AFP: Falun Gong Follower Dies After Mystery Fall During Raid

AFP: Falun Gong Follower Dies After Mystery Fall During Raid
BEIJING, Oct 9, 2001 -- (Agence France Presse) A follower of the banned Falun Gong [group] has died in China after falling from a window in unexplained circumstances during a police raid on his apartment, the group's New York-based headquarters said Tuesday.

Zhou Yong, 34, fell to his death from a sixth-floor window in the southwestern city of Chengdu on September 29, the Falun Dafa Information Center said.

A statement from the group said police reported Zhou had jumped from the window.

A number of followers of the [group], banned in China as an "[Jiang Zemin government's slanderous term omitted]" just over two years ago, have reportedly died after falls from windows or moving vehicles which police later said were accidental or suicide.

The Information Center has claimed there is evidence a number of these deaths were caused by police.

An official in the security office of the Chengdu City Factory of Air Compression Machinery, where Zhou worked as a technical supervisor, confirmed Zhou had died but refused to comment further.

Police in Chendu, the capital of Sichuan province, also declined to comment.

The U.S.-based Falun Gong center says almost 300 followers have died in custody since the group was outlawed in 1999.
Reports of such deaths have proved difficult to verify, but independent human rights groups have put the toll at more than 150. [...]

Before it was outlawed, independent estimates put the number of followers of the group, [...], in the tens of millions.

After the ban was imposed Falun Gong adherents staged regular protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, although these have tailed off in recent months.

Source: http://www.europeaninternet.com/china/news.php3?id=701266§ion=default

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