Family Sues Police Officers in Fucheng County, Hebei Province Over the 2002 Beating Death of Mr. Liu Quisheng
(Clearwisdom.net) On February 2, 2002, Kou Wentong, the Deputy Head of the Police Department of Fucheng County, Hebei Province, and Zhang Zhijun from the same department, violently beat 44-year-old Mr. Liu Qiusheng from Qingdong Village, Cuimiao Township, Fucheng County. The brutal beating on that day and subsequent beatings in the days that followed eventually led to Mr. Liu's death on February 22, 2002. Details follow:
Without showing any warrant, Mo Dafu, the secretary of the Cuimiao Township Communist Party, and several police officers from the local police station, including Jing Shucang, abducted Mr. Liu on February 2, 2002. The only reason they took him away was that Mr. Liu practiced Falun Gong. After they illegally took him to the police department, Kou Wentong, the second in charge, and Zhang Zhijun, tied Mr. Liu up and started to beat him for over an hour, until he lost consciousness. Abducted and imprisoned next to her son's cell, Mr. Liu's mother was a key witness. It was believed that Mr. Liu's internal organs had been injured in the beatings. According to another imprisoned person there, the officers later beat Mr. Liu several more times and he was force-fed while being tied up on a bed.
Within just twenty short days from February 2 to February 22, the police tortured Mr. Liu, once a very healthy man, to death. During all this the police did not allow Liu Qiusheng's family to visit him. On the eighth day of Mr. Liu's imprisonment, his wife came to the police department and demanded a visit. Officer Kou refused to let her in. They extorted 100 yuan from her, claiming it was to buy food for her husband, which was later confirmed to have never happened.
To cover up the crime, Kou Wentong and other officers who were involved in murdering Liu Qiusheng went to the village Party secretary for help. Together, they plotted to call in Liu Dong, Mr. Liu's teenage son, as a witness for an autopsy, without informing Mr. Liu's wife or mother. Seeing the badly tortured body of his father being dissected, the child was terrified. When the autopsy was complete, the officers reluctantly informed Mr. Liu's wife. What Mr. Liu's wife saw was a bloody and indiscernible body, though it was obvious that his ears, face, lips, right shoulder, and right chest were all terribly injured. Nevertheless, the autopsy report said "no exterior injuries, died of heart attack."
Witnessing the injuries all over her husband's body, Liu Qiusheng's wife insisted on personally hiring an independent legal medical expert. Refusing to cooperate, Officer Kou ordered the body to be cremated right away. Liu Qiusheng's family struggled hard to stop the cremation, until Officer Kou, the second head of the powerful county police department, called in over 100 policemen. The police chief personally directed the officers to encircle Mr. Liu's family members. With half a dozen officers attacking each of the family members, the policemen pushed all of the family members down, stepped on their heads, and covered their mouths with their hands to stop them from shouting or talking. The man who was attacking Mr. Liu's son was actually the officer who had previously acted as the coroner. In the end, they managed to quickly cremate Mr. Liu's body and destroy the incriminating evidence. "Go ahead and sue us," they shouted sarcastically.
In accordance with the clauses of the Supreme People's Procuratrate regarding provisions for investigation and justice in the case of five serious human rights violations by public servants, the family of Mr. Liu Qiusheng took legal action against his murderers, in particular, Kou Wentong and Zhang Zhijun of the Fucheng County police department. Accepting the lawsuit and promising to investigate, the County Prosecution Office soon informed Liu Qiusheng's wife that "the investigation was done and it showed Liu died of a heart attack." In despair, Mr. Liu's family had to file the suit in a higher court.
Although shadowed by the terrors of the"610 Office," many Fucheng County residents have been closely following this case to see how the death of Mr. Liu Qiusheng is eventually resolved.
Original article date: October 21, 2004