Demanding Answers for Mr. Fang Zhengping's Untimely Death, Family Hires Lawyers
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Fang Zhengping (方征平)
Age: 57, born in 1956
Address: 410 Factory in Xichang, Sichuan (西昌市四一零厂)
Occupation: Manual worker
Date of Death: July 2013
Date of Most Recent Arrest: October 14, 2007
Most Recent Place of Detention: Yunnan Province No. 1 Prison (云南省第一监狱)
Persecution Suffered: Detention, interrogation, illegal sentencing, imprisonment, brainwashing, beatings, torture, extortion, home ransacked
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Fang Zhengping died in the Yunnan No. 1 Prison in July 2013. Mr. Fang's parents were not informed of the cause of his untimely death or given any related information. The family had waited for over six years for Mr. Fang's release. Instead, his 82-year-old mother was asked to pick up Mr. Fang's ashes.
Mr. Fang had been very healthy since he started to practice Falun Gong over 10 years ago. As the family was not provided any information concerning the death of Mr. Fang, his mother hired two lawyers.
The family is demanding that the prison explain and provide information in connection to Mr. Fang's death.
The lawyers visited the Yunnan No. 1 Prison on the morning of August 30, 2013. Director Pu briefly talked to them about Mr. Fang's death, claiming that he had died from an illness.
Pu also claimed that Mr. Fang's wife, Ms. Cheng Donglan, had been contacted by phone upon Mr. Fang's death, and that there is a surveillance video showing the call. Ms. Cheng was sentenced to 10 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong and is still detained in the Yangmahe Prison in Juanyang City, Sichuan Province.
Attempting to Get to the Truth
The lawyers asked for Mr. Fang's file, but Pu told them that higher authorities had to approve such a request, and that they would be notified of the decision.
The family and the lawyers stressed that the request concerned a death, and the truth must be told.
The lawyers went to the Kunming City Procuratorate on August 30, 2013, requesting assistance in finding answers regarding Mr. Fang's untimely death. The lawyers submitted a document titled, “Requesting Kunming City Procuratorate to Investigate Mr. Fang Zhenping's Death.”
The lawyers requested a total of 12 documents, including Mr. Fang's health examination record from the date of arrival at the prison to the time of his death, the autopsy report, video and audio recordings of Mr. Fang in prison, records that show the prison's attempts to contact Mr. Fang's family during Mr. Fang's imprisonment and after his death, and other relevant information.
The Kunming City Procuratorate passed the lawyers' request back to the authorities at the Yunnan No. 1 Prison. The prison then again claimed that it required approval from higher authorities. They told the lawyers to submit their request to the Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Prisons.
Wu from the prison office notified the lawyers that they would be contacted on September 2, 2013. On contact, the lawyers were told that they would be able to meet with prison authorities on September 4.
Imprisoned and Tortured for Practicing Falun Gong
After the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Mr. Fang was illegally arrested and detained seven times for his faith. He was cruelly beaten and tortured.
When he was held at the Mapingba Brainwashing Center, officers from the Domestic Security Division handcuffed him, threw him up in the air, and let him fall to the ground. They then left him under the baking sun for hours.
At the Xinhua Labor Camp in Mianyang City, Sichuan, guards ordered criminal inmates to brutally beat Mr. Fang.
Mr. Fang was arrested again by the Suijiang County Domestic Security Division on October 14, 2007, when he applied for an identification card in Yunnan Province.
Luo Yi from the Xichang Domestic Security Division, Jiang Xing from the Domestic Security Division of the Suijiang Police Department, and other police ransacked Mr. Fang's home on October 25, 2007.
Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison
Mr. Fang was sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Suijiang County Court.
He was transferred to the Yunnan No. 1 Prison on December 27, 2007. On the way there, he was placed in the Qujing Prison overnight.
At the Quijing Prison, three guards beat and kicked Mr. Fang because he didn't respond to a roll call in time. They beat him to the ground and stomped on his face and body. He was severely injured and had to be carried into the Yunnan No. 1 Prison. It took 45 days before he could walk again.
The family did not learn of Mr. Fang's whereabouts until early 2012. He was held in Ward No. 3 of the 10th Prison District. He was in critical condition by the time his family was notified. After that, no information concerning his condition was given to the family.