(Minghui.org) A Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province resident has been detained since her arrest on January 9, 2024 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Two of Ms. Yang Qiaoli’s siblings were arrested on February 18, 2024 when they sought her release. They were each given 15 days of detention and set to be released on March 5, 2024.

Gao Guanghua of the Yintai District Procuratorate recently issued a formal arrest warrant against Ms. Yang and she is now facing indictment for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Yang’s Arrest

The Yintai District Domestic Security Office was responsible for Ms. Yang’s arrest on January 9, 2024. They confiscated her printer, two computers, and about 10,000 in yuan cash (7,000 yuan of which had Falun Gong messages printed on it). As all legal channels to appeal for Falun Gong have been blocked to practitioners, they used creative ways to raise awareness of the persecution, such as printing messages on banknotes.

Office Liu Xuan knocked Ms. Yang down and beat her during the arrest. He and other officers never issued a receipt for the confiscated cash and later said the money would be used for her physical examination. They then gave her criminal detention at the Zhaojiayuan Detention Center in Wangyi District, Tongchuan City.

Guard Liu Xiaohu and section chief Yang Bowen hit Ms. Yang with a stick while out of sight of surveillance cameras after she failed to recite the detention center rules. They did not stop the beating until another guard asked them to.

Ms. Yang’s lawyer went to the detention center to see her on the morning of February 19, 2024. About ten minutes into the meeting, a guard with the badge number 009519 spotted a note in Ms. Yang’s case file, saying that she was not allowed meetings with her lawyer. The guard immediately called captain Fu Hongan of the Yintai District Domestic Security Office and asked if the meeting could continue.

Fu said no and the guard stopped the meeting right away. The lawyer went to the Yintai District Domestic Security Office in the afternoon and requested that the “no lawyer visits” note in Ms. Yang’s case file be removed. He pointed out that no law bars lawyers from meeting their clients in detention. The police claimed that they needed to verify his paperwork and seek approval from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (an extrajudicial agency tasked with overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong). After more than three hours, the police finally finished their “review” of the lawyer’s request and agreed to have him meet with Ms. Yang the next morning.

Ms. Yang and her lawyer met on the morning of February 20, 2024. The lawyer returned to the Yintai District Domestic Security Office the next morning to seek the return of the 10,000 yuan confiscated from Ms. Yang’s home during her arrest. He also filed a complaint against the detention center guards for beating his client.

The police still have not returned the confiscated cash or taken any action to address the detention center guards’ abuse of Ms. Yang.

Two Siblings Arrested

Ms. Yang’s husband works out of town, and she is the sole caregiver for their two school-age children and her 90-year-old widowed father. After she was arrested, the children and their grandparent have struggled to cope.

Ms. Yang’s younger brother, Mr. Yang Xijing, and her two older sisters, Ms. Yang Meili and Ms. Yang Mei’e, decided to help seek her release given her family situation. The three siblings went to the Yintai District Domestic Security Office a bit past 4 p.m. on February 18, 2024.

Mr. Yang was allowed inside and he gave the police a copy of a document stating that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. The police accused him of promoting Falun Gong and knocked him down. They pressed his face against the ground so hard that his skin was broken.

After Mr. Yang came out, he told his sisters about what happened to him. Ms. Yang Meili went inside the courtyard, but the door was shut tight. She knocked on the door, and the police came out to accuse her and her brother of disrupting public security organs and intentionally causing trouble. The two siblings were then given 15 days of administrative detention.

Officer Liu Xuan from the Yintai District Domestic Security Office and Wang Hongwei from the Chengguan Police Station drove the two siblings to the Zhian Lockup in Tongchuan City at 12:35 a.m. on February 19, 2024. They were set to be released on March 5, 2024.

When Ms. Yang Qiaoli’s lawyer went to the Yintai District Domestic Security Office to inquire about her case on the morning of February 21, 2024, he also asked about her two siblings’ case status. The police told them that the siblings had requested an administrative reconsideration of their detention and the Chengguan Police Station had been assigned to the case.

The lawyer then went to the Chengguan Police Station to request a copy of Ms. Yang Meili and Mr. Yang Xijing’s detention notice, as he had agreed to represent them as well. The police station chief asked him to return in the afternoon to pick up the notice. He did as told, but had to wait two hours before being given the detention notice. It was 4 p.m. by then, but the lawyer rushed to the Zhian Lockup in hopes of seeing Ms. Yang Meili and Mr. Yang Xijing.

The security guard and two other guards (badge numbers 009006 and 009040) used various excuses to stop the lawyer from meeting the Yang siblings. The lawyer patiently explained his legal right to see his clients and also filed a complaint with the relevant government agencies.

The lockup said that the Chengguan Police Station did not allow them to grant meetings. The lawyer called the police station and was told that the Tongchuan City Police Department made the decision.

It was snowing hard and blustery that day, and the lawyer was still unable to see his clients after one and a half hours staying outside. He left at 5:30 p.m. when the work day ended for the guards.

The lawyer went to the Tongchuan City Police Department on the early morning of February 22, 2024. Captain Ren of the supervision division met with him and made some calls to get the Chengguan Police Station and the lockup both agree to his visit with his clients. That afternoon he saw Ms. Yang Meili and Mr. Yang Xijing without trouble.