Man Detained for Exposing Persecution of Falun Gong on Chinese State-Run T.V. Dies in Police Custody
NEW YORK (FDI) – 35-year-old Chinese citizen Mr. Mingkai Hou was dead and secretly cremated just two days after being detained by Chinese police.
On March 5th, 2002, Mr. Hou participated in tapping into a cable T.V. signal in China’s northeastern city of Changchun to broadcast programs exposing the persecution against Falun Gong in China (press statement).
The programs provided information from human rights organizations, world media and other news sources that are readily available to those living outside China. Inside China, however, what people see, read and hear about Falun Gong is strictly controlled by the state-run media. Thus, these programs are often the first glimpse Chinese people have of the persecution of Falun Gong in their own country.
Inside sources report that the March 5th broadcasts in Changchun infuriated then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who then ordered a series of executions targeting all persons involved in the broadcast and other practitioners of Falun Gong throughout China.
On March 15th, Amnesty International headquarters in London issued an Urgent Action statement for Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun. “Dozens of suspected members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement have reportedly been detained during a security crackdown in Changchun City, Jilin Province,” the Urgent Action stated. “Amnesty International believes they are at serious risk of torture or ill-treatment […] police ‘stop-and-search’ checkpoints have reportedly been established across the city and dozens of alleged Falun Gong practitioners have been detained.”
The Changchun City local 610 Office (about) issued a warrant for Mr. Hou’s arrest and promised a 50,000-Yuan reward plus a promotion to whoever caught him.
Mr. Hou was detained by Chinese police on August 21st 2002 for his involvement in the broadcast. Two days later, police secretly cremated his body. Specific details of how Mr. Hou died have not been confirmed as information surrounding his death is closely guarded by Chinese authorities.
Dr. Charles Li, a U.S. citizen, was recently sentenced to 3 years in prison in China for “suspicion of planning” a similar TV broadcast interruption (story).
Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman Levi Browde says the story of Mr. Hou’s death accentuates “grave concerns” regarding Dr. Li’s case.
“The persecution of Falun Gong in China has largely been sustained through an anti-Falun Gong propaganda campaign built on lies and deception,” Mr. Browde says. “Jiang Zemin’s paramount fear is that this will be exposed, so those who make an attempt to expose it receive a swift and often brutal response. Mr. Hou’s death in custody and the regime’s apparent iron resolve to hold Dr. Li in custody in the face of international outcry clearly exhibits this fear.”