Persecution of Falun Gong in China Claims Three More Lives
Handicapped hunchbacked man tortured and beaten in labor camp, dies shortly after
NEW YORK, April 1, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Reports of three more deaths were added to the growing list of those killed for their beliefs in China’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong. Among those reported dead is a hunchbacked, handicapped man, a 37-year-old woman and a man who suffered torture and abuse during a year-long “labor education” sentence.
Hunchbacked Man Humiliated and Tortured in Labor Camp
Zheng Wei, of Dalian City, was severely hunchbacked. Placed in the notorious Dalian Labor Camp, sources indicate he was humiliated, beaten and tortured by camp guards. He died shortly after his release last April. Dalian police have given conflicting accounts of their treatment of Zheng and other Falun Gong practitioners. Most officials contacted by reporters refuse to discuss the matter. Some deny that they imprison and “reeducate” Falun Gong cases at all, while others claim that they do handle Falun Gong practitioners.
50-Year-Old Man Tortured to Death in Harbin Changlin Labor Camp
Wu Qingxiang, a 50-year old man from Taiping village in Harin City, Daoli District had been arrested for practicing Falun Gong several times over the last three years. On Christmas day, 2000, Wu Qingxiang and his younger brother Wu Qingshun travelled to Beijing to go to the office of appeal. They were arrested and first sent to Harbin Detention Center, then on to Wanjia Labor Camp. Wu was later sentenced to one year of “labor education” and sent to the Harbin Taiping District Changlin Labor Camp.
During the first few months of his detention, his punishment consisted of being forced to stand up in a dark and damp cell from 6 am until midnight. In the summer of 2001, Wu took part in a hunger strike with other detainees of the camp to protest their being jailed solely for their spiritual beliefs. Over the next three months, he was repeatedly force fed several dozen times by camp guards. His weight dropped from 150-160 kg to 120 kg and his health deteriorated. He had a constant high fever, and his body was abnormally swollen. Eventually, he developed scabies, but was still denied medical assistance.
After his release in December, 2001, Wu Qingxiang had difficulty breathing. He was unable to lie flat in bed, and couldn’t speak or eat. He could only drink a little water. He never fully recovered and died in his home on March 4, 2002.
37-Year-Old Woman Beaten to Death, Police Claim “Suicide” Again
Liang Shuyun, a 37-year-old woman from Fushun, was detained and beaten severely for practicing Falun Gong in the No. 1 Fushun Detention Center. Her battered body was rushed to a nearby hospital, but medical workers were unable to rescue her, and she died on March 17th. Once again, local police claimed that she had “committed suicide” by “jumping out of a building,” but witnesses say her body was covered with bruises and there were deep scars on her wrists where she had been handcuffed.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices in China, such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China’s President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang’s regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of over 385 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.