School Teacher and Her Mother Traumatized by Violent Arrests
(Minghui.org) Police in Baicheng City raided the home a local elementary school teacher shared with her mother and brother. Though the two women were released on bail, authorities are still attempting to indict them for their spiritual belief.
Ms. Li Yangbo, a teacher at Tielu First Elementary School, was diagnosed with anemia in December 1999. Her mother, Ms. Yang Xiuyun, advised her to try Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Ms. Li initially said no, as the Chinese communist regime had just launched the persecution of the practice five months prior.
Her health kept declining, especially after she and her husband divorced in 2003. Ms. Li eventually picked up the practice of Falun Gong in 2005 and was amazed to see her symptoms vanish in just 20 days. Ms. Yang, 71, was thrilled to see her daughter enjoy the health benefits of Falun Gong just as she herself had.
However, the mother and daughter’s pursuit of health landed them in police custody. They were arrested on October 10, 2017 and are now facing possible indictment for their faith.
Ms. Li attended an early-morning funeral on October 10, 2017. When she returned to park her car at her apartment complex, she noted two men and a woman approaching her. One of the men said he wanted to ask her about something. As they didn’t look kind, she took off running.
The two men caught her and twisted her hands behind her back. They asked if her name was Zhang Yuhua, and she said no. She protested that they had the wrong person, but they proceeded to force her into an unmarked car.
After one of the men flashed his ID, Ms. Li learned that they were agents from the local Taobei District Police Department. The two men were Zhao Yongzhe and Yin Jin. The woman didn’t reveal her name.
They arrived at the police department at 11:23 a.m. The police put Ms. Li in a room and had an officer watch her around the clock, even when she used the restroom.
She asked to call her school to request some time off, but Lu Xin, chief of the Guangming Police Station who was visiting there, replied that she didn’t have any right to communication.
Yin and Zhao and four plainclothes officers drove back to Ms. Li’s apartment complex at 11:50 a.m. They had confiscated all her keys after arresting her, so they opened the door without checking if anyone was inside.
Ms. Li’s mother and brother, who have been living with her since her divorce years ago, were still resting in their bedrooms when the police broke in. Yin ordered his people to handcuff Ms. Li’s brother and to keep an eye on her mother.
Without showing any ID or search warrant, the police turned the home upside down. They confiscated 70,800 yuan in cash, 8 laptops, 1 desktop computer, 1 iPad, 7 cell phones, and some Falun Gong books.
They proceeded to search Ms. Li’s car and confiscated a charger. All the keys belonging to Ms. Li and her family were confiscated. The police also took away Ms. Li’s and her mother’s IDs.
No inventory of confiscated items was provided to the family as required by law.
Entire Family Interrogated
The police interrogated Ms. Li’s brother at around 6 p.m. They released him as soon as they learned that he was not a Falun Gong practitioner. He was told to come the next day to pick up his impounded car.
Ms. Li and her mother were interrogated in two separate rooms at around 8 p.m. The two women were photographed and the police forcibly took their fingerprints and DNA samples.
Three hours later, several officers drove Ms. Li and her mother to the Baicheng City Chinese Medicine Hospital for a checkup. Both women showed worrisome symptoms, with Ms. Yang’s blood pressure shooting up to 260/140.
The officers informed Ms. Li’s brother to come pick up his mother and sister, who were released on bail due to their health.
Local Procuratorate Refuses to Take the Case
Officer Zhang Liang showed up at Ms. Li's home on November 3 and asked Ms. Yang to go with him to pick up the family's confiscated cash. He drove to her daughter Ms. Li’s school instead. He also deceived the younger woman into believing they’d be able to get their money back that day.
With both women riding in his police cruiser, Zhang ordered Ms. Li’s brother to drive behind him to the police station to pick up the money and other confiscated items.
The route Zhang took though led them to the local Taonan City Procuratorate. He submitted the case against Ms. Li and Ms. Yang to the receptionist there.
Ms. Li refused to give her signature to acknowledge receipt of the case by the procuratorate. She said, “We’re here to pick up the money and other items confiscated from our home.” The receptionist was surprised. “The police never sent anything to us,” she told Ms. Li.
Zhang had no explanation. Noticing Ms. Yang sitting on a bench looking distressed, he asked her son to drive her and her daughter home.
That night, the procuratorate called Ms. Li to ask for Zhang’s name and phone number. She learned shortly after that the procuratorate had declined to take her case.
Police Attempt to Use Another Procuratorate
Officer Zhao Yongzhe showed up at their home on November 13 trying to get Ms. Li and her mother to visit the Da’an City Procuratorate. They refused to go with him.
Qu Wu and another staff member from the Da’an City Procuratorate visited Ms. Li’s school on November 22, but she refused to be interrogated. They then went to her home to interrogate her mother. Before they left, they threatened to return the following month.
Both Mother and Daughter Traumatized
Ms. Yang has been very healthy after she began practicing Falun Gong in 1996, but the latest arrest left her deeply traumatized. She has lost her appetite and has had recurring nightmares. In just two months, she lost a significant amount of weight.
Her daughter Ms. Li was also scarred by the violent arrest and subsequent police harassment. She has trouble falling asleep and experienced heart palpitations. She also began having panic attacks and has had to take time off of work quite a few times in the last several months.