Family of Murdered Falun Gong Woman Struggles for Justice
Family Under Surveillance, Lawyers Dare Not Take Case
NEW YORK, NY — Three months after she was tortured to death in a forced labor camp, the family of Ms. Cao Aihua’ is locked in a legal struggle to bring the perpetrators to justice and facing tremendous pressure from China’s communist authorities , the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned.
According to sources in China, lawyers refuse to take the Cao family’s case for fear of reprisal from Chinese authorities. The camp in which Cao was tortured to death, the Urumqi Women’s [Forced] Labor Camp of Xinjiang, is reportedly working closely with judicial authorities in an attempt to dismiss the case.
“A woman was beaten to death simply for handing out printed materials,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman Ms. Gail Rachlin, “and now not a single lawyer or judicial authority dares to hold the perpetrators accountable.”
“This case speaks volumes about the intimidation used by China’s regime to deny the Falun Gong any rights or voice, and serves as a sad reminder that the greatest obstacle to rule of law in China is the country’s very own rulers—the communist party.”
A native of Aksu city, Xinjiang province, Cao was arrested in August 2006 while passing out informational materials; sources indicate that the materials discussed the wave of withdrawals from the Chinese Communist Party, said to now be over 18 million. (news) While in detention Cao was tortured several times in an attempt to extract information from her as to the source of her materials. Cao reportedly refused.
In November, Cao was sent to the Urumqi Women’s [Forced] Labor Camp. During a visit from her husband shortly after her arrival at the camp, Cao disclosed that she had been physically beaten by camp authorities. On November 13, Cao’s husband was notified that she was dead. Upon examining Cao’s body, her husband discovered wounds on her back indicating bludgeoning. Authorities have refused to hand over Cao’s remains to the family.
The Information Center is calling upon the Xinjiang Province Procureate to immediately see to it that all responsible individuals are brought to justice, and asking that international rights observers carefully follow the proceedings.