Hunan Police Beat Local Businessman to Death within Days of Detention

Falun Gong victim's son able to view body with signs of wounds

NEW YORK—Chinese security agents in Hunan province beat a local businessman to death in late August within six days of taking him into custody for practicing Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center learned recently.

On August 19, 2010, agents of the Domestic Security Division in Hunan province’s Shaodong county detained 57-year-old Mr. Zeng Huaguo (???), a local appliance salesman. Within six days of Zeng’s detention—on August 25—he was dead, apparently beaten to death. Zeng’s son was able to view his body and saw a large cut on his back that had been sutured with 13 stitches.

“The speed with which Falun Gong practitioners like Mr. Zeng are taken into custody and beaten to death is a horrifying testament to the danger facing each of the tens of millions of people who continue to practice Falun Gong in China,” says Falun Dafa Information Center executive director Levi Browde. “Not only has an innocent, honest man died, but his family is now left to pick up the pieces, all while the authorities are already taking measures to cover-up their crimes.”

Zeng’s detention on August 19 occurred when he visited the Domestic Security Division’s offices to request that his books on Falun Gong teachings be returned to him. The authorities had confiscated the books in June when a plainclothes police officer abducted Zeng off the street. Zeng had spoken to the man about Falun Gong and encouraged him not to believe the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda about the group, thinking the man was an ordinary passer-by.

It is common for practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong inside China to speak with or hand leaflets to people, be they passers-by on the street or fellow passengers on a bus or train, about the human rights abuses Falun Gong practitioners face throughout the country. This grassroots effort aims to expose human rights abuses that are covered up by the CCP as well as let people know the true nature of Falun Gong, which has been much maligned by China’s state run media since the CCP launched its campaign to ‘eradicate’ the traditional Chinese discipline in 1999.

The officer immediately detained Zeng, taking him to the Songjiatang Industrial Zone Detention Center. Meanwhile, officers broke into his home at 11am, ransacked it, and confiscated his Falun Gong-related books. Zeng was released ten days later, but only after his son-in-law agreed to sign a statement in his name condemning Falun Gong and promising he would stop practicing.

According to sources inside China, upon being injured during his second detention, Zeng was taken to a local hospital but died shortly after arrival. Police failed to notify his family of his death until 24 hours later, although they did reportedly inform the local neighborhood committee to take measures to restrict the news of Zeng’s sudden death in custody from circulating. They apparently feared a public outcry as Zeng was fairly well-known in his community, Jiadiancheng, partly because of the noticeable physical and psychological improvements he experienced after taking up Falun Gong in 2007.

Police told Zeng’s son he had died from “jumping off a building at the hospital.” When the son asked to see footage from the hospital’s security camera confirming the officials’ account, they became flustered and claimed that the camera had not yet been set-up. Instead, they reportedly threatened hospital staff and Zeng’s family not to spread information about his death, including offering the family 260,000 yuan ($38,000) for their silence.

Contact details for individuals directly or indirectly involved in Zeng’s case:

Long Yanyun, Shaodong County Domestic Security Division chief: 86-13807391788
Yang Xiuwen, Director of Shaodong County Police Department: 86-13973961612 
Chen Liansheng, Jiadiancheng Community Administration head: 86-13975957566 
Jiang Xinhe, local officer in Jiadiancheng community: 86-13973581954
Luo Wen, Shaodong County 610 Office director: 86-13973978648
Liu Jianbao, Shaodong County 610 Office agent: 86-13762888586