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Duan Shiqiong's Family Questions Chengdu Detention Center about Her Brutal Death

January 24, 2004 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Wang Zhihai. I work for Chongqing West Maintenance Section of Chengdu Railway Bureau Chongqing Branch. One day the security section of my work unit handed me a note from the Chengdu City Police Department Detention Center, saying that my wife Duan Shiqiong had died on September 16, 2003 at 3:00 p.m. The security section told me to go to Chengdu City Police Department Detention Center to handle the details of her funeral. On September 17, 2003, a group of us hurried to the detention center.

According to a briefing from the detention center, my wife Duan Shiqiong was taken into custody by Jinniu District Police Department of Chengdu City on August 29, 2002. Jinniu District Court of Chengdu City sentenced her to a 7-year jail term on June 19, 2003. She went on a hunger strike on July 25, 2003 in the detention center. The detention center began force-feeding her through her nose on July 28, 2003. She was admitted to a hospital for intensive care on August 11, 2003 due to physical deterioration, respiration problems with her circulation system, and plasma electrolyte imbalance. The hospital issued a notice of Duan Shiqiong's critical condition on September 10, 2003 to the Chengdu City Police Department Detention Center. The detention center claimed that it was all right not to pass on the notice to her family. Duan Shiqiong died on September 16, 2003, at 3:00 p.m. in Qingyang District People's Hospital of Chengdu City. Before her death, Duan Shiqiong had been in custody at Chengdu City Police Department Detention Center. The detention center didn't once inform her family members her situation.

When I learned about my wife's death, I was in shock and could not accept it. I knew my wife to be in good health, so how could she die so suddenly? I could not accept the explanation given by the Chengdu Police.

1. Duan Shiqiong was sentenced to 7 years jail term by Jinniu District Court of Chengdu City on June 19, 2003. Why is it that, as her family member, I still have not received any legal document of any form from the court? According to the law, after a court issues a sentence, a transcript of the sentence should be delivered to the family members shortly afterwards.

2. Duan Shiqiong was sentenced to 7 years in jail by Jinniu District Court on June 19, 2003. Why didn't the prosecutor inform her family members beforehand so that they could hire lawyers to defend her in court and protect her legal rights?

3. Since Duan Shiqiong was sentenced on June 19, 2003, so why was she still detained in Chengdu City Police Department Detention Center? Why didn't they allow her family to visit her? (Duan Shiqiong was held in the detention center for one year, and her family members didn't once receive permission to visit her.)

4. When Duan Shiqiong started her hunger strike on July 25, 2003 in Chengdu Police Department Detention Center, why didn't the detention center inform her family members to persuade her to stop her hunger strike?

5. When Duan Shiqiong was admitted to hospital on August 11, 2003, why didn't Chengdu Police Department Detention Center inform her family? She was there for almost a month.

6. When the hospital issued a critical condition notice on September 10, 2003, why did the detention center, once again, withhold the news from her family? Why wasn't the critical condition notice ever sent to the family members? When Duan Shiqiong was in critical condition, why did the detention center still insist on withholding the news from her family members? What were they trying to hide from the public? If they had any conscience, they should have informed her family to let them pay their last visit.

7. When Duan Shiqiong died at 3:00 p.m. on September 16, 2003, the detention center stated that since the notice was addressed to them, in their opinion the family had no right to know what had happened.

No matter what Duan Shiqiong had done, or what form of punishment was decided, as long as she did not get a death sentence, Duan Shiqiong should have enjoyed the right to live and to stay healthy. The detention center cannot avoid the responsibility for her death.

I hope this kind of tragedy will never happen again.

Wang Zhihai

October 10, 2003

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Ms. Duan Shiqiong, 34 years old, was a Dafa practitioner in Chongqing. She was forced to leave her home in 2001 due to the persecution. Later, she was illegally arrested by Chengdu "610 Office" and sent to Chengdu Detention Center because she had clarified the facts of the persecution about Falun Gong to the Chengdu public. She had repeatedly resisted the detention and persecution with hunger strikes. Finally, the authorities caused her death on September 16, 2003. The death was likely a result of force-feeding, which suffocated her.

Dafa practitioners dedicate themselves to cultivating their mind and body, and improving themselves by following the principles of Falun Dafa: "Truthfulness- Compassion-Forbearance." They have the courage to stand up and appeal, and distribute flyers to the public telling them the facts about the persecution. This is also to protect people's right to know the truth, which does not violate any law. However, the illegal detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners by the public security departments are definitely violating citizens' rights. Therefore, many practitioners used methods such as hunger strikes to protest against the persecution during their detention. According to international convention, if a person in custody goes on a hunger strike for 7 days, his request must be heard and answered. However, in China's forced labor camps, detention centers and even hospitals, the use of brutal force-feeding has become a standard torture method. According to the October 22 report from Falun Dafa Information Center, out of 805 verified deaths of Falun Gong practitioners by torture, 78 practitioners died from brutal forced-feeding by the police.

January 6, 2004