Injections killed Falun Gong follower
A follower of the outlawed Falun Gong sect in Shandong province has died after receiving forced injections in a psychiatric hospital, the victim's father alleged yesterday.
Su Gang, 32, a computer engineer at Qilu Petrochemical Corporation in Zibo city, was taken to Changle Mental Hospital on May 23 by police posted in his company, said his father, Su De'an. He was kept in the hospital from May 23 to May 31 and was only released after his uncle, Su Lianxi - who was at the time in police custody for practising Falun Gong - staged a hunger strike. The uncle has since been released.
"We did not know Su Gang had been taken to a mental hospital until May 29. He was released after we protested," his father said. Su became slow, stiff and frail when he returned home although he was healthy when he was taken to the hospital, his father said.
Mr Su said his son had told him that he was given injections when he was at the hospital. "My son told me they gave him injections twice a day. He was given injections even on the day of his release. When he came home, he could not even recall what happened the day before and he had hallucinations."
Su's condition then deteriorated steadily. Before he died on June 10, he had difficulty moving, and speaking and could not eat, his father said.
Mr Su said he did not contact a doctor as he had thought his son would recover. "I thought the symptoms were only temporary. They told me my son was fine when they released him."
Mr Su said a doctor certified his son's death on June 10 but did not give the cause of death. He said Su had been held three times since January by police posted at his company. During these detentions he was allowed to report to work but could not go home.
On April 25, Su escaped from police custody and went to Beijing to protest in Tiananmen Square against an official ban on Falun Gong. A year ago, more than 10,000 Falun Gong members staged a demonstration in Beijing demanding official recognition of the sect - which preaches a combination of Buddhist philosophy and qi gong deep-breathing exercises.
His father believed the escape and protest in Beijing prompted police to send his son to the psychiatric hospital. After Su's death, his father and uncle went to the Qilu Petrochemical Corp to protest and were briefly detained. Mr Su said: "We just want to tell people there that they should not do such harmful things any more. Now we are helpless and we won't be able to hold anyone responsible for my son's death."
According to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, at least 22 Falun Gong practitioners have died in custody since last July.