December 16, 2001

BEIJING (AP)--A follower of Falun Gong arrested for distributing the group's leaflets died after being beaten and having saltwater forced down her throat by Chinese police, a human rights group said Sunday.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Zhang Min was the 186th Falun Gong follower whose death from abuse it has recorded since China's communist rulers outlawed the [group] in July 1999.

Falun Gong puts the number killed even higher, at more than 320.

Zhang died Dec. 5 in the No.2 Detention Center in Yilan, a county 1,200 kilometers northeast of Beijing in Heilongjiang province, the Hong Kong-based Information Center said.

An official at the detention center refused to answer questions about the case, hanging up the phone.


The Information Center said Yilan police detained Zhang and eight other adherents as they distributed leaflets about Falun Gong Nov. 28.

Police trying to find out where the leaflets were printed beat Zhang, causing her to spit blood, and force-fed her salt water, getting water into her lungs, the center said. Officials cremated her body Dec. 7, two days after her death, it said.

The center gave no details about the eight other followers it said were also detained.


Category: Deaths