Family Members Harassed and Threatened by Authorities
NEW YORK, February 8th, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Two more people have died as a result of state-sanctioned violence against Falun Gong practitioners, bringing the total reported since New Year’s to 33. Both cases demonstrate the Chinese government’s policy of implicating practitioners’ family members, whether they practice Falun Gong or not.
Young Man Killed, Wife and Family Silenced
Cui Dezhe, was a 30 year-old resident of Lushang Village in Shandong Province. On the night of December 28, 2001, police beat Mr. Cui to death on the side of a road, dumping his body into a ditch and driving away. The police later claimed that he was electrocuted while hanging a banner from power lines.
Eyewitnesses say they saw traumatic injuries to Mr. Cui’s head that clearly indicate severe beating or torture. Local police authorities detained Mr. Cui’s wife, a non-practitioner, on the night of her husband’s death, using intimidation and the threat of more persuasive means of coercion to keep her and her family quiet.
Adam Montanaro, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center, explains, "Mr. Cui’s case begs a simple question: If he died accidentally as the police claim, is detaining and threatening his widow on the night of his death a logical course of action for the police? This is yet another clumsy attempt on the part of the Chinese authorities to cover up their crimes and shirk their responsibilities."
Family Harassed, Threatened; Daughter Driven from Home; Father Dies
Huang Zhiyi, a 60 year-old retiree of the Northwest Aluminum Factory in Longxi County, Gansu Province was first detained in December 2000. Repeated incidences of torture, first in a brainwashing "class" and later in a detention center, resulted in Mr. Huang’s rapidly deteriorating health. Ultimately, in May 2001, police released Mr. Huang fearing responsibility for his death while in their custody.
Police repeatedly came to Mr. Huang’s home, however, to harass and intimidate him as well as his wife and his daughter, who also practice Falun Gong. They often threatened to arrest his wife and daughter, eventually forcing the daughter to leave home to avoid arrest. The ongoing harassment and intimidation finally became too much for Mr. Huang, who had never fully recovered his health after being violently tortured during his incarceration. On January 19, 2002, he passed away suffering a heart attack.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 358 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 labour camps without trial.
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