Falun Gong Woman Killed by Police in Notorious Chinese Province
Killings Revealed by Pulitzer-Prize Winning Journalism Continues Unabated in Shandong
NEW YORK, December 11, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center)—New testimony has confirmed that a 49-year old Falun Gong woman died as a result of a brutal police beating in the small village of Chenjiazhuang, in Linjiacun Town, ZhuCheng City, Shandong Province.
Ms. Li Xianglan was arrested at about 10 AM on April 15, 2001 by local officials, according to sources inside China familiar with her case. Li was known to practice Falun Gong. Witnesses say officials sent Li home that same day, her body “covered by wounds” and “barely alive.” She died the next day. The family was repeatedly “threatened by police” and “warned not to appeal and not to sue,” these sources say.
In a recent phone conversation with a reporter, an official at the Linjiacun Town Police Station claimed that Li had “committed suicide” by drinking a “liquid medicine” in the evening following her release. Officials were unable, however, to identify the liquid Li allegedly drank. When asked whether Li’s family would press charges against the police that tortured her, the official replied, “No. The supervisors went to work on [intimidate] them. The public security department sent two people to work on them.” Li was known to be in extremely good health by those who knew her, and was not on any form of medication.
The claims of the officials come as no surprise. It is a known government policy in China that all Falun Gong deaths should be reported as “suicides” or “death by natural causes.” In practically every case of wrongful death, local police have claimed no wrongdoing, even, as Amnesty International pointed out in their 2001 report on torture in China, “in the face of multiple eye witness testimonies” that indicated the contrary. Furthermore, the actions of these officials match a consistent pattern of restricting all information regarding the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners and intimidating family and friends in an attempt to block all information from reaching outside China.
Of all the provinces in China, Shandong province has exceeded all others in the lethality with which it carries out Jiang Zemin’s order to “eliminate” Falun Gong. To date, 56 Falun Gong practitioners have died in Shandong as a direct result of police brutality. That is, one out of every six Falun Gong deaths in China occurs in Shandong.
Shandong was thrust onto the world stage when it was chronicled in a Pulitzer Prize–winning series of articles by Mr. Ian Johnson of the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Johnson’s articles focused on the stories of people like Chen Zixiu, a 58-year-old woman tortured to death in a police facility. The articles also profiled the persecution of Falun Gong in the city of Weifang, an “unremarkable Chinese city” in every respect but one: “local police regularly torture residents to death.”
To date, 323 wrongful death cases of Falun Gong practitioners have been confirmed, but according to sources inside the Chinese government, the actual number exceeds 1,600.