Family Members Continue Appealing for Justice for Murdered Falun Dafa Practitioner Zuo Zhigang from Shijiazhuang City
(Clearwisdom.net) On May 30, 2001, one day before his wedding date, police suddenly arrested Mr. Zuo Zhigang from Shijiazhuang City. Within 24 hours, Mr. Zuo was beaten to death. The police then framed him, saying he committed suicide by hanging himself. The crime perpetrated by the police was so evil and the methods they resorted to so brutal that the public was indignant. Due to his family's strong protest, Mr. Zuo's remains were preserved and he has not yet been cremated. Because of Jiang's orders, "If Falun Gong practitioners are beaten to death, it is nothing and shall be counted as suicide," Mr. Zuo's case has been held for four years. To this day, he has still not been exonerated.
Over a time span of four years, Mr. Zuo's parents, who are over 70 years old, have made exhaustive efforts appealing to all the provincial and municipal governmental departments at each level in order to redress the wrongful death of their son. They suffered huge mental torment, even though they still needed to take care of their second oldest daughter, who is sick. During the past four years, each time the 90-year-old grandma asked about her most beloved grandson Gang she was always told, "Gang went abroad."
Zuo's parents constantly sent out appeal documents, yet they received no replies. They could not find a lawyer to register the case and appeal for them. They themselves were also informed by some persons in the Procuratorate that cases involving Falun Gong were not allowed to be accepted by the authorities. Their son was a victim of abuse under the persecution resulting in death, and yet, after four years of appeals, the parents couldn't even get the case filed for an investigation. Nonetheless, no matter how difficult it was, Zuo's parents didn't give up and said: "The police must admit that Zuo Zhigang was beaten to death rather than committed suicide." We appeal for support and help from all righteous people around the world.
Mr. Zuo Zhigang was an excellent service engineer for the Phillips Co. in China and worked at the Ruiguang Computer Company at Zhongshan Road. At about 3:00 p.m. on May 30, 2001, Mr. Zuo was taken away by police officers Lin Zhensheng and Hou Wenhua from the Political Security Team of the Qiaoxi Police Department and the police from Xinghua Street Police Station (it has now been renamed as Weiming Street Police Station). At about 7:00 p.m. the same day they also illegally ransacked Mr. Zuo's home. They searched all over the house without getting anything they wanted.
The police beat Zuo Zhigang, only 33 years old, to death in only one day. His body was coved with injuries everywhere. One of his ears was severely bruised. There were two rectangular indentations on his back. Each side of his neck showed an obvious wound made with fine rope, with bloodstains around the wounds. There were two obvious wounds one inch apart in the back. A large area on his back was bruised. The head was wounded. The left side of the face and cheek were swollen, as having been hit by a blunt object, and the right ear was completely bruised. However, facing such obvious facts, attesting to violence that resulted in death, these police officers still lied and claimed that Zuo Zhigang died from hanging himself with his own shirt in about six or seven minutes when the guard left him. (Note: Zuo Zhigang was 1.72 meters tall (5 ft. 8 in.), yet the cell door was only 1.60 meters (5 ft. 3 in.) high.)
By July 11, 2003, two years and forty-one days after Mr. Zuo's death, with Zuo family's constant requests and appeals, officers Jian Yugui and Liu Hui and others from the Qiaoxi Police Department gave Zuo's family a copy of a fact-finding document that said, "died by hanging." The family didn't accept this and raised many questions. To these questions, Qiaoxi Police Department authorities shifted responsibility onto one another and refused to reply. They even refused the family's request to see the autopsy report. Policeman Bai Yuanji from the Xinghua Street Police Station claimed that he was in charge of Mr. Zuo's case.
Now, it's been four years since Zuo Zhigang's murder. As today the voices raised against the persecution of Falun Gong have grown increasingly stronger, the authorities from the Qiaoxi Police Department, under pressure, began to return things left behind by Mr. Zuo Zhigang: the salary card, cash, keys and other personal belongings. They started to contact his family who had asked to see Zuo Zhigang's body. They attempted to persuade Zuo Zhigang's family members to give up their appeal and to cremate Mr. Zuo's body as soon as possible, intending to destroy any evidence of their crime of beating him to death. But none of those involved in the case, such as the police department chief, the head or the police officers will take responsibility. The murderers are still getting away with murder.
Offices and personnel responsible for Mr. Zuo's death:
Qiaoxi District Police Department in Shijiazhuang City; mailing address: 7 Xinghua Street, Zip code: 050000, Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977
Police Department Depute Chief, Zhao Xingjian, was in charge of persecution of Falun Gong and did his utmost to conceal Zuo Zhigang's case. His attitude was extremely rude. Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977, or 86-311-87024882
Head of the Political & Security Team, Li Zhensheng and policeman Hou Wenhua (two main criminals in the arrest), Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977
Policemen Jiang Yugui and Liu Hui, 86-311-85188895 or Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977
Police Department Head Liu Zhongming, 86-311-87026381 (Office), Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977 transfer 7770, cell phone: 86-311-96777-777
Instructor surnamed Yin, Tel exchange: 86-311-87039977, 86-311-87024882
Li Rongqi from the Political & Security Brigade, 86-311-87027447 (Office) or Tel exchange 86-311-87039977 transfer 7702, cell phone: 86-311-96777-2058
Xinghua Street Police Station (now renamed as Weiming Street Police Station, dreading punishment for their crime), 86-311-87888193
Policeman Bai Yuanji (claimed he is in charge of Zuo Zhigang's case), 86-311-87888193
Head Wang Jianhua, 86-13933028533 (Cell), 86-311-83016048 (Home), 86-311-96777-2023 (Pager)
Policeman Meng Lihai, 86-13933090378 (Cell)
Offices and legal medical examiner that provided the false autopsy report:
The People's Procuratorate in Shijiazhuang City; mailing address: 88 Minzu Road, Shijiazhuang City. Tel: 86-311-87899456, 86-311-87017615
Legal medical examiner, Gu Jianping
Shijiazhuang City Police Department; mailing address: 83 Minzu Road, Shijiazhuang City. Tei exchange: 86-311-87019777
Legal medical examiners, Li Genming and Zhaoqi
Qiaoxi Police Department, Legal medical examiner, Wang Jianbing
Attachment: Lawsuit by Zuo Zhigang's father, written on August 12, 2003
Plaintiff: Zuo Yaoxin, father of victim
Defendant: Qiaoxi District Police Department of Shijiazhuang City Police Department
That a most honest coroner with great professional expertise in the judicial, procuratorate or police system above the provincial level be dispatched to conduct an autopsy.
Investigate the crimes and prosecute persons at Qiaoxi Police Department responsible for illegal detention and torture death of Zuo Zhigang.
Compensate the victim's family for financial and emotional loss.
My name is Zuo Yaoxin. I am male and was born on January 13, 1934. I live in the No. 4-3-104 Dormitory of the No. 3302 Factory. I retired from my post as a doctor at the factory clinic. Hereby I request that you file a case about my son's death at the Xinghua Street Police Station, after he was illegally detained and tortured at the same police station.
My son Zuo Zhigang was born on July 19, 1968. He lived with us and was very healthy. He worked at the Ruiguang Computer Company in Hebei Province and was planning to get married on May 31, 2001. As our family was preparing for his wedding, several officers from the Qiaoxi Police Department went to Zuo Zhigang's work unit around 3:30 p.m. on May 30, 2001 and took Zuo Zhigang to the Xinghua Street Police Station without following any legal procedures. They searched our home at around 7:30 later that evening. At about 5:00 p.m. the next day, someone from the Qiaoxi Police Department told me to go to the Security Section at the No. 3302 Factory. After two hours of questioning they told me, "Zuo Zhigang has committed suicide with a short-sleeve shirt in the detention room at the police station today at around 6:30 a.m."
At about 10:30 a.m. on June 1, officers from the Qiaoxi Police Department explained Zuo Zhigang's death to us, "In the afternoon of May 30, Zuo Zhigang was taken to the Xinghua Street Police Station, where the officers interrogated him. He was calm during the process. The interrogation ended at 9:30 p.m. Between 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. the next day, members from the Security Team who were in charge of watching him brought breakfast to him. They saw he was going to eat so they went out to clean the hallway. About seven minutes later they found that Zuo Zhigang had hung himself on the iron-barred door with his short-sleeve shirt. He died after resuscitation efforts failed." There was no autopsy report.
Our family went to the Xinghua Street Police Station and looked at the spot where they claimed Zuo Zhigang had died. We had many questions but were not given any answers. We then went to the crematory to look at Zuo Zhigang's body. We saw two narrow scars with blood around them on both sides of his neck, and on his back were two holes about one inch apart, and a large area of skin on his back was purple. His head was also injured. There were bumps on his left cheek and chin, apparently the result of being struck by a blunt object, and his right ear was completely dark blue. There was no blood on his clothes. We asked the Qiaoxi Police Department many times to show us an autopsy report, but they refused and pressured us to go through with the cremation. On July 11, 2003, more than two years after Zuo Zhigang's death and after numerous appeals and pleas from our family, they gave us a copy of the coroner's report, but no picture.
We are convinced of the following:
First, there was no motive for suicide. Zuo Zhigang is our youngest child and the only son. Our whole family was preparing for his wedding. The officials from his former work unit, the TV factory, said when Zuo Zhigang went to the factory to fill out some paperwork required for marriage one week before his arrest his former colleagues joked with him and said they would attend his wedding at his home. His current company planned to send him on an errand in the afternoon on the day of his arrest, and his supervisor assigned it to someone else after Zuo Zhigang explained that he had plans that evening. In fact, he was going to meet with his fiancée at 7:00 p.m. and they were going to take a wedding picture the following day.
Zuo Zhigang has two sisters. The older sister lives away from us and the younger sister is laid off for health reasons. The evening before his arrest my wife said to him, "Your father and I will take care of your younger sister." He immediately said, "So will my wife and I."
A few days before his death, Zuo Zhigang's former colleagues at No. 54 Institute who are now working in Shenzhen City introduced him to work there with a higher pay, but he declined the offer as he wanted to stay close to home so he could take care of his parents.
Although he was laid off, he earned more than 1,000 yuan a month with his skills. His supervisor respected him and his colleagues liked him. A survey showed that his satisfactory work rating with his customers was 100 0n two consecutive years. (He fixes monitors) How could a person with a good career who is the breadwinner of a family, who is about to get married, suddenly commit suicide? It's impossible!
He often fixed electric appliances for people free of charge, and some appliances waiting to be fixed were found in his company drawer. If he wanted to die, he would have taken care of these things first.
Qiaoxi Police Department claimed the two-hour interrogation on the evening of May 30 was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and no torture was employed. Zuo Zhigang's behavior was normal. Without suffering any physical torture or mental torment, there is no reason for a dramatic change in Zuo Zhigang's mental state after only a short conversation. At what point does a person commit suicide? What does he do before he kills himself? He would be desperate and go through inner turmoil, and his mood would be abnormal. How much courage does it take to take this step, and how much time does it take to make the decision to end one's own life? How could Zuo Zhigang have committed suicide without having shown any of these basic behaviors?
Second, the physical conditions for suicide did not exist. The Qiaoxi Police Department first claimed that Zuo Zhigang was held in the detention room at the Xinghua Street Police Station and was watched around the clock. How did he get the opportunity to commit suicide? At first, Qiaoxi Police Department personnel claimed, "The people in charge of watching Zuo Zhigang were cleaning an area of about 2 square meters outside the detention room at the time of Zuo Zhigang's death. They were separated from him by only an iron-barred door and could both hear and see Zuo Zhigang. How could they have let him commit suicide? The police later changed their story and said, "These people went to dump the garbage and saw that Zuo Zhigang had hung himself when they returned." The detention room is only a few meters from the garbage collection site and it takes only a few minutes round-trip. How did Zuo Zhigang get enough time to commit suicide? Qiaoxi Police Department personnel claimed his suicide process took only six or seven minutes. Zuo Zhigang is 1.72 meters tall (about 5 ft. 8 in.) and the iron-barred is 1.6 meters high (about 5 ft. 3 in.). He would have to have hung himself with bent legs. As a healthy person, instinct would have him kick out and his feet would have touched the ground, so it would have been very difficult for him to kill himself with a short-sleeve shirt in such a short period of time.
Third, the crime scene was destroyed. The main physical evidence, including the body, the shirt, the knife, the scissors, his shoes and underwear were absent. Why did the police remove the body before his family could look at it?
Fourth, the death notice to his family was intentionally delayed. Qiaoxi Police Department officials claimed he died at 6:30 a.m. on May 31. So, why didn't they notify us until 13 hours later at 7:30 p.m.? It was more than 24 hours past the time of his arrest. The time at which we saw his body was 35 hours past his death, at 5:30 p.m. on June 1. It is unknown what had transpired during the intervening hours. The police also refused to issue the family an autopsy report.
Fifth, Zhao, the deputy head of the Qiaoxi Police Department, and Yin, the political head went back on their word. On the morning of June 1 they said that the family could take pictures of the body if they had suspicions, yet when we went to see the body in the afternoon they refused to let us take pictures. Why?
Sixth, the Qiaoxi Police Department officials changed the critical times and facts several times during the process. They gave several different versions of the time of death, time of detention, the food he ate, among other things. Once, the police claimed his short-sleeve shirt was torn into long strips, and later they said it wasn't torn.
Seventh, the police were very rude to the victim's family and threatened them. When the family pointed out that Zhao, the deputy head of the police department was lying, he flew into a rage and threatened, "You'll be sorry if you say that again!"
Eighth, a short-sleeve shirt cannot account for the scars on the body, and they are different from the coroner's explanation and the picture he provided.
(1) From what we saw on the body, there was a narrow scar on each side of his neck. The skin was gone and there was blood around the scars. There was no scar around his Adam's apple that would otherwise indicate a thin strip of cloth had been tied around it, as the skin is intact. There were also wide tightening marks underneath his ears.
My questions are: A man's clothing in the summer time is usually soft and smooth. Zuo Zhigang's shirt was made of man-made fiber, not a coarse rope. How could it rub off the skin within a few minutes? According to statements from Qiaoxi Police Department officials, he killed himself while leaning forward. Therefore the front of his body stood the most weight. So why are there are no obvious scars around his adam's apple? If he hung himself with a shirt, he could have tied the ends of his shirt to make it into a loop, so the part of his shirt that came in contact with his neck could be the lower part of the shirt. He also could have twisted the shirt into a rope. If the first scenario is true, the scars should be thin. If the latter one is true, the scars should be wide. In any case, the scars should be even in width, which contradicts the fact that the scars on the body are of different widths.
(2) There were bumps on his left cheek and also under his ear, which apparently were caused by a blunt object. His whole right ear is dark blue. Why did the coroner miss these details in his report?
(3) The picture provided by the coroner shows the mark of abrasions on the back. The Qiaoxi Police Department officials claimed it was caused by the nails on the iron-barred door. However, when we went to investigate the detention room, we saw the nails on the aforementioned door are spaced wide apart and could not have caused the wounds shown in the picture. When we proposed this question, Qiaoxi Police Department officials refused to answer us. When we looked at the body, we saw two deep holes beside the spine on the lower back. They are about one inch apart and are the size of chopsticks. They look suspiciously similar to the burn scar caused by an electric baton, and not at all like an abrasion wound. If he hung himself, the nails would have scratched his body vertically, yet the actual holes are the result of force asserted perpendicular to the body. The coroner could not explain these two holes.
We cannot help but ask:
How did Zuo Zhigang die? Why do the scars and wounds on his body, obviously caused by instruments, not fit the police report that he hung himself with a shirt? Why did the coroner fail to report truthfully? If he wanted to commit suicide, why would he kill himself at the police station not anywhere else?
If someone strangled him, who would it be? Maybe someone killed him by accident during torture and then hung his body on the door to make it appear as suicide to cover the facts.
Why did the police fail to notify the family after the death? Why was the body sent directly to the crematory without the family's consent? In addition, the family was not given the opportunity to see the body at the police station.
Why was there such long delay before a coroner's report or technical report was sent to us? A total of two years and 41 days elapsed before the report was delivered to the family on July 11, 2003. The death occurred on May 31, 2001.
Why did the authorities at the Qiaoxi Police Department repeatedly change their story? Why are there so many discrepancies in their story? The official(s) at the city police department said the head of the Qiaoxi Police Department is not well qualified. Isn't there a possibility that a person like him would arbitrarily arrest people, conduct torture to obtain a confession, and that this would lead to death?
How many people were watching our son? Was it their responsibility to do the cleaning as well? Even if only one person was watching Zuo Zhigang, why didn't someone else take the monitor's place when the first person left the room? They are guilty of misconduct because they abandoned their post by leaving Zuo Zhigang all by himself.
The Qiaoxi Police Department personnel have refused to answer our questions and denied us access to the original death report. We do not understand. We appealed to the procuratorate, the Politics and Law Committee and the city police department many times, both verbally and in written statements, but still did not receive the technical report until two years later, and there are many doubtful claims. The report claims "a large amount of" "Falun Gong" materials were found on Zuo Zhigang, which is untrue. There were two empty VCDs, one C drive disk, one Happy Family software, which is confirmed by Zuo Zhigang's work unit. He also had an empty backpack. Where does the "large amount" come from? Another false claim made by the technical report is the time of arrest, which according to the report is 8:00 p.m., but in fact the police went to Zuo Zhigang's work unit at around 3:00 p.m. on May 30, when they deprived him of his personal freedom. This has also been confirmed by Zuo Zhigang's work unit. According to existing laws, after no incriminating evidence was found, Zuo Zhigang should have been released at 3:00 a.m. the next day, yet persons from the Qiaoxi Police Department illegally detained him and personally caused his death. The shirt did not make these scars, and there were numerous wounds on the body. The Qiaoxi Police Department officials said Zuo Zhigang was "very stubborn," which makes extortion of confession through torture a highly viable option.
This case involves murder, and some individuals in the political and judicial departments are suspects. We sincerely ask that the judicial departments above the provincial level file this case and invite a most honest coroner with great professional expertise to conduct a just autopsy. We further ask that representatives and the victim's family be notified of and be present at the autopsy. The current technical report is a product of the city procuratorate, the city police department and the Qiaoxi Police Department. The family was not present. This case happened in the Qiaoxi Police Department, yet the people from the police department were present. It is against the principles of fairness, and people from the Qiaoxi Police Department should not be involved in the autopsy.
Since losing Zuo Zhigang, who was the main source of income for our family, our lives have been very difficult. In addition to tremendous grief, both my wife and I retired early for health reasons. My mother, who is in her late 80s, is living with us, and we also support our younger daughter who stays home without a job. We spent lots of money in seeking justice, and we earnestly request that related government departments compensate us, financially and emotionally. Life is most precious and cannot be measured with money, yet those who are still alive have to continue to live, however arduous it may be.
We especially ask related government departments to make sure that the Qiaoxi Police Department keeps Zuo Zhigang's body. Because he died from unnatural cause(s) and our family has many questions, we have the right to the facts and to obtain answers. We also have the right to ask higher governmental department to conduct another autopsy. We reserve the right to appeal and file lawsuits. Therefore, please do not cremate the body without the family's consent and before all legal procedures are finished!
In the process of upholding our legal rights we will find out the truth and restore justice for the deceased, restore dignity for the law, and restore security for society. The long arm of the law will not miss a single culprit! Any and all perpetrators who violate the law as administrators of the law will be punished by the law!
Zuo Yaoxin, August 12, 2003