August 14, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Hubei Province, China
(Minghui.org) Ms. Tong Dongxiang from Xiantao, Hubei Province was arrested on May 26, 2016. Her attorney was unable to locate her after much effort, and her whereabouts remain unknown.
Ms. Tong practices Falun Gong, a self-cultivation practice that has been brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime since 1999.
In 2015, Ms. Tong was tortured in a brainwashing center for refusing to renounce her faith–the latest ordeal in a long string of arrests and abuse in a forced labor camp.
Her attorney said, “The law enforcement officers should know the law. How can they be so arrogant and unruly? How can a person go missing like this?”
Ms. Tong was working at her family-owned neighborhood convenience store on May 26 when she was arrested by several officers from the Xiantao City Domestic Security Division.
While officers told Ms. Tong’s family that she would be released in a few days, she was still detained after two weeks and transferred to Xiantao Detention Center.
When her attorney tried to visit her at the detention center, he was told that Ms. Tong had been taken away on July 8. However, officers refused to disclose her whereabouts.
The attorney went to Ganheshuilu Police Station near her residence but learned nothing even after visiting every office. He was about to report her as missing when he was told to inquire at the police headquarters.
The officer in charge of Ms. Tong’s case said they needed permission from higher authorities to disclose her whereabouts.
Ms. Tong’s attorney submitted the required documentation and was told that Ms. Tong was held at Banqiao Brainwashing Center.
He then accompanied Ms. Tong’s family there on July 19. But when they arrived, no one was there. It was unclear whether the detainees had been transferred to another location due to a storm a couple of days earlier.
Tortured, Sexually Abused in Custody
Ms. Tong was detained at Banqiao Brainwashing Center from September 7 to November 27, 2015 for helping other practitioners mail criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin, the former head of Chinese Communist Party who launched the persecution of Falun Gong.
While incarcerated, she was not only forced to attend brainwashing sessions but was also shocked with electric batons and sexually abused.
Ms. Tong filed her own complaint on April 11, 2016 with the Hubei Province Justice Bureau for the abuse and torture she endured at Banqiao Brainwashing Center. She also documented articles of clothing that were burned and torn from being shocked with electric batons.
Ms. Tong’s husband, Mr. Liu Xiong, was also arrested at the family store on the morning of April 12, one day after Ms Tong’s arrest. The police initially refused to disclose his whereabouts. Weeks later, his family was told that his arrest had been approved and that he was held in Qianjiang Detention Center.
Prior to her latest arrest, Ms. Tong had been arrested eight times between 1999 and 2009 for practicing Falun Gong. She was twice sent to a forced labor camp, where she suffered brutal torture and abuse.