Falun Gong Verified Death Count Tops 300
Sources Inside Chinese Government Place Number Over 1,000
NEW YORK, October 20, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – A 25 year old Falun Gong woman died in police custody on October 11, bringing the number of confirmed deaths to 300 in Jiang Zemin’s crusade to eradicate the peaceful spiritual practice. However, sources inside the Chinese Government are saying the death toll is well over 1,000.
Ms. Li Jing, 25, a student at Jilin Business College for Professional Training, died October 11 while in transit between Qiqihar and Changchun. She was in the custody of policemen Li Haifeng and Li Zhuji from the Xian Square police station, Changchun Public Security Bureau. The two officials claimed she “jumped” from the car and was killed.
Li was recently released a year early from a three-year term in a labor camp. She was sent to the labor camp in November 1999 by the Chuangchun Public Security Bureau for repeatedly traveling to Beijing to appeal to the government on behalf of Falun Gong. It is unknown why police had once again detained her.
This report comes only one week after a strikingly similar case in Sichuan Province, in which a Ms. Yu Biqing was reported to have died after “jumping” from a moving police car. It is unclear if these women died trying to escape police abuse, or were forced from the cars against their will.
More than 40% of the Falun Gong practitioners for whom the government provided cause of death are claimed by police to have “jumped” or “fallen” from vehicles or high locations.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, police have routinely attributed every death of a Falun Gong practitioner to either “natural causes” or “suicide.” Amnesty International has called these reports “unconvincing,” pointing out that that anyone seeking to publicize the wrongful deaths has suffered severe reprisals.
Panel on State Terrorism in China Held in Washington D.C.
Jiang Zemin’s crusade to eradicate Falun Gong was the subject of a recent panel discussion held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The panel, titled “China’s State Run Terrorism: The Persecution of Falun Gong,” was held on October 10, and hosted by Mr. Mark Palmer, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and Vice Chairman of the Board of Freedom House.
Participants of the panel included Mr. Harry Wu, Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation, Professor Joseph A. Bosco of Georgetown University, Mr. George Lister, Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, and Mr. James Standish, Deputy Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association.
In his address, Mr. Standish said the persecution of Falun Gong fits the definition of “State Terrorism,” because of three key characteristics: the use of cruel and unusual punishment, including prolonged torture and death and extreme psychological duress; punishment by proxy – targeting oppression at friends and family members of the victim; and “group punishment” – the penalization of a large faction of the population, related only by association with the victim, for the perceived “crimes” of the victim.