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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Falun Gong members die in prison camp

July 4, 2001

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— At least 10 members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement have died in a re-education camp in what authorities told family members was a group suicide, according to reports from a Hong Kong-based human rights group and overseas Falun Gong officials.

Frank Lu, director of the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, said the 10 dead Falun Gong practitioners were among 16 who hanged themselves in the Wanjia camp near Harbin in northern China on June 20 after their sentences were extended for staging a hunger strike to protest beatings by guards.

Falun Gong officials in the United States said at least 15 female practitioners died in the camp, and family members saw rope marks on the bodies of two of the dead women. The group disputed the report of suicides, saying the women were tortured to death in separate incidents and authorities were lying to cover it up.

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