A Letter to Officials from the Wife of Song Youchun, a Practitioner from Hebei Province Who Died as a Result of Persecution
Hello, Officials at Various Governmental Levels:
I am a resident from Tumenzi Village, Qinglong County, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province. As the Spring Festival approached, many families were enjoying the happy atmosphere of family gatherings. However, during this time my husband Song Youchun was illegally abducted and persecuted to death. Those responsible, having placed themselves above the law, were not punished for their crimes, instead they continue to commit even more crimes. We had no other option but to contact the government at various levels, and travel all over while suffering hunger, appealing for support from people with kindness and justice in their hearts, and hoping this innocent case would finally be exonerated. The following is what happened.
My husband Song Youchun, 55, was a villager from Tumenzi Village, Qinglong County, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province. He was detained many times and sentenced to three years of forced labor reform because he practiced Falun Gong. He suffered various tortures and was released for medical treatment after his health was severely damaged.
On the morning of December 2, 2003 Chen Xiaohu and Li Aiguo from the Tumenzi police station suddenly came to my home, forcing Song Youchun to go with them to be fingerprinted. After a while Liu Yanwen, the head of the local police station, leading Yu Changguo and others, came to my home and ransacked it, taking away the TV set and VCD player. Meanwhile, they forcefully handcuffed us, put three members of my family into the police car, and sent us to the police station. Liu Wenyan said, "I haven't reported to my supervisor yet. It is not too late to hand in money in exchange for your release." Everyone in my family practices Falun Gong, and we have all been extorted by the town government and the local police station to the point of being penniless. Song Youchun lost his job too. We had a hard time to make ends meet, let alone submit money for our release.
In this way, at 4:00 p.m. Tumenzi Police Station sent three of my family members to the detention center in Qinglong County without presenting any legal documents. The people who sent us to the detention center were Chen Xiaohu from Tumenzi Police Station, Zhang Shujun, the head of national security section of Qinglong Police Department, Tong Xiumin, Liu Changhe, and others. My daughter Song Lili strongly protested against such illegal actions. Xiao Qihui, the director of the detention center, pressed her down and put shackles up to 30-40 pounds on both her feet and hands together after they pulled her hands down between her legs. She could neither stand nor walk, and was in extreme pain. Furthermore, both my daughter and I were on a hunger strike and extremely weak.
After I was released on December 7, I went to the local police station, telling them that Song Youchun was very weak and receiving medication due to the persecution he suffered during the time in the forced labor camp. I asked them to release him. Liu Wenyan, the head of the local police station, was very obstinate. He refused and said, "What would it matter to me if all of you Falun Gong practitioners were dead?" On December 8, Song Youchun's younger brother went to the detention center, requesting to see him. He was refused by the prison guard. At about 8:30 a.m., December 16, Tumenzi town government and the police station sent people to my home. They told us that Song Youchun died at 6:40 p.m. on December 15.
After I received the notice of Song Youchun's death, the Tumenzi town government and the police station sent people to monitor my home. When we saw Song Youchun's body, we discovered the cotton trousers on him were not his. In addition, there were purple bruises on his head and the area around his left ear. There was a big patch of brownish-purple on the left side of his neck. When family members asked what happened, the medical examiner explained it was the result of a broken blood vessel. Then what caused the blood vessel to break? Furthermore, there were purple bruises on both his back and hips. His head was placed on the left side so the bruises wouldn't be show. When family members went to inquire at the police department of Qinglong County, no one would talk to us. After we persistently requested, they arranged our lodging. Meanwhile, they said that they were unable to resuscitate Song Youchun after a sudden heart attack and stuck to their story that it was a natural death. They strictly blocked the news to the public. When we asked, "Why did you inform family members of the death at 8:30 a.m. on the 16th when Song Youchun died at 6:40 p.m. on the 15th? What did all the people in charge do during these 13 hours? Why didn't the detention center notify the family members and the local government in time to arrange medical treatment with family attendance in the detention center, and medical treatment outside the detention center when Song Youchun was critically ill? The detention center has written rules saying that everyone must have a health examination before being accepted by the detention center. There is a bulletin on the blackboard hanging on the door of the detention center that says, "Please present physical examination documentation from hospitals at county level when sending people to the detention center. Please call 0335-7880645 day or night." From this perspective, Song Youchun must have been taken into the detention center in good health. Think about it: How can a healthy person suddenly have a heart attack and die after only 13 days in the detention center? In addition, Song Youchun did not have any history of heart trouble. Taking one more step back, according to Xiao Qihui, the detention center now has installed a program control facility that enables the guards on duty in the office to monitor every action. Why didn't they send Song Youchun for treatment in time when they saw he was ill, instead of waiting until he was critically ill and then trying to resuscitate him?" The officials hesitated and made excuses without giving an answer. Then they drove us away.
When there were no other options, my two daughters, my brother, and I were forced to go to Qinglong County government to appeal, but no one would speak to us. In order to ask for justice for her father, my daughter decided to go to the appeals office in Qinhuangdao City. But police from Qinglong County police department followed her and called ahead to prevent her from reaching the appeals office. When we arrived at Shuangshanzi Town (on the way to Qinhuangdao) by bus, people from the local police station were waiting for us. The law enforcement section of Qinglong County police department sent us back and detained the vehicle we took, as well. We were denied the right to appeal and were detained illegally in the county police department. We were not given any meals for 16 hours from the night of the 18th to the next afternoon. We had to sleep in chairs for one night. After repeated requests from family members, the police department released us on the 19th.
The next day, we were notified that an autopsy would be performed on Song Youchun's body, even though we did not request one. After persistent attempts from the family members, the police department and the family reached three agreements regarding the upcoming autopsy. One of the agreements was that the police department should not have direct contact with the medical examiner. The police department, however, made arrangements on their own for a medical doctor from Lulong County to do the autopsy on December 20. This had already broken the agreement. We discovered that Song Youchun was in his original cotton trousers during the autopsy, but his shoes were not properly put on. The medical examiner from Lulong County cut the body from the throat to the area below the lower abdomen, taking out the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, cerebrum, all without explaining why.
The next day (December 21), the police department told us to pay for our own lodging. With no other options, my daughter and I went to get help from the council of the county. Not only did the council not solve the problem, but they threatened to tell the TV station that Falun Gong "was causing a disturbance." They said the police department asked them not to pay any attention to my daughter and me. Later on, the people from the police department arrived. They forcibly carried us away in the end, saying that they would arrange our lodging. But when we got there, the people there told us, "You have to pay for the room on your own!" Up until then, both my daughter and I had missed two meals. How could we afford the room? We realized that we were tricked and returned to the council, but the door was locked.
We knew there was not a place for us to appeal here, and we had to go to Qinhuangdao City. By this time we had already been followed by the police department. Afraid that we would appeal, they told us again they would "arrange lodging." We could not trust them any longer. Then they forcibly sent us to the police department. With no energy to resist, we asked, "Why are you limiting our personal freedom?" They hemmed and hawed, saying, "It has nothing to do with us. People from above told us to handle it this way."
The police department put us under surveillance, and we lost our personal freedom. We went home on December 24. The other family members were also waiting, but what they got was a notice that the body was to be cremated without our consent. The family members said that they could not wait any longer. So Song Youchun's younger brother left with his sister-in-law and his nephew. Bypassing the police, they arrived in Qinhuangdao City on December 27 and we went to the appeals office of Qinhuangdao City on December 28. The personnel from the People's Congress met with us. They did not give us a clear answer, and they informed the county police department. Liu Yanwen, the head of Tumenzi Police Station, and Li Shuzhong, the town party secretary, were sent to harass the family members. They even contacted the police department of Qinhuangdao City. They found Song Youchun's brother through the phone number of the city police department (0335-3031679). They tried to lure him there by saying, "Bring your sister-in-law and nephew to the police department. The materials you want have arrived." After being lied to many times, we recognized this trick immediately and refused.
On December 28 Song Youchun's brother came to the city's Procuratorate to report the situation, but his report was different from the materials submitted by the subordinates. People in the Procuratorate told the family members, "The report must be submitted within 15 days after the autopsy. If the lower level officials want to cremate the body, they dare not do so. Cremating the body can only be done after the agreement of the family members." After hearing this, the family members waited for 15 days. Song Youchun's brother went to the city appeals office again on January 6, 2004. The Political and Judiciary Committee met him but did not give him an answer. The body had been there for 25 days, and neither the county nor the city gave an answer to the family members. There is no information on the postmortem examination report either.
My whole family suffered again and again from illegal arrests, extortion, intimidation, detention, cruel persecution, and even complete disregard for human life, just because we practice Falun Gong, without committing any wrongdoing or breaking any law. The law enforcement personnel carried out the whole process, preventing innocent people from exercising basic rights. Even while trying to appeal we were monitored, chased, blocked, and illegally detained by law enforcement personnel.
We can do nothing but to appeal at the risk of our lives, asking officials to investigate the whole process, punish those law enforcement personnel who violated the law, and properly handle the matter of the deceased.
Song Youchun's Wife
December 26, 2003
Qinglong County Police Department
Zhang Xin, Deputy director, mainly in charge of persecuting Falun Gong, now in charge of detention centers
Chai Feng, Deputy director, mainly in charge of persecuting Falun Gong
Chen Jun, Director
86-335-7862606 (O), 86-335-7863888 (O)
Tumenzi Town Police Station, Qinglong County, 86-335-7601009
Liu Yanwen, head of the police station
Song Zhihuan, deputy head
Li Changxin, director of Political and Security section, 86-335-7861933
Liu Changhe, 86-335-7863609
Sun Xianmin, Party secretary of Tumenzi town, Qinglong County, 86-335-7601036
Xiao Qihui, director of the detention center, 86-335-7865794, 86-335-7880645
Zhang Xiaoguang, head of Tumenzi Village, 86-335-7601211
Address of Qinhuangdao City council: 95 Wenhua Road, Haigang District
Qinhuangdao City, Postal Code: 066000
Procuratorate office: 86-335-3220115, General Office: 86-335-3032007
Case processing office:
Office of Political and Judicial Committee: 86-335-3220089
Address: #30 Wenhua Road, Haigang District, Qinhuangdao City, Postal Code: 066000