NEW YORK--Two middle-aged women, from Hunan and Henan provinces, died in late November, within weeks of being abducted by the authorities for practicing Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center has recently learned.
"The deaths of these women highlight the proactive methods used by Chinese security forces to identify individuals perceived to be Falun Gong practitioners who have not been 'transformed,' abduct them, and use every means possible--including death--to force them to betray their beliefs in honesty, kindness, and tolerance," said Falun Dafa Information Center executive director Levi Browde.
Ms. Peng Donglian (彭冬莲)
Peng, a retired accountant from Changde in Hunan province, was abducted by police without a warrant on November 9, 2010 for practicing Falun Gong. She was taken to Li County Detention Center and her family was denied the right to visit her. Nine days later, her family received formal notification acknowledging Peng's detention. Two days after that, on November 20, police informed Peng's family that she had died that afternoon.
After rushing to the detention center, the family saw black and blue bruises on the soles of her feet and one inside observer reported Peng had been tortured. Police told the family she had died of a heart attack, but she had no history of heart disease and was in good health when taken into custody. It is common practice in both Falun Gong and other cases for the Chinese authorities to claim that an individual who died from abuse in custody had died of natural causes despite clear evidence to the contrary. In an effort to limit a public outcry over Peng's death, four hundred security officers reportedly surrounded the detention center and funeral home and ordered her body cremated on November 26.
Ms. Zhu Ying (朱颖)
Zhu, a former member of the National People's Congress and a national model worker from Xinxiang in Henan province, was tricked by police into leaving her home and abducted on September 27, 2010. This was within two months of having been released from another stint in detention after being abducted in April 2010 for practicing Falun Gong. In 2009, she had also been taken into custody for speaking to others about the human rights abuses faced by practitioners. Zhu had begun practicing Falun Gong when ill with cancer and the discipline enabled her to recover from the illness.
Upon her latest abduction, Zhu was taken by officer Wei Guanglei and others to Xinxiang City Detention Center. According to sources inside China, she was killed in custody at 4a.m. on November 30 (less than five weeks after being taken from her home). To cover-up evidence of abuse, her body was cremated at the local crematorium on December 2.
In total, since 1999, over 3,400 cases have been documented of Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of various forms of persecution, though the true figure is certainly much higher. Based on documented cases collected over the past three years, a Falun Gong practitioners dies of abuse in police custody once every three days.