FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 10/15/2001
[ http://www.faluninfo.net/ ]
NEW YORK, October 15, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) - A female practitioner of the Falun Gong spiritual practice died from abuse suffered at the hands of labour camp officials in Chongqing, China, on September 30.
Zhou Chengyu, a manager of the Yuzhou University Library, was detained in November, 2000 in the Chongqing train station as she prepared to travel to Beijing to make a legal appeal on behalf of the over 20,000 Falun Gong practitioners currently imprisoned in forced labour camps throughout China.
Zhou was sent directly to the Chongqing Shapingba Public Security Sub-Bureau for "reeducation" classes. In the Sub-Bureau, officials attempted to force Zhou to write the "three statements" (see below). Zhou refused, and was immediately transferred to the Chongqing Jiangbei Maojiashan Female Labour Camp.
Over the next year, sources say labour camp officials tortured Zhou in various ways. On one occasion she was deprived of sleep for five days and nights. On September 30, Zhou's family received a notice from the laboir camp saying that she had been sent to the hospital for emergency treatment. A few hours later, the hospital announced that Zhou was dead. Labour camp officials were unable to provide any explanation of Zhou's sudden and untimely death; one official responded to questioning by saying he didn't have "the right to explain" what happened.
The "Three Statements"
The "three statements" are documents designed to ensure detained Falun Gong practitioners have been appropriately "reeducated." The statements consist of a letter of repentance, a guarantee never again to practise Falun Gong, and a list containing names and addresses of all family, friends and acquaintances of the detainee who practice Falun Gong. This system was concocted by the "610" office - China's state organization for overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong.
"The 'three statements' of the 610 office are appalling," says Adam Montanaro of the Falun Dafa Information Center, "It's not enough that the Chinese government defies international laws by imprisoning and beating innocent people solely for their spiritual beliefs, but then they force you -- under torture -- to betray your loved ones, and subject them to the same terrifying treatment... it's heart-breaking."
The total number of documented wrongful deaths from the two-year-plus persecution of Falun Gong in China has reached 296, although government sources inside China disclose that the actual number exceeds 1,000. Zhou is the 17th Falun Gong practitioner from Sichuan Provincial Area to die since Jiang Zemin banned the peaceful practice of Falun Gong in July, 1999.
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