Government Worker Who Exposed Embezzlement of Quake Relief Fund Allegedly Murdered
The Epoch Times has received information alleging that a Sichuan government worker who exposed the local government’s embezzlement of relief funds earmarked for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake victims has been murdered.
Zhang Kaimin, a former worker with the Civil Affairs Bureau of Qima Village in the city of Guangyuan, Qingchuan County in Sichuan Province, reported that officials had not only failed to distribute relief funds in a timely manner, but were also involved in embezzlement of quake relief funds. He revealed his findings to many agencies and two reporters.
According to Zhang’s family, shortly afterwards, Zhang was transferred to a different post and then suddenly disappeared on March 12, 2009. His body was found 34 days later covered with serious injuries. Local officials quickly closed the case and issued a death certificate indicating that his death was work-related.
This information was revealed even as Qinghai quake victims' suffering is compounded due to the regimes' mishandling of the latest disaster to hit China.
A Murder Ignored
Zhang’s father, Zhan Dinguo, described the disturbing condition of his son’s body: “There were multiple injuries on his body. All the hair was gone from a large piece of his scalp. His face was covered with blood with one eye protruding and the other missing. His lower body was quite swollen. The autopsy found his stomach bloated with gas and not a single drop of water. There’s a saying, ‘When a live person is drowned, his belly will be full of water. When a dead person is drowned, his belly will be bloated and full of gas.’ He was beaten to death and then thrown into the river.”
The victim’s family provided some clues to the local police. However, the police quickly stopped the investigation and closed the case. They also tried to force the family members to sign off on the case, but the family refused.
The Guangyuan Public Security Bureau issued their own autopsy report which stated that the skin of the deceased was intact with no signs of mechanical damage; that no poisons or hypnotic drugs were found in the stomach, and that there were obvious signs of drowning and suffocation. They pronounced the cause of death as drowning, and said the deceased was well-dressed with no personal belongings missing.
Zhang’s father commented, “At the beginning, they intended to charge him with committing suicide by jumping into a river.”
An Epoch Times reporter tried to contact the Guangyuan Public Security Bureau, but the call was not answered.
After the Sichuan earthquake, Qingchuan County received disaster relief funding and supplies to rebuild the villages and roads. Embezzlement by local officials has seriously delayed proper distribution of badly needed aid to local victims. To date, many victims are said to have received no funding. The officials’ embezzlement of the earthquake relief fund was ultimately exposed through angry residents’ disputes with their local governments.
A relative of Zhang said that even though Zhang did not handle the bookkeeping, he knew about the relief fund and about what amount had been used and what was left. He said that Zhang had told him that there was an account of 500,000 yuan (approximately US$60,000) designated for village construction. “Only 120,000 yuan (US$17,580) had been allocated, whereas 380,000 yuan (US$55,667) had all gone to local officials’ personal pockets.”
A person who described himself as an insider and who asked to remain anonymous told The Epoch Times that Zhang reported to the Beijing authorities through numerous channels, exposing how local officials had abused the relief fund. He also reported to provincial governments such as the Discipline Inspection Committee, the Procuratorate, and the Civil Affairs Department. No one responded to his appeals.
The insider said, “Zhang’s reporting [to the Beijing authorities] was eventually exposed locally.”
“The corruption in this country is very serious. The government has connections with both gangsters and the law. Your life is at risk if you expose corruption. After two reporters interviewed Zhang Kaimin, he was killed.”
He continued, “(The corruption) involves far more than embezzlement of the relief fund.”