15 Falun Gong Women Suddenly Dead from Torture at Wanjia Labor Camp

July 3, 2001Around June 20, 2001, at least 15 female Falun Gong practitioners died in a spate of violence and torture at the Wanjia Labor Camp in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. A number of others are said to be receiving emergency medical treatment. This information follows a June 30 report that the camps police had recently begun ordering female Falun Gong detainees into male prisoners cells for days on end. In those cells they undergo unimaginable mental and physical torture, including severe sexual abuse.

The persecution of Falun Gong by Jiang Zemins regime has sunk to new, horrifying depths.

So far we know the names of four of the women who died:

Zhang Yulan, 55 years old; Shao Ying, 33; Zhao Yayun, female, 54; and Li Xiuqin. All four died on June 20 from torture. We do not know the names of the rest, nor the details of their deaths, but the labor camp claimed that "they committed mass suicide by hanging themselves." This follows the routine and wholly incredible claims by authorities across China that Falun Gong practitioners deaths in custody resulted either from natural causes or suicide.

In a highly unusual move, the labor camp threw up a tight information blockade when the mass deaths came to light. They confiscated phones and pagers of employees, stopped all visits, and kept staff from leaving the facility. Yet the news has leaked out as family members are notified, and the recent upsurge in extreme abuse noted elsewhere in China has had devastating consequences here.

Li Xiuqin and at least two others were cremated before family could identify the bodies the family was left with only a box of ashes. Police said, "The higher authorities have said that beating [Falun] Dafa practitioners to death counts as suicide. Dont identify the body, and cremate locally."

Local authorities have become emboldened by such statements to attack Falun Gong practitioners in custody with greater violence. The pattern of sanctioned violence is escalating all over the country, with 35 deaths reported in June alone. In most every case the captors refuse family members who wish to see the body, and medical autopsies are blocked. The captors consistently display a cavalier and inhuman attitude towards mourning family members, saying, "You can go wherever you like to sue us."

As another example of the recent upsurge in violence, it was reported on the same day that these women died, police in Hubei province burned a male Falun Gong practitioner to death in public and declared to onlookers that it was self-immolation.

Reliable sources reported that, recently the public security department of Shuangcheng city, Heilongjiang province, made a plan: for those practitioners who refuse to renounce Falun Gong, they will use plastic bags to cover their noses and mouths to choke them to death.

Falun Gong representative Ms. Feng Yuan said, "From the beginning, this campaign against Falun Gong has been against the Chinese constitution, against international human rights agreements, and against all sense of human decency. These new deaths are cause for serious, serious concern."

We call on all kind-hearted people and institutions to offer urgent support as we seek to rescue the Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted in China. Urgent action is needed desperately.

Category: Deaths