Li Zaiji - 李再亟
Li Zaiji, born in 1956, was the first Falun Gong practitioner in Jilin City, Jilin Province, to be tortured to death. He was sent to Huanxiling Forced Labor Camp in October 1999 and died on July 8, 2000. The coroner had all his organs removed before hastily getting the camp guards to have his body cremated.
Li Zaiji lived in the Chuanying District in Jilin City. After suffering an on-the-job injury in 1987, he gradually lost his ability to work and eventually had to rest at home all day long. He began to practice Falun Dafa in 1995 and soon recovered from his old injuries. He always followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and promoted the wonderful practice to everyone he met. With his help, more than 20 of his family members and friends also started to cultivate.
When he heard the allegations against Falun Dafa on TV on July 20, 1999, he decided to go to Beijing to appeal. Before he reached his destination, however, agents from the Jilin City Police Department seized him. He was first kept in the Jilin City Detention Center for 15 days and then taken to the Chuanying Police Department by Deng Feng from the Qingdao Street Police Station. Without following legal procedures, the police handed him a one-year forced labor sentence that was supposed to extend from October 26, 1999, to October 25, 2000. That same day he was further transferred to the Huanxiling Labor Camp, where he would later lose his life before his term expired.
Li Zaiji suffered tremendously at the hands of the labor camp guards and detainees. He once told his wife that the labor camp was not a place for human beings.
He died on July 8, 2000. When his family learned the news at noon that day they rushed to the Jilin City Third Hospital. They saw his body in the hallway, covered with papers. Police were guarding his body and preventing the family from getting near. In the afternoon his body was sent to the Death Investigation Center.
The Terrible Condition of Li Zaiji’s Body
Around 6 p.m. on the day of Li Zaiji’s death, a few guards from the labor camp went to talk to his wife. When guard Zhao told her that her husband died of diarrhea, she responded, “He wasn’t sick at all when I visited him a few days ago. How come he died so suddenly? It must be that you beat him to death!” The guards, of course, fervently denied this. She asked to see her husband’s body. They told her she could the next day. Apparently they needed extra time to figure out how to conceal their crimes. In the end, they agreed to let his family view his body the second night.
When Mr. Li’s wife went to the Death Investigation Center, she noticed his body had undergone cosmetic repair and looked beautified. Even though the guards soon dragged her away before she could take a careful look, she still saw that his back was black and purple, and his left temple was sunken in. One of his eyeballs appeared to have been pushed back into its socket. To secure the eyeball, gauze had been stuck into the corner of his eye, although a piece of it was visible outside the eye.
Li Zaiji’s Organs Removed before Cremation
After an autopsy was conducted without the family's consent, the coroners removed all of Li Zaiji’s internal organs. Guard Zhao bought many rolls of bath tissue. When questioned by the family, he said they were needed to stuff Li Zaiji’s abdomen. The family indeed saw the cavity filled with bath tissue. When the guards carried the body out, it was dripping blood. The family asked to keep the organs, but guard Zhao said they needed to use them for specimens, when, in fact, they later sold the organs for a profit. The family had no say whatsoever. The guards didn’t even let them put clothes on the body before hurriedly cremating it.
Many local practitioners wanted to bid farewell to Li Zaiji on the day of his cremation, but they were arrested by police and others from the labor camp. The practitioners were not set free until the cremation was completed. The police also stationed agents outside Li Zaiji’s family home. Whoever visited the family was arrested. As a result, Li Zaiji's death was not exposed in a timely manner.