Falun Gong Practitioner Tortured to Death in Chinese Detention Center
Extreme Violence Continues Under Cloak of China's "Strike Hard" Campaign
NEW YORK (FDI) — Ms. Fengxia Xiong of Gucheng Town, Dingxing County, Hebei Province, age 56, was tortured to death in a detention center in Liyuzhuang Town, Dingxing County, Hebei Province on October 13, 2002.
Around 4 a.m. on October 1, 2002, policemen from the Dingxing County police station climbed over the wall outside Fengxia’s home, broke into her house and took her away by force without even giving her time to put on her socks and shoes, according to a source in Gucheng Town.
Eighteen practitioners of Falun Gong were abducted on the same night in Gucheng Town, this source reported.
Over the next two weeks, the police resorted to various means to torture the abducted Falun Gong practitioners. They tied practitioners’ hands and hung them from the ceiling. Many were beaten with rubber hoses, wooden clubs or other weapons.
Tortured and Beaten, Fengxia Dies After Force-Feeding
According to witnesses, after Fengxia arrived at the detention center in Liyuzhuang, several police surrounded her and knocked her down onto the floor. They shouted at her: “We’ll beat you all the way to the crematorium.”
At one point during her detention, sources report that Fengxia could not eat nor take care of herself because she was beaten so badly. She had to rely on several other Falun Gong practitioners to carry her to the toilet and she had blood in her stool.
On the night of October 13, the police forced several practitioners, including Fengxia, who could not walk by herself, into the courtyard, and began administering force feedings.
Fengxia died that night.
The next day, Fengxia’s family was notified of her death, although police claimed she died of a high fever due to influenza. When Fengxia’s family members saw her corpse, however, Fengxia’s teeth were clenched tightly, her whole body was covered with bruises and injuries, and her wrists showed deep marks from being hung with iron-chains.
Her family demanded that a coroner inspect her body, but Shi Tianyuan — the chief of the “610 office” in Dingxing County — denied that Fengxia had been beaten to death. Consequently the family turned to a coroner in Baoding City Procuratorate. However, more than a month passed without any report. After several attempts to inquire about the progress, Fengxia’s family got through to the secretary of the county’s Political and Judiciary Committee, Hao Guochi, who told them that the coroner dared not make any statement about the case or sign his name to the autopsy report.
Nighttime Raid of Falun Gong Practitioners’ Homes
According to a source in Gucheng Town, at 7 p.m. on September 30, the Prime Secretary of Gecheng Town ordered all personnel to an emergency meeting and ordered that no one divulge any of the activities they were planning.
At 2 a.m. that night, this same source says 70-80 policemen went to Dingxing Town. Under the direction of the local precinct, they raided the homes of Falun Gong practitioners. Many practitioners were pulled from their beds and were forcibly taken away by the police without being allowed to put on their clothes.
Many police are reported to have also used physical violence.
Lead by the department head of the Law Education Section of Dingxing Town’s police station, Zhang Jun, the police took the Falun Gong practitioners to City Hall and then sent them to Dingxing Town’s detention center. Other practitioners, including Fengxia Xiong, were sent to a detention center in Liyuzhuang Town, Dingxing County.
In addition to the beating and torture of Fengxia, many other practitioners were also the victims of extreme violence. A man in his sixties was beaten so badly that he suffered from loss of hearing and weakened vision. Another woman who was in her seventies was hit in the face and kicked.
Persecutory Arrest Quotas and Looting/Extortion Opportunities: The True Face of “Strike Hard?”
The “610 office” in both Gucheng Town and Dingxing County collaborated to extort money and possessions from Falun Gong practitioners. During the nighttime raid, police ransacked practitioners’ homes and took many of their belongings.
According to witnesses, 300 RMB was extorted from one woman in her sixties and she was detained for three days before her family was allowed to take her home. Many others were required to pay between 900-1000 RMB before they were released.
“What happened in Gucheng Town is the true face of China’s ‘Strike Hard’ campaign,” observes Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman, Levi Browde. “It’s a cloak to provide legitimacy for persecuting Falun Gong and other innocent citizens, while at the same time, providing opportunities for corrupt officials to literally loot practitioners homes for valuables and extort money from them.”
The Falun Gong practitioners that were abducted on the night of October 1st were detained for an average of ten to fifteen days, with the longest detention lasting for two months.