Key Pattern #1: Many deaths occurred shortly after arrest

Killed for their belief: Falun Gong Deaths from Abuse in 2009

While most practitioners died following long periods of incarceration, there continue to be cases of adherents—including individuals in their 30s and 40s—who are killed within weeks, days or even hours of being taken into custody. Sixteen cases were recorded during 2009 of individuals who died within two months of their latest arrest.

Ms. Sun Min, 39, Beijing

Ms. Sun and her husband Mr. Wu Yang were living in Beijing, having fled from Inner Mongolia to avoid persecution by local officials who knew they practiced Falun Gong. On April 22, 2009, police abducted Ms. Sun from her home after her husband had been detained for distributing DVDs related to Falun Gong and her number was found in his cell phone.

The couple was interrogated and within hours, Ms. Sun was dead. Sources inside China who viewed the body reported marks from electric batons and blows with a heavy object.

The police admitted to Sun’s death in a notice to her family, but in an effort to avoid liability, claimed that they had found her dead on April 23 after she fell from her apartment. A number of inconsistencies in the authorities’ account pointed to efforts to cover-up the true circumstances of her death.

Mr. Yang Guiquan, 45, Liaoning

“In July 2009, a 45-year-old practitioner named Yang Guiquan was reportedly declared dead upon arrival at the Fuxin City Mining Corporation General Hospital in Liaoning province after being held for 16 days by police and reportedly beaten with electric batons and force-fed.” [1]

Mr. Yang had been detained by police on June 20, 2009, while talking to people about the persecution against Falun Gong at a shopping mall. His family repeatedly requested his release but were rejected and deprived of their right to visit him.

On July 5, 2009, Mr. Yang was taken the hospital for emergency treatment, where he died at 3:00 p.m. the same day. According to sources inside China who were able to view his body, Mr. Yang’s back and head showed bruises, and there were marks of beatings on his legs. Mr. Yang’s inner thighs also showed marks from electric baton shocks. [2]

Fu Ziming, 34, Hubei

Mr. Fu Ziming (???) died in custody between April 20 and 22, just days after being detained by police in the vicinity of Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area of Fujian Province, a popular tourist destination in southeast China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fu had traveled to the area as part of a group from the post office where he worked in his hometown of Jianli County in Hubei Province.

On April 17, while visiting the Mt. Wuyi area, Fu wrote in crayon on a rock “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” [3] Fu’s actions were apparently recorded by a nearby surveillance camera and that evening, he was taken from his hotel by agents from the management department of the local police station operating under Wuyi Police Department.

On April 22, his family was informed that he had died in the custody of 610 Office agents who were transporting him back to Jianli after picking him up on April 20 from Wuyi. Following his death, security agencies – including the Public Security Bureau and the extra-legal 610 Office – took measures to cover up Fu’s death.

One person at the police station in Jianli admitted briefly to a reporter that Fu’s corpse was in police custody. However, the individual hung up when probed about further details regarding the case. The authorities also pressured the colleagues who traveled with Fu to Fujian to remain silent about the circumstances surrounding his death.

“We don’t know where his corpse is,” a co-worker told a reporter from the Chinese-language Epoch Times in May. [4]  “However, it’s impossible that it will be transported back here. It has been cremated out somewhere [else]. My heart feels very bad [about Fu’s death].” [5] 

Notes:

[1] Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 2009 Annual Report, October 10, 2009, p. 124, http://www.cecc.gov/pages/annualRpt/annualRpt09/CECCannRpt2009.pdf; A comprehensive compilation of Falun Gong-related excerpts from the report is available at: /article/917/

[2] Falun Dafa Information Center, “Falun Gong Practitioner Killed within Days of Arrest,” August 7, 2009, /article/897/

[3] With Falun Gong being a permanent taboo in China’s tightly controlled media environment, it is common for adherents to counter dehumanizing Party propaganda by writing such expressions on a wall, banner, or homemade poster.

[4] Epoch Times (Chinese), April 27, 2009  http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/9/4/27/n2507977.htm.

[5] Falun Dafa Information Center, “Police Covering Up Falun Gong Death in Custody at Top Tourist Attraction,” May 20, 2009, /article/883/; Fu’s case was also reported on by the Financial Times on June 10, 2009. See here for relevant excerpts: /article/951/?cid=165

 

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