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Inside China: 47-year-old Woman Dies Hours After Abduction

Family members seek an independent autopsy on Falun Gong practitioner's corpse

A healthy, middle-aged woman from southern China who practiced Falun Gong died under mysterious circumstances within hours of being abducted off the street by police. With public support from neighbors and friends, family members are attempting to hire an independent pathologist to determine the cause of her death.

Ms. Xu Chensheng, a Falun Gong practitioner from Hunan Province

Ms. Xu Chensheng, a Falun Gong practitioner from Hunan Province

At 10am on May 16, 2012, police officers in the city of Chenzhou, Hunan province, abducted Ms. Xu Chensheng (许郴生), off the street, presumably because they discovered she was a Falun Gong practitioner. They took her to Renmin West Street Police Station, where they handcuffed and interrogated her for approximately twelve hours. Later that night, she was driven to the hospital.

At 11:15pm, the Chenzhou City No. 1 People’s Hospital pronounced her dead. The police department informed her family members of the 47-year-old’s death two days later. A photo of her corpse (below) and the details of her case were soon sent to the overseas Chinese Minghui.org website and posted online.

“Ms. Xu’s sudden death and the account of her life in recent years are reminders that for many Falun Gong practitioners, the daily reality is shockingly grim,” says Levi Browde, director of the Falun Dafa Information Center. “But its exactly in such cases that we’re also seeing more and more Chinese people speaking out against this horrific injustice.”

Although local media have been barred from reporting on the case, posters have appeared in Chenzhou stating, “The murderers should be punished!” Emboldened by the community support, her family members, including her 87-year-old mother, hired a lawyer and an independent examiner to perform an autopsy on Ms. Xu, whose corpse is still being held in an official morgue. All their requests have been denied and her brother has been harassed at his workplace, the Lanshan County Education Bureau.

A photo of Ms. Xu's corpse sent secretly out of China. Ms. Xu died within hours of being abducted by police in May 2012.

A photo of Ms. Xu's corpse sent secretly out of China. Ms. Xu died within hours of being abducted by police in May 2012.

One month before her abduction, Ms. Xu told a friend that she feared she was being monitored and followed. Like many Falun Gong practitioners, she had been abducted numerous times previously and had spent several months in jails and Re-education Through Labor (RTL) camps. 

In 2005, her employer, the Chenzhou Cigarette Factory, colluded with the local 610 Office, an extralegal Communist Party task force leading the campaign against Falun Gong, to force Ms. Xu to attend brainwashing classes. To avoid the persecution, she went into hiding. She was subsequently fired, lost her ID card, and essentially lived on the run. Her home was ransacked several times and her husband divorced her under pressure. 

In 2011, she attempted to board a train but, because she had no ID card, was searched. Railway personnel found a Falun Gong book and several informational flyers in her possession. She was detained and abused for nearly two months. Upon her release, she was weak and emaciated. The Railway Bureau praised the attendant responsible for her detention, awarding him 100,000 yuan (US$15,700).

The Falun Dafa Infomation Center calls on the international community to contact officials in Chenzhou and demand that the request of Ms Xu's family for an independent autopsy be granted and that those responsible for her death be approrpiately punished.

Additional Details:

Chenzhou City Police Department: +86-735-2220806 
Chenzhou City Political and Legal Committee: +86-735-2870566 
Chenzhou City 610 Office: +86-139-73531339 
Renmin West Street Police Station: +86-13873568696
Ms. Xu’s former employer, Chenzhou Cigarette Factory:+86-7352568947; +86-735-2229999, 5 Dongfenglu, Chenzhou 423000