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Zhao Chunying Tortured to Death, and Organs were Taken  
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Ms. Zhao Chunying, female, 56, was a Falun Gong practitioner from Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province. Ms. Zhao had been arrested and detained at the Hengshan District Branch Office of the Jixi City Police Department in 1999 after the crackdown on Falun Gong began. She was sent to the Wanjia Labor Camp in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. After her release, she wrote about her ordeal in the labor camp and posted it on the Internet. When the local police from the Hengshan District Branch Office discovered this, they arrested her again on April 15, 2003 and sent her to the Jixi City No. 2 Detention Center. On May 10, 2003, her family was notified of her death.

Ms. Zhao's body was kept at the Jixi Funeral Home. Her family members were extremely shocked upon seeing her injured body. Her eyes were slightly open, her face was a purple-blue color, and there was a big crack on the back of her head. There were bloodstains everywhere, and her ribs were fractured. Her bones and the joints of her arms were clearly visible. Her family decided to take photos and lodge an appeal regarding her death. The guards tried to stop them, saying that no photos were allowed. Ms. Zhao's family persisted and finally managed to take several photos. A forensic doctor then examined her body, but lied under police pressure, saying that the body might have been wounded due to self-inflicted punches, or because she was sick, or that perhaps other prisoners had beaten her to death. Her family asked him, "Why do you refuse to say that it is possible that she was beaten to death by police?" The doctor was silent.

Due to the wretched condition of Ms. Zhao's body, her family requested an autopsy. Through their persistent efforts, the request was granted. The Jixi Province Procuratorate carried out the first of two autopsies on Ms. Zhao's remains. They found a large knife wound on her head. They also found four broken ribs and many black and purple bruises that they concluded were the results of a severe beating. According to their findings, the beating also caused considerable internal bleeding. On November 15, 2003, the Heilongjiang Judicature Appraisal Committee conducted a second autopsy. They found not only broken ribs, but also a fractured skull. They also found that her heart, spleen, pancreas, and other internal organs were missing and could not be accounted for.

Ms. Zhao's family members were trying to sue the people who are responsible for her death. For the past several months, Ms. Zhao's family has appealed to the local court, police stations for justice for her death but so far they have not obtained any results. Ms. Zhao's murder and the doctor's subsequent silence are two pieces in a large and complex cover-up in China

type=Case, Death; type=Case, Women; type=Labor Camp, Wanjia Labor Camp; location=Heilongjiang, Harbin;

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