Reuters: China Torture, Persecution Kill 4 Falun Gong Members
Tuesday, January 2, 2001; 9:19 AM
HONG KONG-Torture and persecution by Chinese authorities have caused the deaths of four more followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, a Hong Kong human rights group said Tuesday.
The incidents brought to at least 92 the number of Falun Gong adherents who have died of ill treatment by Chinese authorities while in custody or during arrest since July 1999, the Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy said.
Last December, the movement's Hong Kong practitioners said China had tortured to death 95 mainland followers since Beijing began cracking down on Falun Gong in July 1999.
In a statement, the Hong Kong-based information center said the latest victims included 33-year-old Xu Bing and 34-year-old Lou Aiqing from China's eastern Shandong province.
Police arrested the pair Dec. 20 when they were posting Falun Gong slogans on walls in Shandong's Qingdao city and beat them in detention, it said.
On Dec. 24, police informed the families of Xu and Lou that they had died of heart disease. Spotting many wounds on the bodies, the families took pictures of the corpses, only to have the films seized by police, the human rights group said.
In the same province, 63-year-old Xia Shucai was arrested Oct. 1 when he was about to leave for Beijing for a rally at Tiananmen square, the statement said.
When he refused to pay a fine of 2,000 Chinese yuan ($242), Xia was beaten repeatedly which caused his death on Dec. 22. Members of his family saw wounds and bruises on his body.
In the central Sichuan province, 32-year-old Su Qinghua died in a botched police attempt to arrest her on Dec. 20. She fell to her death from her sixth-floor apartment as she grappled with a policeman attempting to abseil into her apartment.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, combines meditation and exercise with a doctrine loosely rooted in Buddhist and Taoist teachings. It first shocked Beijing with a 10,000-strong protest in April in 1999 and was banned in China later that year.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media