46-Year Old Woman Dies from Torture in Shandong Province
Site of the Olympics Sailing Competition in Qingdao
NEW YORK (FDI) – The Falun Dafa Information Center has learned that a 46-year old woman who had been illegally arrested and tortured continuously for 21 days, died from her wounds and was cremated on June 21, 2008.
Xiao Sumin (肖素敏) was the 3,163rd adherent known to have died as a result of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, though it is expected that the actual number is many times higher. Ms. Xiao was from Pingdu city in Shandong province; approximately 80 km north of Qingdao, site of the 2008 Beijing Olympics sailing competition. The province is also notable for having the fourth highest death rate throughout China for Falun Gong practitioners tortured by security personnel for their spiritual beliefs.
“Shandong province has been a dangerous place to be a Falun Gong practitioner. Ms. Xiao’s death reflects the communist regime’s inexplicable, baseless fears of Falun Gong,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman Ms. Gail Rachlin. “These deaths cast a very dark shadow on the upcoming Olympics and violate its humanitarian principles.”
Sources within China stated that on May 30, police officers from the Pingdu City 610 Office unlawfully arrested Ms. Xiao Sumin and Ms. Sun Shujie. While the two women were held at the Pingdu City Appeal Office, their families were not allowed to visit them.
Sources further stated that Ms. Xiao was subjected to non-stop torture for almost two weeks, after which she was taken to Qingdao Haici Hospital in Qingdao city in critical condition. However, she never recovered from the effects of the abuse, and she died within three weeks of her hospital admission on June 21st. Her body was immediately cremated and her ashes were taken to her home. She is survived by a young daughter. Ms. Sun’s whereabouts are still unknown.
Prior Accounts of Violence
Sources revealed that Ms. Xiao was continuously persecuted since July 1999. She was constantly monitored and harassed by public security officers. On several occasions, Ms. Xiao was illegally detained during which she was tortured and beaten. On one occasion, her head was slammed against the wall as guards took turns kicking and hitting her.
Ms. Xiao’s home was subject to frequent illegal searches, and her personal effects and cash were stolen or otherwise illegally confiscated by officers of the Pingdu City Police Department and the Guxian Town Police Station. In August 2007, while Ms. Xiao was unlawfully detained at the Pingdu City Detention Center, the guards planned to send her to a forced labor camp (also known as "re-education through labor"), but she went on a hunger strike to protest her illegal imprisonment. She was released only when her condition became critical. Security personnel are often unwilling to take responsibility for the health of detainees.