Mother, Daughter Sent to Chinese Labor Camp for Appealing Father's Death in Custody

NEW YORK—The wife and daughter of a Falun Gong prisoner of conscience tortured to death in February 2011 at a prison in Northeast China have been sent to labor camps for seeking justice for his death, the Falun Dafa Information Center recently learned. 

Mr. Qin Yueming (秦月明) was the first of three Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death within two weeks of each other at Jiamusi Prison in Heilongjiang province in February-March 2011 (news). Photos showing his bruised corpse were posted online, prompting a lockdown of the prison (photos). After appealing to a local court for an investigation and compensation into Qin's death, his wife Ms. Wang Xiuqing and youngest daughter Ms. Qin Hailong, who is in her early 20s, were sentenced to labor camps in late 2011. 

It is common in China for friends and family of Falun Gong practitioners who try to seek justice to themselves be abducted and punished. In November 2011, Amnesty International reported on the case of the wife of a Falun Gong prisoner of conscience sent to a detention center after she rallied villagers to sign a petition calling for her husband's release (news). 

According to information transmitted from sources in China by the Chinese-language Minghui.org website, Ms. Wang and Ms. Qin had tried to file an appeal for compensation over Mr. Qin's death at the Jiamusi Procuratorate. After being rejected, they appealed to the provincial high court in Harbin. The Heilongjiang High Procuratorate accepted the case on September 9, 2011, but refused to allow the family and their lawyers to review the case files. 

While waiting for additional news regarding the procuratorate's handling of the case, on November 13,2011, security forces  abducted the pair in Shuangchen city. Ms. Wang was quickly sentenced to 18 months in Qiangjing Re-education Through Labor camp. This is the third time that she had been subjected to forced labor in relation to her practicing Falun Gong. 

There was no news of Ms. Qin's whereabouts until her family visited the camp on December 22, 2011 and were informed that she too was being held there. When the family members asked to speak with Ms. Qin, they were denied access because they refused to curse Falun Gong themselves. The prison authorities also refused to provide the official documents confirming her sentence

Mr. Qin was one of over 100 Falun Gong practitioners documented to have died from abuse in custody in 2011.

The Falun Dafa Information Center urges media, human rights groups, and foreign governments to investigate the death of Mr. Qin and others at Jiamusi and to call for the immediate and unconditional release of his wife and daughter.