In the Days Leading up to Bush Visit, Four More Falun Gong Deaths at the Hands of Chinese Police Reported
NEW YORK, February 27, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — As Beijing was busy preparing for U.S. President Bush’s recent visit, reports surfaced that police brutality claimed the lives of four more Falun Gong practitioners in China. These latest cases continue a chilling rise in the death toll in the past few months, and occur despite the media’s attention on China and human rights issues surrounding President Bush’s visit.
Regarding these recent deaths, Gail Rachlin, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center, commented, “Even at a time when Bush’s trip focused the attention of the world on Beijing, Falun Gong practitioners are dying at the hands of the Chinese police. Few details are available regarding these deaths because Jiang’s regime has gone to great lengths to cover-up the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.” Ms. Rachlin concluded, “It is, therefore, no surprise that Chinese President Jiang fell silent when questioned by media about freedom of belief in China…and that this question was then edited out of the broadcast within China.”
Young Father Taken Away from 7-Year-Old Son
Chen Yong, from Dalian City, was arrested for practicing Falun Gong in mid-2000 and sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp. After more than a year of continual torture and abuse, Chen Yong passed away on January 30, 2002. Chen is survived by his 7-year-old son.
Husband Dies from Torture, Wife Still Held in Detention
Li Xiaorong, 41, was first arrested on December 1, 2000 for holding a peaceful appeal in Tiananmen Square. At the time of his arrest, Li was in perfect health and weighed 166 lbs. Li was held without trial for over 100 days during which time he suffered continuous torture and maltreatment in police custody, Li weighed a mere 66 lbs when he was released on March 21, 2001. He never recovered and passed away on December 14, 2001. Li’s wife Xu Shufen is currently in detention for practicing Falun Gong. Li is survived by his 72-year-old mother and 11-year-old son.
Death in Police Custody Followed by Clumsy Cover-up
On February 14, 2002, it was reported that Lu Shiqiu had recently been arrested by Beijing police for appealing in Tiananmen Square, although the exact date of arrest is still unknown. After Lu spent several days in police custody, her relatives were instructed to accompany her back to her hometown of Jilin. When they arrived at the police station, however, the police claimed that Lu had “jumped to her death” the night before they arrived.
Because officers in charge of handling Falun Gong practitioners have been instructed to report all Falun Gong deaths as suicide by China’s “6-10” office, the exact cause of death cannot be confirmed at this time and is still under investigation. It is clear, however, that she died in police custody.
After Death of Falun Gong Woman, Police Search for “Evidence” to Justify Raid
Cheng Zhengli lived in Dalian City. On February 8, 2002, several policemen raided her home at 10:30 PM. Cheng attempted to escape through a window and suffered fatal injuries in a fall. The next day, the police went back to her home to search for “evidence” to be used to justify their raid of Cheng’s home.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of over 370 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.