Prisoner-of-Conscience Taken Back to Custody After Hospital Escape, Those Who Sheltered Him Arrested
Mr. Luo Yaxiong had been arbitrarily detained for a year for his faith in Falun Gong when he escaped from the prison-like hospital he was being held in. Only one day later, authorities tracked him down and took him back into custody. His sister and a Falun Gong practitioner who sheltered him have also been arrested and face possible prosecution.
Arrest and Hunger Strike
Luo was arrested on December 25, 2019, after being tracked by the police for distributing Falun Gong materials outside of a middle school.
He started a hunger strike on November 9, 2020 and his weight quickly dropped from 176 pounds to 88 pounds. While he was receiving IV drips in the hospital, ten police officers were assigned to monitor him. His sister, Ms. Luo Yanqin (who does not practice Falun Gong), sometimes went to the hospital to take care of him.
On November 27, 2020, Luo was tried by the Hanyang District Court from his hospital room.
Escape and Rearrest
Around 3 a.m. on December 31, 2020, Luo escaped from the hospital after the two officers monitoring him fell asleep. He contacted a local Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Liang Yi, and went to his place.
After helping Luo shower and preparing some food for him, Liang went to work. Later in the day, around 5 p.m., a dozen police officers from the Qinduankou Police Station showed up on Liang’s doorstep. These were the same officers that had arrested Luo a year ago.
Although Liang’s wife, Ms. Liu Aifang, refused to open the door, one of the officers climbed through a window into her home and opened the door for the other officers waiting outside.
The police proceeded to seize Liu and a visiting Falun Gong practitioner. Four officers also held Luo down and handcuffed him.
After taking Luo and the other practitioner away, the remaining five officers ransacked Liang’s home and confiscated his Falun Gong books, his photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and his ID. Liu was also taken to the police station after the search.
Zhang Wenxuan, the same officer who had arrested Luo in 2019, threatened Liang’s daughter and asked him to turn himself in, in exchange for his wife’s release.
The police also arrested Luo’s sister and interrogated her. She was put in criminal detention the next day.
While the police released the other practitioner and Liang’s wife the next morning, they arrested Liang when he went to the police station to ask for the police to return his confiscated items. He was interrogated and put in criminal detention at the Hanyang Detention Center in the evening, the same detention center as Luo.
When Liang’s wife went to the police station to demand his release, Zou, the officer in charge of his case, said many people are involved in the case, and they were extending his detention by at least a month.
Related report:Hubei Man Tried in Hospital Ward for His Faith