Request for Information from CCTV Leads to Shanxi Man's Arrest
(Minghui.org) A Shanxi man was arrested on February 16, 2017 for requesting an information disclosure from China Central Television (CCTV) on a report about Falun Gong. His family took great pains to locate his whereabouts after his arrest. They were later informed that he is detained at Huairen County Detention Center.
Mr. Zhang Shuyong watched the CCTV news on January 14, 2017 about a speech by the president of Supreme People Court who defamed Falun Gong. Many other local media cited the speech in later reports.
As there was insufficient footage on the report, Mr. Zhang, a Falun Gong practitioner, along with 18 other practitioners, sent a request to CCTV to disclose evidence of the speech and those who are responsible for recording the footage.
After his request, police officer Zhang Xiangdong broke into Mr. Zhang's house on February 16, 2017 and arrested him.
At the time this report was submitted, Mr. Zhang was still detained and the family had been denied visitation.
Family Denied Visitation, Given the Runaround by the Police
On the night of the arrest, Zhang went to Mr. Zhang's house again and confiscated many personal items, including computers and Falun Gong books and materials related to Falun Gong. The police did not inform the family of where Mr. Zhang was being detained.
The family went to the detention center the next day to try to locate him. They also called the police, but could not obtain any information. Later, the police called them and told them he was detained at Huairen County Detention Center.
The family went straight to the center, but were denied their request to see him and told they had to wait three days.
They looked for Zhang to request the “Notice of Detention.” He refused. However, he promised them they would be able to see Mr. Zhang three days later.
The family soon found out that the “three days notice” was not part of the “Regulations on Detention Facilities,” so they went to the center the next two days to request a visit.
On the third day, February 20, the family went to the police station early in the morning. Originally, Zhang was supposed to meet them, but there was no sign of him. Instead, someone came and gave the “Notice of Detention” to them and ordered them to sign it.
They were told by the detention center staff that they must provide a confirmation from the police for the visit. They tried to reach Zhang without success.
Left with no choice, Mr. Zhang's wife explained this to the police inspection department, but the officers ignored her. She later took the Notice to the procuratorate and was informed that the Notice could be deemed invalid.
Mr. Zhang's mother stayed outside the detention center the whole morning, but was still kept from visiting her son.
In the afternoon, Zhang asked to meet Mr. Zhang's wife together with the head of 610 Office. They threatened her and ordered her to bring the Notice back, claiming it was so that they could stamp another official seal on it. During the meeting, Zhang confirmed that Mr. Zhang was arrested for mailing the application form for information disclosure to CCTV and would be detained for 15 days.
Zhang also acknowledged that he had informed the detention center not to allow any visits for Mr. Zhang. Later he admitted that it was instructions from the higher authorities.
The family hired a lawyer who was also not allowed to visit Mr. Zhang. The family and their lawyer went to the police inspection department and only the lawyer was allowed into a room for a talk. The family suspected that the lawyer was being threatened by the police as the talk took a long time.
In the next few days, the family went to many different departments, but could not get anywhere.
Previous Arrest and Detention
In the past 18 years, Mr. Zhang has been harassed or arrested by the 610 Office and local officials numerous times.
At the beginning of the persecution, he was first detained for three months when he went to Beijing to appeal.
He went to appeal again and was arrested and detained for another two months. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was monitored around the clock for one month.