(Minghui.org) The police in Gulin County, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province recently arrested an 86-year-old man and ransacked his home without a warrant. After interrogating him, the police took him home around midnight and attempted to arrest his wife. She fled home after the police left.
Both Mr. Luo Zhenggui and his wife Ms. Zhang Ziqin were targeted for their faith in Falun Gong, a meditation and spiritual practice that has been persecuted in China since July 1999.
The elderly couple became healthy after taking up Falun Gong. Both have been imprisoned twice for not renouncing their faith. While they fled home to avoid arrest in 2009, the local government arbitrarily took over their housing and withheld Mr. Luo’s pension, which still hasn’t been reinstated at the time of this report.
A dozen officers from Gulin County Domestic Security Office arrested Mr. Luo when he was on his way home at 3 p.m. on November 5, 2021. The police took him home and broke down his door.
As soon as the officers broke into his home, they restrained his wife and called in more officers. Half an hour later, one officer from the Gulin Police Department came with a search warrant, with the majority of it remaining blank. There was no probable cause for the search, no signature from the police chief, and no indication of the time of the search.
Some of the officers took Mr. Luo to the police department while others remained to ransack his place. They turned his house upside down and didn’t provide a list of the items they confiscated. All of the Falun Gong books, informational materials, cellphones, and media players were taken. Even many of his everyday items, including batteries, printing paper, incense, history books, cash, and food, were taken.
After the interrogation, the police measured Mr. Luo’s height and weight and collected his fingerprints and footprints. They then took him to the hospital for a physical examination, before taking him home at around 11:30 p.m.
The police tried to arrest Ms. Zhang. She refused to cooperate and the police tried to carry her away. She shouted for help and struggled. They then put her down and applied to their supervisor to instead put her under house arrest.
The police stayed to interrogate her. She refused to answer any of the questions, but the officers still wrote up a deposition several pages in length. It was already 1 a.m. when the police left. Fearing the return of the police, Ms. Zhang fled home and went into hiding.
Partial Summary of Past Persecution
Mr. Luo is a retired government official from Shibao Town in Gulin County. At the time he had stomach cancer, suffered nervous debility and exhaustion, and had problems in his lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. When he saw that his wife had recovered from multiple illnesses, and her temperament improved significantly after she took up Falun Gong, he decided to become a practitioner in April 1999. In half a year, he was free of illnesses.
Three months later, the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution of Falun Gong. An honored and well-reputed government official like him became the enemy of the state overnight.
The police put Mr. Luo in a brainwashing center in January 2001, for a month. The day after he was released, the police took him to Gulin Detention Center, where he was held for another 2.5 months. His wife wasn’t spared, and was arrested on January 19. She was subsequently sentenced to a four-year prison term.
In 2002, the police arrested and incarcerated Mr. Luo for 108 days during a major conference of the communist regime. He was arrested again and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in 2004.
After the couple were released from the prisons, the authorities constantly monitored, followed, and harassed them. They couldn’t lead a normal life. The family’s finances were strained to begin with. To make it worse, the authorities undercut Mr. Luo’s pension and deprived him of the yearly raise because of his belief. His grandson died a few days after birth because the family couldn’t afford to put him in a hospital.
Dozens of police officers and government officials in Shibao Town surrounded Mr. Luo’s home in April 2009 because they suspected that he organized gatherings of local Falun Gong practitioners. He, his wife, and their son escaped and were forced into hiding, fearing future persecution. The authorities arbitrarily took over his housing and suspended his pension.
According to insiders, the local officials criticized Mr. Luo and his wife (in their absence) at various meetings, and said, “We will see how they can survive when we now seize their home and leave them with no income and no place to live.”
Mr. Luo’s oldest son wandered alone with the elderly couple and became sick due to mental and financial pressure. He couldn’t afford to see a doctor when his conditions worsened, and he passed away.
Plainclothes police arrested Mr. Luo and his wife in a rental place on November 11, 2011. Both were given four years in prison. The authorities put Mr. Luo, who was approaching 80 at the time, in Wumaping Prison on September 12, 2013.
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