University Professor Dead from Torture after Arrest at Her Husband’s Trial

Badly Beaten 55-Year-Old Woman Left To Die in the Night at Light Bulb Factory

NEW YORK, May 3, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – On the same day Shen Lijian’s husband was standing trial, she was arrested in the courtroom on the same charge: holding fast to her right to practice Falun Gong and its teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Two months later, she was dead from torture in custody.

Shen Lijian was a successful young woman in her early thirties and the proud mother of a four year-old daughter. Shen’s husband, Zheng Weidong, was to be “tried” in Changchun’s Nanguan District Court for his alleged “crime” of practicing Falun Gong. She went to observe the “trial,” as was her right under Chinese law.

Shen held a Master’s degree in Mathematics and was employed as a professor at Jilin University in Changchun – the same province where at least 5,000 people who practice or support Falun Gong have been detained in the last two months. Shen’s husband was also an academic, teaching at Jilin Electronic Information Advanced Technology School. In March 2001, university authorities forced both Shen and her young daughter to attend a brainwashing class designed to coerce her to abandon the principles and practice of Falun Gong.

Sources in China report that Shen was arrested in the very same courtroom where her husband was being “tried.” She protested her confinement by undertaking a hunger strike. Police later admitted that Shen had been tortured to death within two months of her arrest. Shen’s husband, Zheng Weidong, remains in detention while his much-loved four year-old daughter has been left with friends, the persecution of Falun Gong having robbed her of both parents.

Badly Beaten 55 Year-Old Woman Left To Die in the Night at Light Bulb Factory

On the evening of January 19th, a 55-year-old woman’s body was left at the Shanhaiguan Light Bulb Factory: her neck badly bruised, and her fingertips all black. Receiving none of the medical attention she so desperately needed, she was dead by 10 o’clock that same night.

Pe Jinghui was a 55 year-old factory worker in a light bulb factory in the Tangshan area of Hebei Province. In 2001, she was sentenced to the Kaiping Forced Labor Camp for the crime of “practicing Falun Gong.” As is common with Falun Gong detainees, police tortured her severely in an attempt to force her to renounce her practice. Seeing her life was endangered as a result of extreme physical and psychological torture, Pe was finally released by labor camp officials. One month later, however, she was arrested again. By January 19, 2002, Pe Jinghui had lost consciousness and was dying.

Sources in China report that in her critical physical state, both the local police station and even her sister refused to take her in. She required immediate hospitalization. “610 Office” officials eventually took her to her former workplace, the Shanhaiguan Light Bulb Factory. A witness describes her arrival at 7 pm., her neck badly bruised “all black and blue,” her fingertips “all gone black.” She was dead by 10 o’clock. Further details are under investigation. Factory officials, meanwhile, cite her cause of death as “illness.”

Background

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 403 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.