This death marks the 20th verified case of wrongful death of a Falun Gong practitioner in the last two weeks alone.
Ms. Yu Xiuling, a 32-year-old villager from the seventh block of Qichengzi Village in Damiao Town, Chaoyang County, Liaoning province was taken from her home by police from the Longcheng district Public Security Sub-Bureau in Chaoyang city on Sept. 14, 2001 because she practiced Falun Gong. She was then detained in Shijiazi Detention Centre.
After the sixth day of the detention, September 19th, at 8am, Ms. Yu was sent from Shijiazi detention centre to the Longcheng district public security sub-bureau. There, police then tried to force her to give up her practice of Falun Gong and to reveal the source of the printed materials exposing China's persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong throughout China frequently distribute flyers and other materials documenting the persecution campaign against Falun Gong in an effort to counter the propaganda disseminated by the state-run media. Ms. Yu refused to reveal the source of these materials.
During the interrogation, officers Huang and Sun from the political security department beat Ms. Yu continuously until 9pm, according to an international source. After 13 hours of brutal torture, during which she was handcuffed to a heater, surrounded by police, and severely beaten, Ms. Yu was on her last breath. One person suggested sending her to a hospital for emergency treatment, but another officer said, "Don't send her to the hospital. It would be hard for us to give an explanation if the treatment could not save her."
To cover up their crime, officers Huang and Sun threw her, still alive, out of the 4th floor window and Yu Xiuling died from the impact. The body of Ms. Yu was hastily sent for cremation at midnight of the same evening.
Police notified Ms. Yu's husband, Feng Dianxiang, that his wife had died from "jumping from a building". When he arrived he was allowed to view the body only once due to the officers' urgency to have the body cremated that evening. He observed that her arms were broken and her buttocks were black and blue, but didn't have time to examine her wounds further. Officers Huang and Sun threatened Feng, saying, "If you want to file a lawsuit, feel free to do that in any place. We have orders from the top that no measure is too excessive when dealing with Falun Gong." The Chaoyang police then reported Ms. Yu's death as a "suicide."
"This is horrifying," said Gail Rachlin, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center. "This is absolutely horrifying because Ms. Yu's death is not at all an accident or a result of the evil intent of just a few individuals." Ms. Rachlin goes on to explain: "What we are witnessing here is the implementation of a policy sanctioned by Jiang Zemin's regime to 'eradicate' Falun Gong [practitioners] simply because they choose to engage in the peaceful spiritual practice of Falun Gong."
Ms. Rachlin further commented, "We demand the Chinese government close the 610 Office, set up solely for the persecution of Falun Gong, and that Luo Gan [leader of 610 Office] be brought immediately to justice. We further demand that China give free access to third-party investigations of labour camps and the persecution."
Since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, police have routinely attributed every death to either "natural causes" or "suicide". In almost 20% of the cases, police claimed the victim "jumped" out of a building, moving train, or other vehicle. Amnesty International has called these reports "unconvincing," pointing out that that anyone seeking to publicize the wrongful deaths has suffered severe reprisals.
The total number of documented deaths from the two-year-plus persecution of Falun Gong in China has now reached 289, although government sources inside China disclose that the actual number exceeds 1,000.
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Contact: Peter Jauhal on 44 7990 541284
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