Another Mass Killing of Falun Gong Practitioners in Northeast China
7/13/01 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Sources say that over ten male practitioners of Falun Gong were beaten to death at Changlinzi Labor Camp in northeast China.
Reporters who have made calls to the labor camp have said personnel at the camp typically hang up the phone when asked about these deaths. One reporter, however, was able to establish a conversation and reported that when he asked about these deaths, the labor camp staff member refused to give any details, stating, “For this, you need to check with the supervisor… you need to check with the regional director.”
These deaths mark the second report of mass killings of Falun Gong practitioners in a labor camp in Heilongjian Province. Just nine days ago, on July 3, it was reported that 15 female Falun Gong practitioners were beaten and tortured to death in the Wanjia Labor Camp. Regarding these killings, the U.S. State Department stated, “We call on China … to end the cycle of repression on the Falun Gong. In particular, we call on China to release from the so-called ‘re-education through labor camps’ practitioners of Falun Gong.”
According to a report by AP this morning, a Chinese official for the information office of China’s cabinet denied the report of these deaths. Sources say, however, that Changlinzi Labor Camp personnel have claimed seven people committed suicide. Clearly, there are contradictory stories even amongst Chinese officials. But as the U.S. State Department indicated in their statement, “The point is that these people should never have been incarcerated in such camps in the first place.”
Falun Gong spokesperson, Erping Zhang remarked, “This is the second mass killing of Falun Gong practitioners reported in the past week. Has Jiang Zemin issued a new directive or implemented some new policy to pave the way for such killings? We must know the answer to these questions and that is why we are calling for an immediate third party investigation of these deaths before more mass killings occur.”
Sources say that due to the extremely tight control of information about these latest deaths, no further details have been uncovered. Obtaining information about the death of Falun Gong practitioners while in custody has characteristically been a difficult task. As Amnesty reported in a special report on torture in February of this year, “Whereas officials responsible for deaths in custody during normal police operations may be investigated and prosecuted, in all cases where the victims were Falun Gong practitioners, the government has denied any wrongdoing, even in the face of multiple eye witness testimonies.” Furthermore, sources indicate that the information blockage has become increasingly strong in the past few days as China braces for the IOC vote on its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games.