Death of Falun Gong Practitioner on Hunger Strike Exposed by Companions

NEW YORK, December 3, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — A man who went on hunger strike after suffering severe torture at a labor camp died in a hospital in China, according to three men who accompanied him on the hunger strike.

Mr. Chen Dewen, 40, Falun Gong practitioner from Huludao City, Liaoning Province, died in mid-March 2001. His three companions, also Falun Gong practitioners, witnessed Chen being tortured. The four were handcuffed to beds, shocked by police using electric batons, and violently force-fed with salt water as punishment for declining to wear prison uniforms. They went on a hunger strike, and ten days later, Chen was moved to a hospital, where he died.

In keeping with the policy of Chinese officials to report all deaths of Falun Gong practitioners as either “suicide” or “natural causes,” police reported that Chen died of a heart attack.

The prison director implicated in this crime, Liu Guohua, and the warden, Wang Shiengli, could not be reached for comment. Officials at the labor camp reported that the Liu was located in a “back office” and could not be reached by phone.

At least 30 Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning Province have died as a result of torture by police since the persecution campaign against Falun Gong began. Chinese officials have revealed that well over 1,000 practitioners have been killed during the more than 2-year persecution campaign.

“Recently, Liaoning Province has suffered extreme drought and unusual locust infestation,” noted Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Feng Yuan. “Huludao City has been particularly hard hit. In traditional Chinese culture, such natural phenomena are viewed soberly as portents related to human behavior…perhaps this is nature’s way of saying this persecution is absolutely unacceptable.”

Falun Gong practitioners and supporters in North America and Europe have called for the abolition of China’s “6-10 Office,” a cross-jurisdictional body formed for the exclusive purpose of persecuting practitioners of Falun Gong in China. “The basic laws surrounding an individual’s rights seem to be flexible when it comes to Falun Gong,” said Ms. Yuan. “Jiang Zemin has given full license to use deadly force and any atrocities – against peaceful people, appealing non-violently for their right to meditate.”