Reports of Four Falun Gong Practitioners Dead from Police Abuse Surface in a Single Day

NEW YORK, January 11, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – The Falun Dafa Information Center has received reports of four more Falun Gong practitioners dead from abuse and torture in custody by police. These cases mark twenty reports of killings in the past twenty-two days, and indicate an alarming surge in the violence being carried out against Falun Gong practitioners. Details follow.

  • Ms. Tai Yurong, 36, Died in “brainwashing class”, relatives forbidden from viewing body
  • Mr. Zhang Zhenfu, 60, Taken from his home and killed by forced-feeding
  • Mr. Wang Tiesong, 32, Tortured to death in a labor camp, framed as “suicide” by local police
  • Ms. Zhan Jinyan, twenties, Dead after six days of detention, police paid relatives to keep quiet

* WORLDWIDE APPEAL: Falun Gong practitioners are holding a worldwide three-day appeal in front of Chinese Consulates and Embassies in thirty cities. See previous news release from FDI earlier today or for details.

Ms. Tai Yurong, 36, Died in forced “brainwashing class”, relatives forbidden from viewing body

Ms. Tai Yurong, a 36-year-old practitioner of Falun Gong, died due to torture and abuse while detained in a “brainwashing class” in Wangdu City, according to sources inside China.

On December 12, 2001, Mu Pingjun, the Vice Committee Chair of the Communist Party in Jiacun Town, accompanied by 10 other people, took Ms. Tai away from her home and sent her to the “brainwashing class” (a prolonged re-education session in which captives are coerced, typically through physical and psychological torture, into renouncing their beliefs) in Wangdu County. Nineteen Falun Gong practitioners from other villages in Jiacun Town were also arrested.

Tai Yurong and other practitioners began a hunger strike to protest the illegal arrest. During that period, they were force-fed several times, as instructed by Shang Hongzhi, the Chief of the “610 Office”, a government body charged with “annihilating Falun Gong”, and given free reign to operate above the law. They were bound on the bed in order to be administered liquid transfusions, and forbidden to relieve themselves.

Tai died on December 19, the seventh day of the hunger strike.

Tai’s body now is in the Chinese Medicine Hospital in Wangdu County. The “610 Office” and police are keeping tight control over the information flow, according to sources close to the event. Relatives and other people from the same village are not allowed to visit Tai. Following an urgent request, the relatives were allowed to see only Tai’s face. They were immediately restrained as they tried to view Tai’s body.

One reporter tried to follow up with the Wangdu County officials on this case, but was disconnected after making inquiries. Later the person in charge could not be reached, as “everyone is in a long meeting.” Upon calling back again, the reporter overheard, “It’s the reporter on the phone, what should we do?” The phone line was then disconnected again.

Ms. Tai lived in Nanjia Village, Jiacun Town, Wangdu County, Baoding City, Hebei Province.

Mr. Zhang Zhenfu, 60, Taken from his home and killed by forced-feeding

Mr. Zhang Zhenfu, approximately 60 years old, has died from forced feeding by police following an illegal arrest for practicing Falun Gong.

On January 2, 2002, Mr. Zhang Zhenfu was taken from his home during the day by police from the Shengli Police Station, in Hegang City, Heilongjian Province, sources inside China say. That night, police also hid near his home and arrested his son, Zhang Tingfan, also a Falun Gong practitioner.

Zhang Zhenfu began a hunger strike to protest the illegal arrests. On January 4th, he died from a brutal forced-feeding. Forced-feeding is a procedure carried out by untrained police and even other inmates in detention centers, according to China experts, and is often employed as a means of torture. The procedure involves inserting a tube through the mouth or nose, down the throat and into the stomach, and then filling the stomach with highly saturated salt water. Many have died during this procedure as a result of damage to the trachea, lungs, or suffocation.

However, police claimed that they sent Zhang’s body to a hospital for a rescue attempt. Under strong pressure from the Police Bureau, Zhang’s relatives did not dare to appeal on this issue. With the son still being held, Zhang’s relatives were forced to keep quiet.

According to inside sources, Zhang’s arrest was part of a city-wide joint effort, lasting 100 days, in which many police stations conducted illegal stakeouts, kidnapping, and search and seizure operations.

Around the New Year period, more that 20 Falun Gong practitioners were illegally arrested. They are held in either the No. 2 Detention Center or the Administrative Detention Center of the Hegang City Public Security Bureau. Sources say that these centers are so full that the detainees are forced to sleep on the floor.

Mr. Wang Tiesong, 32, Tortured to death in a labor camp, framed as “suicide” by local police

Mr. Wang Tiesong, a 32-year-old forestry worker from Jilin Province, China, was tortured to death on December 4th, 2001 in the Yanbian Labor Camp for refusing to renounce his practice of Falun Gong.

Sources in China related that Mr. Wang was employed by the Boiler Installation Company under the Baihe Forestry Bureau in Jilin Province, and had practiced Falun Gong since 1996, until his illegal detention in Yanji Labor Camp in October 2000.

According to sources close the event, immediately following Mr. Wang’s death, the Yanbian government officials, the Public Security Bureau, and the labor camp worked together to frame his death as a suicide, announcing the cause of death as a three-day hunger strike. The officials, fearing that Mr. Wang’s relatives might expose the crime, arranged for a staged emergency procedure at a hospital.

At the time Mr. Wang’s body arrived at the hospital, respiration had already stopped long before, according to eyewitnesses. However, the police demanded that his body be placed on artificial life support and forced to breath. This forced breathing continued for 11 days until December 15th. Eyewitnesses in the hospital observed that Mr. Wang’s body should have been sent to the mortuary since he had gone without breathing for so long, but the police demanded that the record read “emergency procedures failed to revive the patient.” At this time Mr. Wang’s eyes were open, one pupil was dilated, the other eye was deeply sunken in its socket, his ribs had been broken in several places, and there were wounds covering his body.

Following his death, one of Wang Tiesong’s relatives challenged the officials’ claim that the death was a “suicide,” but was met with a threat that “if you dare to say that again, we will arrest you, too.”

The labor camp confirmed the death of Mr. Wang, but would not relate any details, saying only that “Police bureau and city leaders participated in this issue.” Workers at the Yanbian Hospital also confirmed Wang’s death, but cited “choking on food” as the cause of death. There was no explanation for this discrepancy.

Prior to his death, Mr. Wang had made three requests to the officials, sources say: Restore the innocence of Falun Gong, uphold human rights, and uphold the right to practice Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhan Jinyan, twenties, Dead after six days of detention, police paid relatives to keep quiet

Ms. Zhan Jinyan, a Falun Gong practitioner from Hebei Province in China, has died after abuse by police in detention.

Ms. Zhan Jinyan, who was in her twenties and reportedly quite healthy before her illegal detention, was from Yinzhuang Village, Jiangcheng Town, Baoding City, Hebei Province. She went to Beijing on the evening of November 26, 2001 to appeal for her right to practice Falun Gong, and was illegally detained by the Public Security Sub-Bureau of Yanqing County, Beijing City.

On November 29, the officials of the Jiangcheng Township informed her relatives that they should visit her during a “rescue” attempt at the Yanqing County Hospital, according to sources close the event. These sources report that Zhan was already at the edge of death at that moment. She died three days later.

The Public Security Sub-Bureau of Yanqing County evidently attempted to settle the issue secretly by compensating Zhan’s relatives 3,000 RMB, and by covering the expenses of the “rescue” attempt and her subsequent cremation. However, since the Beijing Public Security Bureau learned about this and did not agree with the solution, Zhan’s body is still in the hospital.

When a reporter called the police to check on the details, the police replied, “I don’t have time to answer your questions,” and “Wrong number!” and then hung up upon hearing that the reporter was asking about Zhan’s case.

Zhan is survived by her two-year-old child.