about the persecution.

Prior to her latest arrest, Ms. Tong was arrested eight times between 1999 and 2009. Twice she was sent to a forced labor camp, where she suffered brutal torture.

Two Arrests, Forced Labor, and Brutal Torture

In July 2001, police arrested Ms. Tong and sent her to Shayang Women's Forced Labor Camp. She was shocked with electric batons on her legs until the skin blackened.

Guards force-fed her with a hot pepper-laced broth. She went on a hunger strike to protest the ill-treatment. She was sent to the prison hospital for punitive force-feedings. Staff pried her mouth open and kept it open with pliers. As a result, her mouth got infected and became misshapen.

After being on a hunger strike for 100 days, Ms. Tong was released on the brink of death.

Ms. Tong was taken to Shayang Women's Forced Labor Camp a second time on July 22, 2003. She protested by going on a hunger strike.

When she refused to pull weeds as ordered during work detail, guards had two inmates hold her hands to pull the weeds. Her hand was injured during the struggle.

Guards also had two inmates force-feed her. She was held for 16 months.

Six Other Arrests

While not suffering at the labor camp, Ms. Tong was kept captive at other detention facilities six times.

Ms. Tong went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong in November 1999. Local police brought her back and detained her at No. 1 Detention Center in Xiantao City for a month. She was released only after her family had paid over 10,000 yuan to police.

She was also detained at her workplace for three months in 2000.

In January 2001, Ms. Tong was intercepted by police from Xiantao 610 Office while on her way to Beijing to appeal. She was viciously beaten about her head. She was illegally detained for five months.

Ms. Tong went to Beijing again on November 2001, where she was taken to Haidian District Detentions Center and released a month later.

Ms. Tong was arrested for distributing materials about the persecution of Falun Gong in 2002. She was taken to No. 1 Detention Center of Xiantao City. She went on a hunger strike and was released a few days later when the labor camp refused to admit her for health reasons.

Ms. Tong escaped from the police trying to arrest her in 2007 and was forced to live away from home for a year.

In September 2009, Ms. Tong was taken to a brainwashing center for over two months. Her workplace at the time was made to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan.