53-year-old Woman Dies from Torture Six Days after Arrest

NEW YORK — A 53-year-old from China’s northeastern Hebei Province has died in police custody six days after being taken from her home.

According to sources in Hebei Province, Ms. Wang Huilan was taken away by police on Sept. 1, 2009 by Zhouzhou City police. Sources familiar with her case say Ms. Wang was force fed on Sept. 7, 2009 and died that afternoon from injuries sustained during the force-feeding.

Unlike force-feeding performed by medical personnel to provide vital nutrients to a patient who will not or cannot feed themselves, force-feeding inside Chinese prisons, labor camps or detention centers is often performed as a torture method and is frequently used on Falun Gong detainees. Force-feeding has been the cause of death in approximately 10 percent of all known death cases of Falun Gong practitioners inside China.

The force-feeding is most often carried out by labor camp staff with no medical training, or by criminal inmates who are coerced to assist. Unsanitary rubber tubes are shoved into an adherent’s nose and down the stomach, often rupturing or damaging tissue; sometimes the tube enters the lungs. Detainees are often fed irritants such as highly concentrated salt water, hot pepper oil, boiling water, detergent, or even human feces.

Ms. Wang had been detained at least once before in March, 2006. Her home was ransacked by police at the time of her arrest and she was held for seven days before being released.

Throughout China, practitioners of Falun Gong are subject to arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and often torture as part of a systematic campaign waged by the Chinese Communist Party to “eradicate” the traditional Chinese exercise and meditation practice.