December 16, 2001

A Hong Kong-based rights group says a follower of the banned Falun Gong meditation [group] has died after being beaten by police in China.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Zhang Min died on December 5 at a detention center in Yilan county in northern Heilongjiang province after repeated police beatings.

The Information Center said Ms. Zhang was passing out Falun Gong material with eight other followers when they were arrested on November 28.

The rights group says police beat her repeatedly in an attempt to find out who had printed the materials and where she had obtained them. The group says authorities cremated the woman's body two days after her death.

According to the human-rights center, Ms. Zhang was the 186th Falun Gong follower to die as a result of abuse since China's [party name omitted] rulers outlawed the [group] in July of 1999. The Falun Gong puts the number higher, at over 300.

Beijing [...] has detained tens of thousands of practitioners in labor camps, mental hospitals and prisons without trial.

Category: Deaths