Police Arrest Elderly Woman, Assault Family Members Seeking Her Release
(Minghui.org) Police in Hutai Town, Liaoning Province, arrested 73-year-old Ms. Gao for handing out Falun Gong literature in public. Falun Gong is a traditional mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese government since 1999. When Ms. Gao's family went to the police station to ask for her release, they were illegally detained, physically assaulted, and threatened. The following is her daughter’s account of what transpired at the police station.
My mother didn’t come home on the evening of January 11, 2018. My father, older brother and I went to the Hutai Town Police Station to inquire about her whereabouts. The officer on duty asked if she had any personal beliefs. My father said that she practiced Falun Gong, and so did he. Several officers then took my father through a door and locked it. The police handcuffed my brother and took him to search our house. They made me wait at the front desk.
My brother came back an hour later. The officers dragged him into an office. I heard sounds of beating and shouting. They put my father in a separate room. I was very worried and tried to push my way into the room.
Five officers held me down and handcuffed my hands behind my back. They confiscated my car keys and began slapping my face. One grabbed my hair and slammed my head against the ground while another jerked my handcuffs up sharply.
It hurt terribly and I screamed “police brutality.” A policeman sat on my back and pulled my hair forcibly. A sharp pain went through my chest and I started shaking and had difficulty breathing. I managed to tell them that I had a heart problem and only then did they stop the beating.
They put me in a chair in a room with my brother. I was in tears, asking for my parents. I accused them of beating me. They retorted that I didn’t have any evidence and accused me of assaulting and cursing at police officers and told me that they “had everything on tape.” When I asked them to show the video of me, a woman, beating several big men and cursing at them, they warned me to keep quiet.
My fingers began to go numb and my heart was killing me. I was shaking uncontrollably and begged the police to take my money and buy me some nitroglycerin at a pharmacy. The officer standing behind me mocked me and said that they’d bury me if I died. He covered my face with his coat and almost suffocated me. He smacked the back of my head and knocked me off my chair. They pulled me back onto the chair and put two pills of unknown origin into my mouth.
While interrogating my brother and me, the police asked me why I didn't practice Falun Gong. I told them that I was a Buddhist, which seemed to satisfy them. My brother wasn’t so lucky; they whipped him with a belt and slapped his face, and threatened to throw him out in the cold naked. They also threatened to evict us from the town and take away our house.
The police wouldn’t let me use the toilet when I had to go for a long time. When I finally was allowed to use the toilet, I could barely stand and my limbs were numb.
After a series of interrogations, all three of us were released around midnight.
The next day, on January 12, my father and I ran into the police on the street. They confiscated my father’s cell phone. When I went to the police station that evening, they had me sign many unknown documents and a receipt before I could get the phone back.
My mother was transferred to a detention center that day. I wasn’t given any notice of detention. I only saw my mother once and wasn’t allowed to talk to her.
On January 14, the police told me to bring 2,000 yuan as bail for my mother's release. The police told us that her life was in danger because she had insufficient blood supply to her heart and blood clots in her brain. We paid the bail in cash but weren’t given a receipt. My mother was fine the day she left home. Now her eyes were swollen and watering. She told us that she was held down while officers beat her face and hands.
From the moment my mother was taken into police custody, we were never given any reason for her arrest, any paperwork for her detention, or a search warrant. The police never identified themselves and never gave us a reason why we were beaten and detained.