Remembering Ms Zhao Jinhua, the First Falun Gong Practitioner Tortured to Death in Police Custody
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Zhao Jinhua was 42 years old and lived at Taitouzhaojia Village, Zhangxing Town in Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province. Officers from the Zhangxing Police Station arrested her on September 27, 1999 for practicing Falun Gong. Just ten days later, on October 7, 1999, the police had tortured her to death.
Ms. Zhao Jinhua was the first Falun Gong practitioner tortured to death in China, and her case caused strong repercussions around the world. Many nations who uphold justice and many good people around the world have condemned Jiang's persecution campaign that has pushed his followers to commit atrocities against Falun Gong.
Since July 1999, the Zhaoyuan City Committee, the city's "610 Office" (1) and the police department have adhered to Jiang's secret directives of, "No need to apply the law when dealing with Falun Gong," and "death of Falun Gong practitioners from beating is nothing and shall be counted as suicide," and to cruelly persecute Falun Gong practitioners in Zhaoyuan City. In a time span of over the four years, from July 1999 through December 2003, ninety-six Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death in Shandong Province alone, including 15 from the Yantai area. Six of those deaths were from Zhaoyuan City: Ms. Zhao Jinhua, Sun Shaomei, Jiang Liying, Zhang Lin, Sui Songjiao and Fu Xibin.
Since Ms. Zhao Jinhua started practicing Falun Gong in 1995, she had followed the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" in every situation. She had become healthy and had a very high moral character and was generally acknowledged to be good person by people living in the village. Since July 20, 1999, when Jiang launched the brutal suppression against Falun Gong, the authorities in Zhaoyuan City, its townships and villages as well as police forces from all levels have become Jiang's tools. Ms. Zhao Jinhua had been unconstitutionally arrested, beaten and fined by officials from the Zhangxing Town government and the police station.
Ms. Zhao Jinhua was seized by the police and brutally tortured
On the afternoon of September 27, 1999, when Ms. Zhao Jinhua was working in her farm field, a group of policemen from the Zhangxing Town Police Station seized her again. That same afternoon, the police also illegally arrested four more female Falun Gong practitioners living in nearby villages. The police forced these five Falun Gong practitioners to write down their position on the Falun Gong issue, [a common tactic in Chinese political campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution.] Rather than writing statements denouncing their belief, the five women wrote that Falun Dafa was beneficial to society and to the public's mental and physical health. Instead of fearing retaliation, they used this opportunity to explain the facts about Falun Gong and educate the police; however, the head of the police station, Wang Qide, ordered other policemen to put them through a round of torture for their views. As directed, the policemen forced these women to stand, or squat on the ground and to read long passages from government propaganda texts and newspaper articles that were published to demonize Falun Gong. The policemen beat the women every time they refused to read the defamatory writings or if they did not read loudly enough. These police officers punched the women's faces and heads and kicked them, making them dizzy. The torture session lasted for an entire afternoon. At night the women were locked in a room and not permitted to sleep. Policemen and hired thugs took turns monitoring them and then beat them if they closed their eyes even briefly. This treatment lasted throughout the night for over four days and nights.
The police had orders to beat these women at will, completely taking advantage of their kind and peaceful nature. When the women questioned the policemen why they were violating the law when their job was to enforce the law and protect the public, and why they illegally arrested and beat them, the only reply they received from the police was to be accused of "holding an illegal gathering," and then a further accusation of "practicing Falun Gong in their homes." These were the police's fabricated excuses used to arrest the women.
A little after 8:00 p.m. on October 1, 1999, while the four female practitioners were all sitting in meditation, a person on duty saw them and reported their actions to higher police authorities. Sun Shixun, deputy head of the local police station arrived with four or five other people, including policeman Hou Xinzhou and a hired man named Fu Wenhui (son of the Party Secretary of Zhangxing Town Gailing Village). The authorities burst into the room and immediately began punching and kicking the women. They also struck the women with rubber clubs. Fu Wenhui grabbed Ms. Zhao Jinhua's hair and punched and kicked her, then struck her face and body very hard with a rubber club. While Ms. Zhao Jinhua was still lying on the ground, several other police in the group beat her prone body with rubber clubs. Fu Wenhui in particular struck her on sensitive spots. When these vile officers got tired of beating the female practitioners, they dragged Ms. Zhao Jinhua to the duty office and began torturing her with an electric cattle prod.
When Ms. Zhao Jinhua was dragged into the office, she saw a practitioner who had been dragged in earlier lying on the ground unconscious. This woman had been electrically shocked by the police who used a method of wrapping two wires that were attached to an old fashioned telephone around the fingers of the Falun Gong practitioner, or their ears or other sensitive body parts. The policeman would then crank the handle of the telephone to electrically charge it. Doing this causes electricity to flood the victim's entire body, giving them a high voltage shock. The result is that the torture victim suffers extreme pain from the electric shock and the muscles seize and contract tightly making the person feel like they are dying.
Tortured to death
Policeman Zhang Hai ordered personnel to spin the telephone handle very hard to create a high voltage of electricity. When the perpetrators interrogated Ms. Zhao Jinhua, asking if she would stop practicing Falun Gong, she always answered firmly, "No!"
These policemen tortured her even more relentlessly until Ms. Zhao Jinhua lost consciousness. Then they beat her in an effort to wake her up and when she started to revive, they tortured her again until she lost consciousness, then beat her again, repeating this horrific procedure four or five times. These policemen tortured Ms. Zhao Jinhua so viciously simply because she believed that Falun Dafa is good and a righteous spiritual practice. She lived her life according to the Dafa principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" and was committed to being a good person. Following the torture and abuse, the police then forced Ms. Zhao Jinhua to stand on the cold concrete floor in her bare feet for a lengthy period of time.
Because of her injuries and physical condition, she could barely remain standing and had to lean against the wall for support. Moments later she couldn't even lean against the wall anymore. Her face was waxy yellow and she developed shortness of breath. She collapsed with her eyes closed.
The policemen watching this just ignored her. It took other Falun Gong practitioners' strong demand that she be given medical treatment to make the police carry her into a van and send her to the Zhangxing Town Hospital for emergency treatment. While they were taking her to the hospital, they cursed her and claimed she "deserved it." After a female doctor on duty gave Ms. Zhao Jinhua an injection to stabilize her condition, the police took her back to the police station.
After being sent back to the police station, Ms. Zhao Jin Hua said she felt tightness in her chest; she had difficulty breathing and felt as if she were suffocating. The right side of her body went numb and she felt a lot of pain all over. There was blood in her urine, and she felt extreme pain in her feet. She was also unable to eat. Her body was covered with blue colored bruises from the waist down due to the beating she received, and her buttocks were black and blue and extremely painful. She couldn't walk, sit or stand, and couldn't go to the bathroom. Several practitioners witnessed her condition, and they brought it to the attention of the police. Ms. Zhao Jinhua was obviously dying. Although all levels of the police authorities knew this, no one at the police station would take any action to help her.
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of October 7, when Zhao Jinhua tried to go to the rest room, she almost fell after she got out of the door. Other practitioners came to help her but the policeman on duty stopped them and ordered them viciously to, "Leave her alone." Ms. Zhao Jinhua tried to walk a few steps on her own by holding on to the wall, but she collapsed.
Three practitioners came to help her but failed to get her on her feet. A person in the police substation named Bing Huachun, said viciously, "She deserved it!" Ms. Zhao Jinhua could not hold her bladder and became incontinent as she was being pulled up. The police got even angrier and started verbally abusing her in front of the other three practitioners while sending her to the emergency room at the Zhangxing hospital. When the doctor attempted to take an electrocardiogram, Zhao Jinhua couldn't lie down. She had difficulty breathing. She stopped breathing during the electrocardiogram.
Oxygen was later administered but it was too late. The police, following Jiang Zemin's directives against Falun Gong, had murdered Ms. Zhao Jinhua simply because she was firm in her belief in the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" and because she refused to give up her practicing of Falun Gong.
Both the Zhaoyuan City Committee and Police Department were involved in a cover-up, lied about the cause of death, and threatened the witnesses
At five o'clock in the afternoon. The hospital staff told the police to inform Zhao Jinhua's family members but, rather than inform the family members, the police would only report the death to their supervisor and try to find a way to cover up the bloody facts. The same evening that Ms. Zhao Jinhua died, her body was sent to the Zhaoyuan City People's Hospital where the medical examiner from Yantai City performed an autopsy. This autopsy report showed that except for the head, her body had sustained multiple wounds. There was subcutaneous bleeding within the range of 120 x 60 millimeters. The report concluded that she had been beaten with soft objects, which caused internal damage rather than external damage, and that was the reason for Zhao Jinhua's death.
After the Zhangxing Town government reported the death to the Zhaoyuan City Committee, the City Committee along with the police department began fabricating a cover story and covered up the facts. Party Secretary Qiu Shanqiang (now Yantai City People's Congress deputy director), assistant Party Secretary Dong Xibin (Now Longkou City Committee Deputy Secretary), City Political and Judiciary Committee secretary Jiang Zhongqin (now City Committee assistant secretary) and the head of the Police Department, Cai Ping, fabricated a story and declared that the cause of death was "myocardial infarction" (a heart attack). They even boasted, "Zhao Jinhua asked for it."
The night of Zhao Jinhua's death, the principle murder suspect, Sun Shixun, threatened the witnesses into signing documents, in which was written the fabricated cause of death in order to create false evidence that Zhao Jinhua was not tortured to death. The Zhangxing Town official Jia Hongju (later transferred to assume Zhaoyuan City's Finance and Commerce Office Disciplinary Secretary) also threatened the witnesses not to release any information about the case and forced them to sign another fabricated document stating that the policemen neither beat Zhao Jinhua nor electrically shocked her, and again giving a false cause of death from "myocardial infarction." They wouldn't release these practitioners unless they signed their names to the fabricated documents. Some practitioners questioned the authorities and told them what had actually happened, but nobody listened to them; instead, the practitioners were illegally held for a prolonged period, because the police feared that, once they were released, the truth would leak out and their crime would be exposed. The police even cut communications between these practitioners and their family members. The practitioners were kept incommunicado for more than 40 days.
Zhao Jinhua had no illnesses. Four years of Falun Gong practice had kept her healthy. She had not taken a single dose of medicine since she started the practice. Her husband worked at the Zhaoyuan gold mine and had no spare time to do housework. Zhao Jinhua handled all the work on the farm and at home. If it was indeed a myocardial infarction that caused her death as claimed by the authorities, why did it happen after 10 days of torture? A vibrant, healthy person who was working on her farm was beaten to death in ten days and was defamed after her death. How could this be allowed? Where is the truth and where is their justice? Where is the conscience? Where are the laws?
The authorities felt anxious, knowing their guilt in the murder of Zhao Jinhua. That is why the Zhangxing Town government deployed personnel to guard each street intersection leading outside of town. The authorities did not allow any Falun Gong practitioners to venture outside Zhangxing Town, and did not allow anyone to contact Ms. Zhao Jinhua's family. Nevertheless, the outside world learned of her death through various channels and found out that the police in Zhangxing Town of Zhaoyuan City had beaten a female Falun Gong practitioner to death! It was initially hard for the public to believe that a person in power would disregard the country's law and their oath to serve the people like this and treat a human life so carelessly. But this is in fact what happened.
All parts of her body below the neck were covered with bruises
After dinner on October 7, Zhao Jinhua's friends who learned of her murder, and even kind-hearted local people who did not know Zhao Jinhua well, voluntarily went to the hospital to verify the case. When they arrived at the hospital, they encountered a terrifying atmosphere. The police and officials from Zhangxing Town's government were guarding the entrance to the room to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from verifying their crime. Zhang Guifen, a cruel and violent man, who was then Deputy Mayor and later became Deputy Party Secretary of the Municipal Government in charge of persecuting Falun Gong, hurriedly went to the hospital to monitor the incident. Only after hearing the news did Zhao Jinhua's family members then rush to the hospital.
The police would not allow Zhao Jinhua's family members to view her body and pay their last respects. The family strongly requested to be allowed entrance to the room, but only two of her family members were allowed inside. All others were kept outside in the hall and not permitted by the police to get closer. Soon after the two family members got into the room, heart-broken cries were heard. Then several police dragged out an elderly family member, over 70 years old. The elderly man was so overcome with grief that he could not stand up, but collapsed to the floor in grief. In his grief, he told those who came to the scene that he was Zhao Jinhua's father-in-law, and his daughter-in-law was such a rarely encountered, good person. He continued that, because she practiced Falun Gong she had not experienced a single illness, that the police had arrested her while she worked in the field. He lamented further, crying, "They beat her to death! She has an over-10-year-old grandson! How unfairly she has died!" All people present, including the policemen, heard his cries. Kind-hearted people shed sympathetic tears.
The crimes of the villains were thereby exposed. They became worried and started to drive people away. Several policemen brutally pulled the elderly man up from the ground, pushed him down the hall, and forced him into a police van. They did not allow him to get out of the van, nor did they allow him to express his grief over the death of his daughter-in-law. The other relative allowed in the room was Zhao Jinhua's brother. After he was also driven out of the room by the authorities and forced into the hallway, he stayed in the corridor and tried hard to hold back his sorrow, but was choked with sobs.
He said with grief, "Zhao Jinhua has been beaten to death. Except for her face where there is some intact skin left, the rest of her body from the neck on down is black and blue. The skin on some parts of her body is even lacerated. It is terribly cruel!"
The facts surrounding Zhao Jinhua's murder are declared to be a "national secret." Any person knowing the details of her death is detained
After this incident became public, several Falun Gong practitioners went to see the municipal government leaders and officials from Zhangxing Town's government. The practitioners requested the government leaders to take responsibility for people's lives, and urged them to severely punish the murderers. However, the officials not only ignored the practitioners' pleas, they instead enlisted a policeman named, Shi Caide, the former chief of the Political and Security Section, whom the police department later dismissed for corruption, and Li Jianguang, one of the most violent hatchet men since July 20th, 1999, to lead a group of policemen and harass the Falun Gong practitioners. The gang of officers surrounded the Falun Gong practitioners and accused them of committing a crime of "gathering to make trouble" and then violently drove them out of the government offices.
Officials from the Zhaoyuan City Party Committee, the Municipal Government and the City Police Department covered up for the murderers and never launched any investigation into Zhao Jinhua's death. Instead, they persecuted those Falun Gong practitioners who stepped forward to request justice be served. Since that night, the police have followed and monitored all the people who came to the hospital to see Zhao Jinhua and observe the situation. In order to find out who revealed their "national secret" of the police beating Zhao Jinhua to death, they increased their manpower and founded ten "special case" teams, with at least six people in each team. These "special case" teams started mass arresting all Falun Gong practitioners on their list and who they thought knew some details of Zhao's murder. The police targeted and started persecuting these Falun Gong practitioners systematically by getting them dismissed from their jobs, arresting them and then attempting to extort fabricated confessions under torture, detaining them without charge and sending them to forced labor camps without any trial. The "special case" police teams targeted a group of Falun Gong practitioners numbering close to 100 people, some of whom were detained for up to 70 days and sent to forced labor, all under the fabricated charges of "releasing national secrets" and "interfering with the social order" in order to suppress witnesses and eliminate anyone who knew of the police' murder of Zhao Jinhua.
The murderers have been beyond the arm of the law at all times. The police bragged, "What will happen if we beat you to death? Didn't Zhao Jinhua die unjustly?"
Four years have gone by since the cruel murder of Zhao Jinhua. The murderers and their superiors are still operating with impunity, and continue their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners to ever more cruel depths. Because early on, these authorities set a precedent that murdering Falun Gong practitioners could happen with no one being held responsible, it has become a strange fact that during the campaign of persecution against Falun Gong over the past few years in Zhaoyuan City, murderers get promotions instead of prison terms and this has happened at the expense of six practitioners who have been tortured to death in their city. Many other practitioners were tortured to the brink of death and then managed to survive. In the years following Zhao Jinhua's murder, when persecuting, torturing and brutally abusing Falun Gong practitioners using cruel methods, the police openly threaten other Falun Gong practitioners by citing Zhao Jinhua's murder.
In March 2000, more than a dozen police officers from the city police department's "special case" team, which was created to specialize in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in the local area, abducted a practitioner, blindfolded her and drove her around the city. The policeman in the van shouted, "Tonight, I'll let you go see Zhao Jinhua!" They detained this practitioner on the 6th floor of the police department where they tortured her cruelly. Over a dozen policemen, including Lin Tao, a particularly vicious and cruel man who is known to be one of the main authorities from the local "610 Office," another perpetrator named, Yang Liping, the head of the "610 Office" along with Cao Hongguang and Fu Zongguang all beat the female practitioner, whose eyes were covered. Lin Tao wildly boasted, "What will happen if we beat you to death? Didn't Zhao Jinhua die an unjustly?"
In May 2002, Lin Tao from the Daotou Police Department led a group of policemen and savagely tortured Falun Gong practitioner Sun Jieying from Sunjiakuang Village's Qi Town. He also shouted, "If you don't tell us the source of the Falun Gong materials, I'll let you become of the fifth death in Zhaoyuan City," referring to the fact that at that time four practitioners in Zhaoyuan City had been beaten to death.
The police's threats are very telling and actually an admission of their complicity and guilt in the murders of innocent people. What place exists in the world where officers of the law openly admit they commit murder, threaten innocent people with murder and never are held accountable by the very law they have taken oaths to serve?
Persons and related organizations responsible for the murder of Zhao Jinhua:
(Country code is 86, area code is 535, it isn't necessary to dial the area code before a cell phone number)1. Jiang Zhongqin: former secretary of the city's Political and Judiciary Committee, now deputy Party Secretary in charge of politics and law. Tel: 8236878(home), 8258696 (office), 8210955, 13706458666(cell);
2. Qiu Shanqiang: former Party Secretary for Zhaoyuan City, now the Deputy Chief of the Yantai City People's Congress. Administration Office of Yantai City People's Congress: 6247690, Appeal Section: 6247671;
3. Dong Xibin: former Deputy Party Secretary of Zhaoyuan City who was in charge of politics and law, now the Deputy Party Secretary of Longkou City;
4. Kang Tao, former Party Secretary of Zhangxing Town, now the Deputy Chairman of City Political Consultation Conference. Tel: 8216868(home), 8210369(office), 13605456868(cell)
5. Liu Jiping, former Secretary of Political Section of Zhangxing Town, now the Deputy Head of Party School of the Municipal Party Committee. Tel: 8246358(home), 8331152 (office), 13963865318(cell)
6. Jia Hongju, former member of a Committee of Zhangxing Town, now the Secretary of Discipline Inspection of Finance & Trade Office of the Municipal Government. Tel: 8233969(home), 8214308(office), 13953546505(cell)
Policemen from Zhangxing's Police Station who participated in the murder of Zhao Jinhua:
Wang Qide, former head of the Zhangxing Police Station;
Sun Shixun, former deputy head of the Zhangxing Police Station;
Zhang Hai, former political instructor of the Zhangxing Police Station;
Officers from the Zhangxing Police Station and the hatchet men hired by the station: Fu Wenhui, Hou Xinzhou, Bing Huachun, Fu Shaolan;
Administration office of Zhangxing Police Station: 8333098;
Office of the head of Zhangxing Police Station: 8331225.
April 9, 2004