Family Recounts Wrongful Death of 28-year-old Man 17 Years Ago

A 28-year-old man of Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province was beaten to death on September 28, 2003 by village officials for practising Falun Gong. The authorities claimed that he had committed suicide and forcibly cremated his body soon after.

Mr. Quan Zhonghao’s father recently recounted the situation surrounding his death 17 years ago, in hopes of seeking justice for him.

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My name is Quan Xiangmu. I’m 83 years old. My wife is Jin Xiangshu and she is 78. We are of Korean ethnicity and live in the Xi’an District of Mudanjiang. We have been farmers all our lives.

I used to suffer from many ailments. After learning Falun Gong, I became very healthy. My wife, step-daughter Li Shujin (now 51) and my son Quan Zhonghao, also took up Falun Gong after seeing the changes in me.

After the Chinese communist regime started to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, the police, village officials and some villagers who were hostile against Falun Gong, often came to our home to harass us. They attempted to force my stepdaughter to write statements to renounce Falun Gong.

Those people also arrested my son and held him in a brainwashing center for 15 days. He was subjected to various torture methods. The local authorities tried all kinds of methods to try to force him to give up Falun Gong.

On September 27, 2003, we returned home after harvesting rice in the field all day. We were all very tired. During dinner, my son received a call. He told me that the village officials asked him to go to their office the next morning. I was so tired that I didn’t pay much attention to it and went to sleep soon.

When I woke up around 4 a.m, my son was no longer home. When it was close to dawn, Cui Haolin, the village secretary, called me and told me that my son had died after hanging himself.

I immediately went out to look for him, but didn’t see him around our home. Then Cui Haolin pointed the direction to me. In the small hill about 500 meters from our home, I saw my son’s body hanging from the tree.

After we took him down, I found the rope wasn’t ours. I heard those who died from hanging all had their tongues sticking out. But my son wasn’t like that. On the contrary, his body was covered with blood and bruises. I questioned Cui how he found out about my son. He said a person who was collecting herbs on the hill discovered my son’s body and told him about it.

I looked around, and saw a dozen police officers, as well as Li Xuezhe, the village accountant, Zhang Rinan and Jin Zhe, the village security directors, and Li Shenglie, another village official. No villagers were there.

I shouted to the officials, “It’s you who beat him to death and then hung him up.” I kept repeating that and was then dragged back home by the officials.

My wife and I were devastated by our son’s death. Officers from the Hailin Police Department seized my son’s body and cremated it without our consent or signature. Yet they ordered me to pay 500 yuan for the cremation fee.

After that point on, the local police sent people to our home every day to monitor us. They didn’t allow us to talk to other people at all. Once my daughter came to visit us, and she left upon seeing the officers at our home. Such monitoring lasted for about six months. Seeing that we didn’t have many visitors and that we were afraid of exposing the persecution, the police gradually stopped coming to our home.

Now nearly 17 years have passed. The persecution continues. I don’t know where to seek justice for my son. None of the officials who were responsible for my son’s death have been held accountable for their crime.

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