Woman Arrested in Retaliation for Requesting Information Disclosure
(Minghui.org) Ms. Meng Lixia was taken from her home handcuffed and with a black hood covering her head on August 3. When her family demanded to see the arrest warrant, police showed them a warrant with the line “Reason for Arrest” blank.
Her family went to the police station the next day and demanded more information on Ms. Meng's arrest. The case officer told them that she was arrested under the order of the central and provincial government.
Later the family was told the reason for arrest was a secret. “You will find out later,” the officer told them.
Two days later, Ms. Meng's lawyer confirmed that her arrest was due to her lawsuit against the Prison Administration of Shanxi Province, and her requests of information disclosure from the Prison Administration of Shanxi Province, Yucheng City Police Department, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Suspicions of Abuse Prompt First Request
Ms. Meng's mother, Ms. An Xiaorun, a Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to four years in prison. Ms. Meng has been trying to clear her mother’s name ever since.
In April 2016, Ms. Meng suspected that her mother had been physically abused when she visited her in prison. She then sent 14 requests to the Prison Administration of Shanxi Province, requesting the prison to disclose information about her mother, including workload, medical care, daily schedule and visiting schedule.
When she did not receive any response within the designated period, she filed a administrative lawsuit against the Prison Administration, following the Chinese Government Information Disclosure Ordinance. The Taiyuan Intermediate People's Court accepted her lawsuit and issued a Case Acceptance Notice on June 28.
Illegal Evidence Led to Two More Requests
While reviewing her mother's case, Ms. Meng noticed that some key evidence was based on a report by the Anti-Cult Unit of the Yucheng City Police Department, which is not qualified for judicial identification. She concluded that the evidence used against her mother was not legal.
Ms. Meng then submitted an Information Disclosure Request to the Yucheng Police Department, requesting disclosure of the Qualification Certificate of its Anti-Cult Unit and professional qualification certificate of the person who performed the evidence identification in her mother's case.
Moreover, Ms. Meng questioned the legality of the persecution of Falun Gong. On her blog, she said, “The decision to abolish the Falun Dafa Research Society in 1999 was the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong. This illegal decision has led to the suffering of millions of people, such as my mother.”
The Falun Dafa Research Society was formally dissolved in 1996. Ms. Meng questioned the validity of the Ministry of Civil Affairs' decision to abolish a nonexistent organization.
She submitted another Information Disclosure Request, asking the ministry to disclose the legal basis of its decision to abolish the Falun Dafa Research Society. She also said in her request, “There is no definition of illegal organization in the Registration of Social Organizations Ordinance. Your decision to abolish the Falun Dafa Research Society is invalid and should be withdrawn.”
According to her lawyer, the police repeatedly questioned Ms. Meng about her requests of Information Disclosure during her interrogation.
Ms. Meng has been detained at the Yucheng City Yanhu District Detention Center. She insists on her innocence, and refuses to wear a prison uniform or have her picture taken. She has told her lawyer that police officers have slapped her face, grabbed her hair and knocked her head against a wall.
Family suspect that the local 610 Office is behind her arrest.
The Falun Dafa Research Society was officially established in July 1993 as a branch of the state-run China Qigong Research Society, which oversaw the administration of the country's various qigong schools, and sponsored activities and seminars. It provided advice to students on meditation techniques, translation services, and coordination for the practice nationwide.
In March 1996, the Falun Dafa Research Society was formally dissolved at the request of its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. But practitioners continued to organize themselves at local levels, being connected through electronic communications, interpersonal networks and group exercise sites.
On July 20, 1999, police abducted and detained thousands of Falun Gong practitioners that they identified as leaders. Two days later, the Ministry of Civil Affairs outlawed the Falun Dafa Research Society as an illegal organization. The same day, the Ministry of Public Security issued a circular forbidding citizens from practicing Falun Gong in groups, possessing Falun Gong's teachings, displaying Falun Gong banners or symbols, or protesting the ban.
Since then, hundreds of thousands practitioners have been imprisoned extra-judicially, and practitioners in detention are subjected to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of “thought reform” at the hands of the authorities.
The Chinese Government Information Disclosure Ordinance was issued in 2007, allowing citizens to request specific information from the government's administration and judicial organs. The government has up to 30 working days to respond to a given request. Citizen may request re-evaluation or file an administrative lawsuit against the government if he/she is not satisfied with the response and does not receive any response within a specified period of time.