Elderly Woman Badly Beaten by Township Secretary in Hebei Province

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Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Gao Binglan, over 70 years old, lives in Wanggezhuang Village, Songgezhuang Township, Laishui County, Hebei Province. Although Ms. Gao benefited from practising Falun Gong, township officials severely beat her for talking to people about Falun Gong.

Ms. Gao tried to let people know the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. On December 31st, 2013, she posted banners in a neighbouring village. Someone saw her and reported her activities to an official at the Loucun Township government, who then contacted the Songgezhuang Township government.

Deputy secretary Chen Meng arrived on-site with five others. They and four local police officers pushed Ms. Gao into a police car. They drove to her home and forced her to open her door for them. They ransacked Ms. Gao's home, taking Falun Gong books, pictures, DVDs, and other materials.

These men returned to ransack Ms. Gao's home a second time after they drove away with her belongings. One officer held her down so she couldn't move. They did not stop until someone came to visit Ms. Gao. They then left.

After the home invasion, Ms. Gao had trouble with her phone. She was charged for calls she didn't make and was told the calls she did make were being monitored.

Again and again, Ms. Gao went to the town offices to get her books back and to ask about her phone, with no result.

On July 31st, Ms. Gao again went to the Songgezhuang Township government. She first saw a secretary surnamed Yan. She told him that Falun Gong teaches people to become better individuals and become healthy. Yan did not listen.

Ms. Gao then went to Chen's office. She told Chen how she improved after she began to practise Falun Gong, and that Falun Gong is practised in over 100 countries worldwide.

Chen began to shout profanities at Ms. Gao. He slapped her face and hit her arms. Then he ordered two people to take her outside the office gate.

As Ms. Gao related later, she did not resent anyone for their cruel treatment. She thought about Falun Gong's teachings to be compassionate and to look inward when encountering problems.

She thought to herself, “Did I do something that was not compassionate?” She decided to return to the government offices the next day and find out.

On August 1st, she went to the township government to clarify the facts. She said to Yan, “What I told all of you was for your benefit. Secretary Chen should not have hit me.” Yan advised Ms. Gao to go to the police station and file a complaint.

Ms. Gao then found Chen and said, “I do not know what I did wrong yesterday. Why did you hit me?”

“Come in to my office,” Chen said. Ms. Gao saw a young man in Chen's office. When Chen closed the office door, he began to hit Ms. Gao. He slapped her face again and again and shouted profanities at her. Ms. Gao's face began to swell.

Ms. Gao was undeterred. “You are an educated person. You graduated from college and are now a government official. Why are you treating an old woman like this? I am only trying to help you when I clarify the facts to you.”

Chen laughed, and then started to hit Ms. Gao again.

During these beatings, the young man in Chen's office witnessed everything, but said nothing. After beating Ms. Gao, Chen told the young man to watch her, and he walked out.

Ms. Gao walked out of Chen's office and sat in the lobby. Three people approached her and tried to carry her out of the lobby. Ms. Gao resisted.

Chen called the police station. He complained that a person was making trouble by talking about Falun Gong. He asked the police to come and take Ms. Gao away.

People at the police station saw how badly Ms. Gao had been beaten and wanted to avoid being held responsible for her condition, so she was released.

Chen then called the director of the Educational Bureau where Ms. Gao's son worked. Ms. Gao's son took her home. When her children saw what had happened to her, they were very angry.

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