Deaths of Ten Falun Gong Adherents Come to Light

Persecution Silently Rages On, Hidden From Sight as Olympics Near

NEW YORK, NY – The Information Center has learned of the deaths of 10 additional Falun Gong adherents at the hands of Chinese Communist authorities, based on reports from sources in China working with Minghui.org. All except two died from physical abuse in police custody, perpetrated after the individual’s refusal to renounce his or her religious beliefs. Three of the ten were women age 67 or older.

The deaths, scattered throughout China, lend disturbing credence to reports that China’s regime is amidst yet another drive to “eradicate” the Falun Gong, this time in advance of the 2008 Olympics. The Information Center and other rights groups have now documented some 3,024 deaths at the hands of the regime; untold thousands continue to languish in China’s gulag system and jails as prisoners of conscience, and are at imminent risk.

Ms. Li Huiqi of Hebei province, age 40, died on April 27, 2007, after five years of excruciating pain following torture while held prisoner in Division 4 of the Shijiazhuang Labor Camp. Li was arrested in December 2001 for trying to raise awareness of Falun Gong’s plight in China. In the labor camp’s custody she was beaten and tortured severely, and fell into a coma in April 2002. The brutality left her quadriplegic, and a tracheotomy had to be performed for Li to breathe. (Photos: Before / After) Police and 6-10 Office agents were positioned outside Li’s home for a prolonged period after she was removed from the hospital, reportedly.

Ms. Wei Hua, a 57-year-old retired department store employee and resident of Chongqing city, died on April 30, 2007, following a year living paralyzed and in agonizing pain following torture by authorities. Wei had been forcibly committed on October 18, 2005 to the Shipingqiao Branch of the Qiulongpo District Mental Asylum, though in perfectly normal mental health according to family and witnesses; it was there that she was abused. Prior to that she was reportedly held in a labor camp for a year and a half on grounds that she had “practiced Falun Gong.” (Photo)

Mr. Zhou Shuhai, 35, an employee at the Government Policy Research Institute in Yichun city of Heilongjiang province, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Hospital No. 2 emergency room in Daqing city on May 31, 2007. Zhou had been in custody since having been unlawfully seized along with his brother, Zhou Shuzhang, on October 29, 2005, by Tieli city police. For refusing to disavow his beliefs, Zhou was sentenced on April 1, 2006, to five-and-half years in prison. Witnesses say he was during this period deprived of sleep and beaten with hard plastic pipes, leaving Zhou’s face permanently disfigured.

Ms. Shi Tongwen, 67, a retired staff member of the General Hospital of Lindong Mine Bureau, in Guiyang city, Guizhou, died on May 6, 2007, paralyzed and invalid following torture sustained in 2005 while held in a brainwashing center run by the Guizhou provincial 6-10 Office; the center was located in Jinzhu town near Guiyang city. Four weeks into her captivity, torture had resulted in a large amount of extravasated blood in Shi’s brain, which would ultimately, after two years of prolonged suffering, prove fatal.

Ms. Zhang Baoying, 68, also of Daqing city, Heilongjiang province, died on March 20, 2007, following a stroke related to trauma. Police had raided Zhang’s home less than two weeks earlier, on March 8, during which they confiscated literature in her possession related to Falun Gong, and unlawfully took Zhang into custody. Police had similarly raided her home the previous year. Prior, both Zhang and her husband, Jiao Yutian, had been arrested on grounds of “disturbing social order” after attempting to practice Falun Gong’s tai-chi like exercises outdoors. Jiao died of cancer in July 2003 following months of harassment by 6-10 officials and another round of unlawful arrest.

Mr. Hu Chang’an, a school teacher in the Harbin Railway System of Heilongjiang province, died of complications from torture on February 26, 2007. In 2005 Hu was unlawfully seized on unknown pretenses and held in the No. 5 Division of the Changlinzi Labor Camp, where he was tortured severely by authorities. He is said to have suffered numerous health complications while forced to make toothpicks there, and was routinely denied medical treatment. Hu was in his 50s at the time of death.

Ms. Zhao Zhonglin, age 44, a worker at the Jinjiang Electrical Machinery Plant in Chengdu city, died on May 5, 2007, following complications from a hunger strike and questionable medical treatment at the People’s Hospital of the Qingyang district in Chengdu. Zhao had been protesting her unlawful captivity at the Pi county detention center, which began on March 22; she was taken into custody without charges. Zhao had previously been arrested four times, and subjected to various forms of torture.

Ms. Liu Guizhen, of Zibo city, Shandong province, died on May 3, 2007, following physical abuse and attempted brainwashing while unlawfully held at the brainwashing center of Zibo’s 6-10 Office. She had been arrested less than two months before, on March 13, when officers of the National Security Bureau, Mengshui Police Station, and the Zhoucun district 6-10 Office forced entry into Liu’s Xiahou village home.

Details of the deaths of two other individuals, who passed away prior to 2007, have also come to light.

Ms. Yang Jusheng, 67, an employee of the Shuangfeng County Food Company, died in November of 2006 of emaciation following physical trauma endured in the Baimalong labor camp in Zhuzhou city, Hunan province. Yang was held there between April 19 of 2004 and March 9 of 2006. At one point Yang was forced to squat for 6 days on end, and at another, not allowed to sleep for 13 days.

Mr. Yang Jisheng, 54, of Jinzhou city, Liaoning province, died in June 2005 after complications from physical abuse while unlawfully arrested in 2002 and held at the Jinzhou Labor Camp. A medical examination revealed Yang to be suffering from fluid in the brain following repeated beatings in custody and shocks with electric batons. Yang had been arrested for trying to exercise his right to petition the central government; four other Falun Gong adherents were arrested at the same time.