Ms. Li Fengxia Dies in Custody After Hiring a Lawyer for Her Brother, Unlawfully Tried for Practicing Falun Gong
Name: Ms. Li Fengxia (李凤霞)
Occupation: Teacher in Middle School No. 6 at Jiagedaqi City, Heilongjiang Province
Date of Death: April 28, 2011
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 5, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Dayangshu Town Police Department in Elunchun Prefecture, Inner Mongolia (大杨树镇公安局)
Persecution Suffered: Interrogation, detention
(Clearwisdom.net) On the afternoon of April 28, 2011, policemen from Alihe Town Police Department at Elunchun Autonomy Prefecture of Inner Mongolia went to see the school principal, Mr. Si Pinjiang of Middle School No. 6 at Jiagedaqi City, Heilongjiang Province. They announced the school's teacher, Ms. Li Fengxia, had died from a “stroke” at noon on April 28. The school notified Ms. Li's husband, Mr. Li Wanlin.
Ms. Li Fengxia was 54 years old and had no illness prior to the arrest. Her family members are on their way to Alihe Town. The details of what happened to Ms. Li will be further investigated.
Ms. Li Fengxia's brother, Mr. Li Fengfei, 50 years old, is from Dayangshu Township, Elunchun, Inner Mongolia.
Dayangshu Town Police Department agent Li Benxue and officers from the criminal police team in Elunchun Prefecture, broke into Mr. Li Fengfei's house without a search warrant on the evening of March 29, 2010. The police found no evidence of criminal activity or of Mr. Li's involvement in Falun Gong, but confiscated his wife's cell phone.
Mr. Li was illegally arrested and held for four days at the Dayangshu Police Department where he was tortured to the point of having difficulty walking. On April 2, 2010, he was transferred to the Alihe Detention Center where the guards instigated criminal detainees to brutally beat him.
Upon hearing about her brother's abuse, Ms. Li Fengxia went to the Dayangshu Town Police Department several times to demand her brother's release. On one occasion, a police officer who is also an assistant of Hou Qingjie, the deputy head, punched Ms. Li, pulled her hair and choked her.
Ms. Li hired a lawyer from Beijing to defend her brother. The court officials told the lawyer that he could meet with Mr. Li prior to the trial. When the lawyer and Ms. Li Fengxia arrived at the detention center however, they were told that they could not meet with Mr. Li unless they obtained the detention center head's signature. Zhang Yanhua, head of the detention center, refused to sign the required document. Ms. Li and the lawyer went to the Political and Legal Committee for a resolution, but they were not provided any assistance. Therefore, they were unable to meet with Mr. Li. The Alihe Court staff eventually agreed to allow the lawyer to review Mr. Li Fengfei's files.
Without any evidence of criminal activity, the court accused Mr. Li of “organizing a gatherings to study Falun Gong teachings.” Mr. Li wrote about how he was persecuted while in prison in 2004. Two Hongyan Township police officers had previously arrested Mr. Li while he was distributing Falun Gong informational materials on August 14, 2004. During the interrogation, Gao, an official, shocked him with electric batons and slapped his face so hard that it impaired his hearing. Mr. Li was detained and tortured at the Dayangshu Forestry Police Department for a month. He was thereafter sentenced to a three-year term in a forced labor camp, but was allowed to serve the term outside the camp.
The trial of four Falun Gong practitioners including Li Fengfei, Sun Lifeng, Liu Chunxun, and Chen Li commenced on the morning of August 2, 2010. The lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for Mr. Li. The public prosecutor could not defend the charges. The court officials were disconcerted by the not-guilty plea and the defense by Mr. Li's lawyer.
After the trial, the plainclothes officers from Dayangshu Town Police Department followed Ms. Li Fengxia home. On August 5, 2010, they arrested her at the school where she worked in Jiageda Prefecture and confiscated her work computer. Her family was not allowed to visit her at the detention center.
The police also arrested Ms. Li's sister-in-law and Ms. Li's daughter, a college student.
Parties involved in the persecution:
Zhang Yanhua, Elunchun Prefecture Police Department: 86-13847004888 (Cell)
Hou Qingjie, deputy head: 86-13804707007 (Cell)
Li Benxue, Dayangshu Town Police Department: 86-13847072678 (Cell)
Wang Liangsen, head of Alihe Prefecture Detention Center: 86-13848075599 (Cell)
Zheng Wenlong, political section head: 86-13847046488 (Cell)
May 1, 2011