A former high-level Chinese official from Sichuan Province was recently put under investigation by the Communist Party reportedly for graft, but a recent report suggests he might have been involved in something far more sinister: committing crimes against humanity against prisoners of conscience.
Li Chuncheng, the former deputy chief of Sichuan Province and described as a “fixer” for Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang, was identified by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) human rights organization as a party directly involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Sichuan Province.
Falun Gong is a type of slow-moving meditation practice with origins in China but has been targeted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. Thousands of adherents have been killed while in detention and even more subjected to torture or other abuses, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
Between 1999 and 2002, Zhou Yongkang was the Party chief of Sichuan, while Li was the mayor of the city of Chengdu, the capital, eventually becoming one of Zhou’s trusted confidants.
The WOIPFG says they learned that a large number of Falun Gong adherents were used for live organ harvesting and were imprisoned in military warehouses and other facilities in Sichuan as well as in Chongqing, which was formerly headed by disgraced Party chief Bo Xilai.
Recently, the WOIPFG released a secretly recorded phone conversation between an investigator posing as Li and Zhou, suggesting that the two were involved in the detention of Falun Gong practitioners, and potentially involved in organ harvesting.
The conversation, which took place on May 29, 2008, between the two Party bosses showed that Zhou did not deny that Falun Gong practitioners were being held in warehouses and other facilities. And he also said that such matters should be discussed through a secret “red phone” line.
The conversation took place after the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan that killed hundreds of thousands. The following was the recorded:
Investigator (posing as Li): Hi, is this Zhou Yongkang?
Zhou Yongkang: Yes, I am.
Investigator: This is Li Chuncheng.
Zhou Yongkang: What?
Investigator: I am Li Chuncheng, Sichuan provincial Party chief.
Zhou Yongkang: from Chengdu?
Zhou Yongkang: Are you Chuncheng?
Investigator: That’s right.
Zhou Yongkang: I don’t recognize your accent. Are you tired?
Investigator: Tired. I have to report one thing to you.
Zhou Yongkang: Oh.
Investigator: An earthquake aftershock just hit, and something happened.
Zhou Yongkang: Oh.
Investigator: In our region, many facilities used to hold Falun Gong practitioners were damaged. Some of them ran away from there. What do you think we should do?
Zhou Yongkang: Oh.
Investigator: What do you think we should do now?
Zhou Yongkang: How many people were there? In the labor camps or the re-education camps?
Investigator: No. Those that were locked away at our reserved military warehouses.
Zhou Yongkang: How many people?
Investigator: Over 20 people.
Zhou Yongkang: Places that were administrated by the institute of justice? The judicial bureau?
Investigator: No, it was supposed to be their … I have to find out who was in charge. That’s what they reported to me.
Zhou Yongkang: You are the Chengdu Party chief?
Investigator: What do you think we should do?
Zhou Yongkang: Call me again with the red line. Use your red phone (secret phone) to call me. I … I don’t know who you are. I will talk to them.
In the recording, Zhou appeared suspicious when the investigator identified himself as Li Chungcheng, suggesting that Zhou still maintained somewhat close contact with Li after Zhou left Sichuan to become a Politburo Standing Committee member and head of the sweeping Political and Legislative Committee, because he did not recognize Li’s accent. He also said, “I don’t know who you are.”
The recording also shows that Zhou asked “how many people” were at the warehouses that WOIPFG suspects were being used to conduct organ harvesting.
On Dec. 4, it was reported that Li was placed under “shuanggui”—a Soviet-era type of interrogation and detention used internally by the Communist Party. The move to detain him has been interpreted as a party of new leader Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption.
Li was placed under interrogation for a potential scandal involving the Chengdu Industry Investment Group Co. Ltd. headed by businessman Dai Xiaoming, reported financial publication Caijing.
Read the original Chinese article.
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Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.