Ms. Li Fengxia Dies in Custody After Hiring a Lawyer for Her Brother, Tried for Practising Falun Gong

Name: Ms. Li Fengxia
Gender: Female
Age: 54
Address: Unknown
Occupation: Teacher in Middle School No. 6 at Jiagedaqi City, Heilongjiang Province
Date of Death: April 28th, 2011
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 5th, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Dayangshu Town Police Department in Elunchun Prefecture, Inner Mongolia
City: Jiagedaqi
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Interrogation, detention

On the afternoon of April 28th, 2011, policemen from Alihe Town Police Department at Elunchun Autonomy Prefecture of Inner Mongolia went to see the school principal, Mr. Si Pinjiang of Middle School No. 6 at Jiagedaqi City, Heilongjiang Province. They announced the school's teacher, Ms. Li Fengxia, had died from a “stroke” at noon on April 28th. The school notified Ms. Li's husband, Mr. Li Wanlin.

Ms. Li Fengxia was 54 years old and had no illness prior to the arrest. Her family members are on their way to Alihe Town. The details of what happened to Ms. Li will be further investigated.

Ms. Li Fengxia's brother, Mr. Li Fengfei, 50 years old, is from Dayangshu Township, Elunchun, Inner Mongolia.

Dayangshu Town Police Department agent Li Benxue and officers from the criminal police team in Elunchun Prefecture, broke into Mr. Li Fengfei's house without a search warrant on the evening of March 29th, 2010. The police found no evidence of criminal activity or of Mr. Li's involvement in Falun Gong, but confiscated his wife's mobile phone.

Mr. Li was arrested and held for four days at the Dayangshu Police Department where he was tortured to the point of having difficulty walking. On April 2nd, 2010, he was transferred to the Alihe Detention Centre where the guards instigated criminal detainees to brutally beat him.

Upon hearing about her brother's abuse, Ms. Li Fengxia went to the Dayangshu Town Police Department several times to demand her brother's release. On one occasion, a police officer who is also an assistant of Hou Qingjie, the deputy head, punched Ms. Li, pulled her hair and choked her.

Ms. Li hired a lawyer from Beijing to defend her brother. The court officials told the lawyer that he could meet with Mr. Li prior to the trial. When the lawyer and Ms. Li Fengxia arrived at the detention centre however, they were told that they could not meet with Mr. Li unless they obtained the detention centre head's signature. Zhang Yanhua, head of the detention centre, refused to sign the required document. Ms. Li and the lawyer went to the Political and Legal Committee for a resolution, but they were not provided any assistance. Therefore, they were unable to meet with Mr. Li. The Alihe Court staff eventually agreed to allow the lawyer to review Mr. Li Fengfei's files.

Without any evidence of criminal activity, the court accused Mr. Li of “organising a gatherings to study Falun Gong teachings.” Mr. Li wrote about how he was persecuted while in prison in 2004. Two Hongyan Township police officers had previously arrested Mr. Li while he was distributing Falun Gong informational materials on August 14th, 2004. During the interrogation, Gao, an official, shocked him with electric batons and slapped his face so hard that it impaired his hearing. Mr. Li was detained and tortured at the Dayangshu Forestry Police Department for a month. He was thereafter sentenced to a three-year term in a forced labour camp, but was allowed to serve the term outside the camp.

The trial of four Falun Gong practitioners including Li Fengfei, Sun Lifeng, Liu Chunxun, and Chen Li commenced on the morning of August 2nd, 2010. The lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for Mr. Li. The public prosecutor could not defend the charges. The court officials were disconcerted by the not-guilty plea and the defence by Mr. Li's lawyer.

After the trial, the plainclothes officers from Dayangshu Town Police Department followed Ms. Li Fengxia home. On August 5th, 2010, they arrested her at the school where she worked in Jiageda Prefecture and confiscated her work computer. Her family was not allowed to visit her at the detention centre.

The police also arrested Ms. Li's sister-in-law and Ms. Li's daughter, a college student.

Parties involved in the persecution:
Zhang Yanhua, Elunchun Prefecture Police Department: 86-13847004888 (Mobile)
Hou Qingjie, deputy head: 86-13804707007 (Mobile)
Li Benxue, Dayangshu Town Police Department: 86-13847072678 (Mobile)
Wang Liangsen, head of Alihe Prefecture Detention Centre: 86-13848075599 (Mobile)
Zheng Wenlong, political section head: 86-13847046488 (Mobile)

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