A woman whose son was paralysed after being shot by police was illegally detained for a month after appealing for help at a government office, it was reported. Li Xiufang, 55, of Shanyang county, Shanxi, said she was shocked when she was arrested less than 30 minutes after visiting the office of local party secretary, Ma Zhanjun, on October 16 to request a meeting, the China Youth Daily reported. Ms Li said she had persisted in pursuing compensation for her son but had not quarrelled with officials before her arrest. Although her arrest warrant stated a maximum of 15 days' detention without charge, she was held for 29 days before being released on November 13. On January 10, 1999, her son, Li Zhitang, was a passenger on a motorbike that nearly collided with a car carrying Shanyang county police officer Liu Hongsheng and his wife. After a short argument, the officer reportedly shot Mr Li with his service revolver. Mr Li still has a bullet lodged in his head and is paralysed and bedridden. Shanyang police gave the family 52,000 yuan (HK$48,800) but medical bills have since totalled more than 150,000 yuan. The bills, plus legal expenses from nearly two years of unfinished court proceedings, prompted Ms Li to seek help from government officials. Lack of money forced the family to halt treatment for Mr Li at Taiyuan city hospital. Ms Li said she appealed to Beijing authorities and the Taiyuan City People's Congress, as well as other government officials, for extra compensation. On September 26, a Shuozhou city leader ordered county officials to provide extra funds, but the family is still waiting. Later, Ms Li decided to seek help from Mr Ma. According to the report, workers at the county party office confirmed Ms Li had not caused a disturbance while waiting for Mr Ma, but said they ordered her arrest after she refused to leave and hung a white vertical scroll - a symbol of mourning - in their office.