Prison Forcibly Cremate Body of Falun Gong Practitioner Who Died After Being Denied Medical Parole
(Minghui.org) Ms. Lan Lihua died in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on April 21, 2020, at the age of 49. Because she held firm to her faith in Falun Gong, the prison authorities had refused to release her on medical parole, despite the fact that she was in critical condition from late-stage breast cancer. Without consent from her family, the prison forcibly cremated her body on December 16, 2020.
Ms. Lan, a Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, resident, was arrested on November 6, 2018, for passing out a calendar bearing information about Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
She developed breast cancer while being held in the Shenyang City No. 1 Detention Center. Despite her condition, she was made to stand trial at Sujiatun District Court on May 5, 2019, and sentenced to three years and ten months the next day.
Ms. Lan was transferred to Liaoning Women’s Prison on September 26, 2019, and contracted Hepatitis B shortly after.
The prison authorities repeatedly denied her medical parole, admitting that the reason was because she refused to renounce Falun Gong.
As her cancer progressed, she became very weak, kept coughing, and was unable to walk on her own. A medical checkup in late March 2020 indicated that her cancer had metastasized to both of her lungs. She had excess fluid accumulation in her chest and heart, enlarged axillary lymph nodes, as well as swelling around her right collarbone and scalp.
The prison called Ms. Lan’s son on April 13 and told him that she had just been taken to the hospital, and that a doctor had issued a notice of critical condition for her.
Ms. Lan’s family frequented the prison every day for the next few days demanding medical parole for her. Although the prison finally agreed to release her, they nevertheless deliberately slowed down the approval process.
A prison guard called Ms. Lan’s husband again on April 20, 2020, and said that her condition was very serious. He asked him to come to the hospital and sign an agreement for the doctor to operate on her.
When Ms. Lan’s husband and her sister rushed to the hospital, Ms. Lan was on the verge of death. The doctor wasn’t doing anything to save her life. She passed away the next morning.
After Ms. Lan’s death, her family refused to sign the cremation consent form and vowed to seek justice for her.
Ms. Lan’s husband wrote a complaint letter on May 5 and mailed it to the Liaoning Higher People’s Court, Liaoning People’s Procuratorate, the prison, and its administration office. Except for the prison administration office, which refused to accept the complaint, the other three agencies accepted the complaint on May 7.
He received a notice from the Liaoning Higher People’s Court on May 12, saying that they had forwarded his complaint to the Shenyang City Procuratorate. Then on May 30, the Chengjiao Procuratorate in Shenyang notified him that they had accepted his case.
Two months later, on July 23, the prosecutor informed him that after their investigation, they didn’t find any irregularities in the prison’s handling of Ms. Lan’s case.
Ms. Lan’s husband hired a lawyer on October 5, and the lawyer filed another complaint against the prison with the Liaoning Province Intermediate Court and demanded compensation. He has yet to receive a response from the court.
A prison guard contacted Ms. Lan's husband on December 14 and showed him a document issued by the procuratorate clearing the prison of any wrongdoing in processing Ms. Lan’s medical parole. The prison guard said that they would cremate her body on December 16, even if her husband still refused to sign the cremation consent form, and asked him whether he wanted to keep her ashes. Ms. Lan’s husband said he would never give up seeking justice for her.
On December 16, over 70 armed police officers went to the crematorium and closely followed Ms. Lan’s family. After her body was cremated without consent, the prison forced her family to sign a form before they were given her ashes.
Ms. Lan’s husband is now trying to find a lawyer to file a motion for her case.