Li Zhiqin's Family Threatened after Filing Complaint Over His Wrongful Death in Police Custody

Mr. Li Zhiqin was from Ningjin County in the Xingtai District of Hebei Province. He used to suffer illness but regained his health after he started to practise Falun Gong in 2004. Despite brutal persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mr. Li steadfastly cultivated Falun Gong. In April 2006, he was forced to leave home to avoid being arrested. Around 11:00 p.m. on September 12th, 2007, police officers under the direction of Shen Jianzhong from the Ningjin County 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) broke into his apartment and arrested him. Mr. Li died that night in police custody.

Over the past five years, Mr. Li’s family has continued to demand an explanation as to cause of his death. Not only did the police refuse to compensate them adequately, but they also threatened the entire family that they would be arrested should they appeal for justice. In July 2012, with no other avenues left to them, the family submitted a letter of complaint to the Ningjin County government.

In the afternoon on August 17th, officers from Ningjin County and the township police station appeared at the home of Mr. Li’s family with a camcorder. Neighbours saw plainclothes police outside their house. No one was home at the time. Villagers were told that those people were “sent from above” to “investigate,” because the family having written a letter of appeal. Villagers saw strangers wandering around outside their home the following two days. When Mr. Li’s son went to the local police station he was told that those people were there because they “wanted to check out the issue of his wife's residence.”

On August 27th, the police tried to visit Mr. Li’s home again. The village officials told the police that his children did not practise Falun Gong and asked them not to bother them. Although the officers did not go to Mr. Li’s home, they said that they had been monitoring the mobile phones of three family members, who would be sent to prison as soon as there was “any activity.”

Background

Mr. Li Zhiqin was from Xiaozao Village, Ningjin County. His parents were in their 70s. He had one son and two daughters. He and his wife made a living by selling textiles at the local market. His health had deteriorated as a result stress and hard work. He was weak and had difficulty walking. Due to the stress of daily living and his poor health, his temper became worse and worse. Thus, the entire family was in distress. In 2004, he started to practice Falun Gong. He quickly became healthy again. Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, his temper changed and he was in a good mood every day. He was respectful to his parents and kind to his children. The entire family lived in harmony.

After Mr. Li Zhiqin started practicing Falun Gong, he was very fair and did not take advantage of people when doing business with them. He helped anyone in need. When the roads around the village needed repair, he fixed them without anyone asking him to. Because of his service, Mr. Li was publicly praised over the loudspeakers in the village. One time he found an expensive cellphone on the street; he waited on the sidewalk until a young man came back looking for it. Mr. Li followed the requirements of Falun Gong and was recognized as a person of good virtue. On April 22, 2006, when police officers from the State Security unit of the Ningjin County police department attempted to arrest him, villagers spoke up and tried to stop them. Some of them asked the police, “What law did Li Zhiqin break? Do you have any evidence?” The police did not have an answer to that, so, with the help of fellow villagers, Li Zhiqin was not arrested.

Mr. Li left home to avoid being arrested and found a temporary job in Zhao County, Zhijiazhuang. On the evening of September 12, 2007, under the direction of the Ningjin County 610 Office, State Security officer Shen Jianzhong and Zhao County police officers broke into Mr. Li’s apartment. They pushed him down, and over a dozen officers hit and kicked him. Then they handcuffed him and took him into custody. Mr. Li died within three hours of his arrest. The police told his family that he died of sudden cardiac arrest. After the family was allowed to view his body only briefly, he was quietly taken to Xingtai Crematorium and cremated.

Mr. Li’s family noticed that his legs were covered with bruises, but the police did not allow them to see his upper body. They gave the family 10,000 yuan and ordered them not to appeal. At the time of the cremation, Zhao Huimin from the Ningjin Procuratorate Office was present. He told the family, “We will give you a satisfactory answer [regarding his death.]” The family has waited several years without receiving any further response, not even a death certificate.

Mr. Li Zhiqin’s ashes have not yet been buried. For the past few years, the family has been everywhere trying to get an answer concerning his death, but in vain. Is it normal for “people from above” to investigate such a situation? Why use a lie to cover up a wrongful death or illegally monitor people? Mr. Li was illegally arrested and beaten to death for believing in Falun Gong and being a good person. His family is being threatened because they have filed a complaint. Where can these people get justice?

Ningjin County Police Department: +86-319-5885950
Wang Zhiyong, director: +86-319-5880556 (office), +86-319-2291696 (home), +86-13383190001 (cell)

Ningjin County Bureau for Letters and Calls: +86-319-5884359
Wang Keshi, director: +86-319-5887980 (office), +86-319-5868156 (home), +86-15832935999 (cell)

Ningjin Political and Judiciary Committee Office: +86-319-5886320
Zhao Qinhua, director: +86-319-5886321 (office),+86-319-5805682 (home), +86-13011958388 (cell)

Ningjin Procuratorate Office: +86-319-5804626
Xu Shifeng, director: +86-319-5800668 (office), +86-15930066888 (cell), +86-13932959126 (cell)

Ningjin Court: +86-319-5890088
Du Yunlai, director: +86-319-5890039 (office), +86-13223260666 (cell)


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