Excerpts of Media Reports on the Death of An Xiukun
Thursday, July 27, 2000
UK (BBC) - A member of the banned Falun Gong sect choked to death in police custody in China after officers tried to force feed her during a hunger strike, human rights activists say. Reports said primary school teacher An Xiukun, 50, was refusing food at a detention centre in the northern province of Hebei to protest against her feet being bound with iron shackles.
She died of suffocation as police tried to force her to eat after six days, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.
Ms An is the 25th Falun Gong follower to die in detention since the government outlawed the spiritual movement a year ago, according to the centre.
She had been taken to a detention centre in Hengshui city after she was arrested on 6 June in Tiananmen Square while protesting against the ban.
Her husband Zhang Qizheng has been sentenced to three years labour reform after demanding punishment for those responsible for his wife's death as well as compensation, human rights campaigners said.
Police at the Hengshui detention centre denied any knowledge of Ms An's death. Staff at her school said she had died recently but declined to give further details.
Last Saturday, hundreds of Falun Gong members marked the first anniversary of the 22 July ban with protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. They were quickly suppressed by police.
Falun Gong, which attracted millions of followers during the 1990s, combines meditation with ideas taken from Buddhist and Taoist teachings.
July 27, 2000
BEIJING (Reuters) - A member of the banned Falun Gong spiritual group died in police custody after officers tried to end a hunger strike by force-feeding, a Hong Kong-based human rights group said on Thursday.
The death of An Xiukun in Hengshui, a city in the northern province of Hebei, took to 25 the number of Falun Gong members who have died in custody since China banned the group last year, the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.
It said in a statement that An, 50, was detained on June 6 in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, where handfuls of Falun Gong members have protested almost daily since the government banned the group in July last year.
The primary school teacher was taken to a detention center in Hengshui, where she began a hunger strike after her feet were bound with iron shackles, the center said.
She died of suffocation as police tried to force her to eat after six days, it said.
Her husband Zhang Qizheng was sentenced to three years labor reform, which does not require a trial, after he repeatedly demanded punishment for those responsible for his wife's death as well as compensation, the center added.
Police at the Hengshui detention center denied any knowledge of the death. Staff at An's school said she had died recently but declined to give further details.
Category: Accounts of Persecution