Amidst Worldwide Peaceful Vigil, Reports of Four More Falun Gong Practitioners Tortured to Death

24 Deaths Confirmed in Last 26 Days

NEW YORK, January 16, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — While Falun Gong practitioners and supporters held vigils in over 30 cities around the world this past weekend, the Falun Dafa Information Center received reports of four more Falun Gong practitioners who died from police brutality in China. This brings the death toll to twenty-four reported in the last twenty-six days alone, a notable escalation in the rate of killings as the campaign of persecution waged by Jiang Zemin’s regime continues.

Jiang Laixiu, 60, Died From Torture While In Solitary Confinement

Mr. Jiang Laixiu, a 60-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Qiyang County Hunan province, died from torture and abuse while being held in Qiyang County Detention Center, according to sources inside China. Mr. Jiang was locked in a windowless cell for seven days and died from repeated torture by police at the detention center.

Tong Guijie, Beaten to the Edge of Death, Dies As Police Transport Him to Distant City

Tong Gujie was arrested by the Public Security Bureau in his hometown of Baicheng City, Jilin Province, for hanging up Falun Gong banners on the evening of December 11, 2001. Shortly after, Tong began a hunger strike to protest his illegal arrest and the abuse he had endured while in custody. On December 28, 2001, Tong’s captors beat him until his vital signs grew very weak. Instead of taking Tong to the hospital, however, the police transferred him to the distant city of Changchun, in an apparent attempt to shirk responsibility for his imminent death. Tong Guijie never made it to Changchun, as he passed away en route on December 28, 2001.

Gao Ya, Beaten To Death By Police

Gao Ya, a Falun Gong practitioner from Changchun, Jilin Province, was beaten to death while in police custody. Reports of Ms. Gao’s death first surfaced when a practitioner overheard police discussing her case. Authorities at the first police department contacted by FDI reporters denied all knowledge of Ms. Gao’s existence. In a follow-up inquiry, however, one official confirmed her death in police custody but refused to disclose further details.

Li Jingdong, 41, Dies After Repeated Beatings, Torture, and Force Feeding

Li Jingdong, a 41 year-old practitioner from Pingdu City, Shandong Province, went to Beijing on November 3, 2001 to appeal for his right to practice Falun Gong. He was arrested by the police and after being severely beaten, was sent back to his hometown of Yushan Township. There, according to sources in China, the local police handcuffed him to a tree and lashed him with a whip made from twisted electric cables.

On November 6, Mr. Li began a hunger strike to protest his illegal arrest and torture. At one point, he asked his captors, “How can it be wrong for me to be a good person, following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance?” The police responded by “feeding” him through a tube forced up his nose down into his stomach, a procedure commonly administered by untrained guards or even other prisoners.

On November 12, Mr. Li was transferred to the Pingdu Public Security Bureau. Three days later, his relatives were notified to retrieve his body. When changing his clothing, Mr. Li’s survivors, his son, daughter, and 79 year-old mother, discovered wounds all over his body.

Adam Montanaro, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center, remarked, “Practitioners have been beaten and killed simply for handing out flyers or posting public banners on the street corner. They are simply revealing the truth about their practice and its persecution to those around them, and for this they are killed. This goes directly against China’s own constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech, and is a gross violation of international human rights law.”

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 347 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.