(Minghui.org) Five women in Pingdu City, Shandong Province, have been detained for nearly a month since their arrests on September 24, 2019, for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhou Jun and Ms. Zhan Zhongxiang were sitting in Ms. Zhou's car after shopping at a farmers' market. They were waiting for Ms. Zhou's aunt, Ms. Zhou Yuxiang, when a police car stopped next to them and the officers ordered them to get out of their car.

After a 10-minute standoff, the police dragged Ms. Zhou Jun and Ms. Zhan out of the car and confiscated their purses and the car key. 

When Ms. Zhou Yuxiang appeared, they arrested her, too. They verbally abused the women during the arrests.

Two more police cars came and took the three practitioners separately to Renzhao Police Station.

The police ransacked Ms. Zhou Jun's home. Failing to find any Falun Gong materials at the home of the 33-year-old English teacher, they turned to her mother-in-law, Ms. Zhang Junying, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner, and ransacked her home.

A fifth practitioner, Ms. Wang Zengmei, who happened to be visiting Ms. Zhang, was also arrested.

Guo Yucheng, the deputy head of the Pingdu City 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong, attempted to force the younger Ms. Zhou to provide information about other practitioners in exchange for her own freedom.

Ms. Zhou refused to comply and said she would never do anything so dishonorable.

After failing to extract information by bribing her, the police interrogated Ms. Zhou. She still refused to reveal any information.

When Ms. Zhou challenged the police for ransacking her home without a warrant, one officer responded, “Warrant? What do we need a warrant for?”

The police took blood samples from the practitioners against their will and didn't give them anything to eat until the next noon, before taking them to Pudong Detention Center, where they have been held since.

Detention center personnel were reluctant to admit the women but the police pressured them and they complied.

The police returned on September 28 to interrogate the younger Ms. Zhou. She again refused to answer their questions. 

Ms. Zhou's lawyer visited her on September 29 and then submitted his representation document to the police.

The police returned Ms. Zhou's car at her family's request.

The older Ms. Zhou's 83-year-mother fell ill after being terrified by the police during the home-ransacking. She has been hospitalized and is anxious about her daughter.

Related report:

Shandong Woman Arrested While Visiting a Friend