Parents Beaten for Investigating Daughter's Death

By Xin Yu, Radio Free Asia
January 9, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: January 9, 2008 12:00 am

For over a year, the parents of a girl who died under mysterious circumstances have continuously appealed to the local authorities regarding their daughter's death and missing organs.

The police department refused to open a file for the case or provide an autopsy report; instead the authorities have responded with silence and violence.

The couple, from Huijing Township of Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, have tried to attract media attention, but have failed until now.

Li Juan, a middle school student, was found dead in a creek over a year ago. The authorities claim that Li drowned, but her parents believe it was a murder.

On the afternoon of Friday, March 23, 2006, Li's parents went to pick her up from her boarding school, but she wasn't there. Li's mother, Mrs. Wen Liumei, reported her missing to the police and went to the school every day thereafter.

Mrs. Wen said, “A week later, a passer-by discovered her body in a creek. When I saw her body, her mouth and nose were bleeding, and her clothes were torn open.”

During an autopsy on March 24, Li Juan's organs, including lungs, stomach, heart, kidneys and reproductive organs, were taken without the family' awareness or consent, according to Mrs. Wen.

After the autopsy, the authorities of the local police station, the school and the township all urged the couple to cremate or bury Li's body as soon as possible. The couple refused to take any actions until their daughter's case was straightened out.

When the coupled decided to store the body at the Nanchong Funeral Parlor, the authorities fought them for the body. The authorities finally let up after accusations from the public. Li's body is still stored at the Nanchong Funeral Parlor today.

When Li's parents decided to go to Beijing to appeal, the local authorities intercepted, detained and beat them. When asked why the parents' appeals were suppressed, the local police station director, Wang Hong, declined to comment.

The township supervisor claimed, “[The parents] can appeal only if it's reasonable and legal; otherwise if they appeal when they are not supposed to, it is of course illegal.” When questioned why the couple's actions were unreasonable, the township supervisor claimed he was busy, and hung up.

According to Guan Anping, an attorney in Beijing, “There is no restriction set by the central regime regarding appealing, because it is a way for it to understand what's going on in all the local areas.”

Mrs. Wen and her husband are still determined to find the true reason for their daughter's death. Although they have told their story to many media agencies, none have reported it.

“We have appealed to many media agencies and even mailed documents, but we haven't received any responses. None of the overseas media has reported it either,” she added.