How Many Chinese Have Been 'Suicided'?By Lin Zhanxiang
Jul. 24, 2008
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“Being suicided” is a new term growing popular on the Internet in China today. It generally refers to deaths that are announced by Chinese authorities to be suicides, but where foul play is suspected.
Often when authorities attribute a death to suicide, people believe the real killer will never be punished, considering the corrupt legal and policing systems in China.
The term’s first usage may been in the internet discussion of the death of Li Guohua, a man from Anhui Province who reported the corruption of local officials to higher authorities.
The government of Yingquan District, Fuyang City of Anhui spent RMB 30 million (US$ 4.4 million) on building a luxurious office resembling the U.S. Capitol Building, colloquially calling it the “White House.” To pave the way for the “White House,” local authorities demolished schools built in the 1990s, and forced students to relocate to those constructed in the 60s.
After Li reported this to higher authorities, on Aug 26, 2007 the Yingquan District Procuratorate detained Li, his wife, and his son-in-law. His wife was detained for 37 days before she was released, while the son-in-law was officially arrested and charged. Li died in the prison hospital on March 13, 2008.
While the police claimed that Li had killed himself, his family saw this as an obvious lie. Mistrust of the authorities led people to start referring to Li’s death as a case of “being suicided.”
Falun Gong practitioners and their families have been telling countless similar stories since 1999 when the persecution of Falun Gong began. Jiang Zemin, then leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ordered that the police, after torturing Falun Gong practitioners to death, should call the cases suicides.
Police could then act with impunity, and thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been murdered in prisons, labor camps, and specially set-up “brainwashing centers.” These deaths are often reported as suicides, despite the teachings of Falun Gong explicitly forbidding suicide. Some recent cases may serve as archetypes.
Xiong Zhengming, 39-year-old male, former computer teacher in the Wanyuan Vocational High School in Sichuan Province, had been in detention for nine months by December 4, 2007 when four policemen took him out in the morning and threw him in a police vehicle.
They claimed that they would take him to a labor camp in Mianyang City. At 7:00 P.M. the following day, one of the policeman called Xiong’s family and said Xiong had killed himself; they were told to go to Deyang City to pick up the corpse.
When they got to the mortuary in Deyang City at 5:00 A.M., after travelling overnight, they were met with over 40 police and officials from the Public Security Bureau.
Xiong’s body was covered with a sheet, and there were no apparent wounds on his face. The family, however, found a hole in the back of his head. Police claimed the hole was made when Xiong tried to kill himself.
The family, however, found it hard to believe that a handcuffed prisoner with four policemen around him could kill himself like that.
When Xiong’s family challenged the suicide story, the police changed the cause of death from suicide to car accident. They neither identified the accident location nor provided any official record of it. Xiong’s vehicle was undamaged, and the police were unable to explain why they, who were accompanying Xiong in the car, escaped injury.
The police also said they sent Xiong to a small private clinic after the car accident, but a witness said that when Xiong was carried there at 10:00 A.M., December 5, he was already dead. In the medical records, the patient’s name was marked as “unknown.” The family wondered how the police could not have even known Xiong’s name.
The family also wondered why so many officials and police had shown up at the mortuary, some even threatening to fire Xiong’s family members from work if they were to disclose the truth.
The Municipal Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs later provided monetary compensation to Xiong’s parents for the case, though it was cold comfort. Observers wonder what role the Committee played in Xiong’s death, and why they paid compensation if they were not responsible.
Bai Heguo was tortured to death on Jan 5, 2008, in a prison in Liaoning Province. Bai, 45, was a peasant in Guangshan village. One witness who did not want to be identified said that he could judge from Bai’s emaciated frame, broken legs, crushed testicles, swelling on the head, and a deep cut in the tongue which was lolling out, that he was probably tortured to death.
Prison officers countered by presenting a sharp knife and some Falun Gong books as purported evidence of the suicide, and claimed Bai brought those with him into the jail.
No body knows how many more have “been suicided” like this. Using suicide as a cover up for killings is actually an old CCP trick.
But for the Falun Gong practitioners whose bodies were secretly incinerated after their organs were harvested, the regime did not even to bother to suicide them. They just remained missing.