EFGIC: 58 Falun Gong Deaths from Torture and Abuse in China Reported in Three Months

Some Estimates Put Death Toll Between 4,000 10,000

56-year-old Ms. Xiong Fengxia was one of 58 deaths at the hands of Chinese police uncovered between June and August 2003. Estimates place the actual 4-year death toll between 4,000 - 10,000
LONDON (EFGIC) Now in its fourth year, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemins campaign to eradicate Falun Gong continues to sanction brutal methods to force Chinese citizens to renounce their beliefs in the traditional Chinese faith.

Those who renounce Falun Gong are often released, although they are monitored and frequently forced to assist authorities in coercing others to renounce their faith. Those who do not renounce Falun Gong continue to be tortured and abused, or die in the process.

Between June and August 2003, reliable sources in China reported details on the deaths of 58 Falun Gong practitioners most of whom died from severe torture suffered in Chinese detention centres and labour camps.

Deaths from torture and abuse were reported from all areas of China, from Xinjiang to Guandong to Beijing.

These are just the deaths we have details about, says European Falun Gong Information Centre spokesman, Mr. Peter Jauhal. In October 2001, a Chinese government source revealed that the true death toll was more than five times the number we had confirmed at that time, and Jiangs regime has only become more thorough in covering up these killings. We have now confirmed the details of 787 deaths. The true death toll could be well over 4,000.

Other sources indicate a much higher death toll.

"Mere belief in the discipline [Falun Gong], without any outward mani-festation of its tenets, has been sufficient grounds for practitioners to receive punishments ranging from loss of employment to imprisonment, and in many cases, to suffer torture and death
U.S. State Department Annual Human Rights Report, 2003
On June 6, 2002, a book reportedly written by a top-level Chinese Communist Party official detailing former Chinese leader Jiang Zemins campaign against Falun Gong was published. (news) The book, entitled Poisonous Deceit, reported that the actual death toll of Falun Gong practitioners was over 7,000.

More recently, in a July 16, 2003 radio interview, former U.S. Ambassador Mark Palmer put the figure in the range of ten thousand. Mr. Palmer added, [Jiang] is engaging in a human rights crime which is equivalent to what Saddam Hussein and Milosevic [did].

Heilongjiang Province, Torture Remain Most Prolific Killers

According to sources, Hielongjiang Province remains the deadliest Province overall, accounting for 14% of all known deaths of Falun Gong practitioners since the persecution began in July 1999. Liaoning and Shandong Province each account for 11% of all known deaths, with Jilin Province at 10% and Hebei Province at 9%.

Seven percent of all known deaths occurred in Beijing.

Approximately 73% of all known deaths were the result of torture and physical beatings, while 10% resulted from force-feeding torture. The remaining cases include mysterious circumstances where individuals die in mental hospitals after being injected with unknown drugs or reportedly fall from the upper floors of buildings while in police custody.

Dozens of sources throughout China have reported police saying they have standing orders that deaths in custody are to be counted as suicide.

Fewer than 3% are reported to have died from hunger striking.

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Background

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, Chinas then-Communist leader, Jiang Zemin, outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiangs regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. To that end, Jiang established the 6-10 Office, a Gestapo-like agency spanning from the Central Government to the local governments. The United States Congress has described the 6-10 Office as an agency charged with overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong members through organized brainwashing, torture, and murder.

The European Falun Gong Information Centre has verified details of 787 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Expert sources now estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labour camps, typically without trial.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE EUROPEAN FALUN GONG INFORMATION CENTRE
Peter Jauhal 44 (0) 7717 508 268 Nicolas Schols 32 (0) 479875734
More contacts: http://www.falungonginfo.net/europe.htm
Email: europe@falungonginfo.net

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