Falun Gong Practitioner Killed After Making Peaceful Appeal on Tiananmen Square

36 Western Practitioners Detained in Same Location Less Than 2 Weeks Before

NEW YORK, January 25, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Ms. Zheng Fangying, a 54-year-old Falun Gong practitioner is dead from police abuse after following her peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square in early December.

On December 2, 2001, 54-year-old Zheng Fangying arrived in Beijing by train from her hometown of Weifang City, Shandong Province, a region made notorious by local officials routinely torturing citizens to death for practicing Falun Gong. She was arrested on Tiananmen Square after she raised a banner above her head that said, “Falun Dafa is good.”

According to Ms. Zheng, upon arrival in Beijing, she distributed flyers regarding Falun Gong to passers-by as she proceeded to Tiananmen Square. She then unfurled her banner and began running through the square shouting, “Falun Dafa is good!” A mob of policemen quickly surrounded Ms. Zheng, kicking her and wrestling her to the ground, in a manner very similar to the treatment received by Zenon Dolnyckyj, the Canadian practitioner who two weeks previously had appeared in newspapers around the world, photographed as the police tackled him to the ground.

Unlike Mr. Dolnyckyj, however, who was escorted to a plane and instructed to leave the country, the police took Ms. Zheng to a detention center where they repeatedly punched her and shocked her with electric batons. During repeated beatings Ms. Zheng says she sustained multiple internal injuries. Instead of receiving medical attention, however, she was put into solitary confinement.

After being placed in solitary confinement, Ms. Zheng began an 18-day hunger strike to protest her illegal detention, torture and inhumane treatment. Ignoring her deteriorating condition, however, the police continued beating her until she could no longer walk nor control her bowels. Finally, to avoid responsibility for her death, the police sent her home.

Upon arriving in her hometown without any assistance, she was able to only crawl off the train. After a kind passerby helped her reach home, Zheng’s family was shocked at the sight of her, with two teeth missing and ugly bruises covering her body. Even more disturbing were the loud gurgling noises coming from her greatly discolored abdominal area whenever she moved. Three days later, Ms. Zheng passed away.

Adam Montanaro, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center, remarked, “Just two months ago, citizens of Western countries were beaten and harassed by Chinese police for simply unfurling a banner in Tiananmen Square that read “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” While the westerners were promptly deported, the tragic death of Ms. Zheng demonstrates all too clearly what happens to Chinese citizens who make the same peaceful appeal. Unfortunately, this is no isolated incident but yet another example in an alarming trend of brutal torture and murder of Falun Gong practitioners since July 1999.”

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 350 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 practitioners have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.