Six Seniors in China Commit Suicide to Avoid New Cremation Policy

June 12, 2014 Updated: June 14, 2014

Chinese authorities can subject Chinese citizens to forced abortions, forced evictions, forced labor, and forced organ harvesting. Now there is forced cremation.

A new law in China’s Anhui Province stipulates that after June 1, people will be cremated when they die; burials are no longer allowed. Six senior citizens in Tongcheng City, near Anqing, have committed suicide in May to make sure they would be buried in the ground before the new policy became effective, Beijing News said. Family members all said the reason for the suicides was to avoid the cremation policy.

Coffins Confiscated

Wu Jianqing, Vice Minister of Publicity in Tongcheng City, Anhui Province, said on May 25 that according to an investigation, approximately 45,000 coffins have been destroyed in the city, leaving only around 800 coffins scattered in peoples’ homes.

Ms. Qin, from Jinshan Village of Daguan Township, Tongcheng City, told the Epoch Times that rumors about mandatory cremation began to spread in the village in April, and the villagers are all against it. Burial customs are an ancient and deep-seated tradition, referred to by locals as “earth is the best shelter,” she said, adding, “It is ruthless of the authorities to destroy the elders’ coffins and push the cremation policy; it caused the elders to kill themselves.”

During the coffin collection drive in Luting Village, Luting Township, on May 8, village committee staff sawed 83-year-old Mrs. Zheng Shifang’s coffin in half while she helplessly stood by and then fainted.

“No one bothered to ask if you want to keep it or not,” Mrs. Zheng’s son, Hu Hongci, said. “The village officials said it was state policy. We do not dare to go against any policy and had to watch the coffin being destroyed.”

After an attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills, Mrs. Zheng Shifang hanged herself in the utility room in her home in the early morning of May 23.

A coffin registration was conducted door-to-door on April 18 in Chanchong Village of Dahuan Township in Tongcheng. That night, 81-year-old Mrs. Jiang Xiuhua hanged herself in the garden behind her house.

Another woman in her eighties, Mrs. Zhang Wenying, also hanged herself. Her family said she did it because she was determined to “sleep in her coffin.” Village officials pressured the family to sign a statement, saying Mrs. Zhang’s death had nothing to do with the funeral reform, but the family refused to sign, according to a report by Oriental Morning Post.

Mainland Chinese citizens don’t have the basic human rights most people on earth take for granted. From birth to death, the Chinese Communist Party dictates what Chinese people may do, say, and think.

A mainland Internet user commented on the new burial ban: “I’ve heard of people rushing to buy houses and cars before new policies come into effect. This time they are rushing to die. The authorities are ruthless! They’re depriving people of their peaceful lives. [Burial] represents a form of belief. The Communist Party specifically targets people’s beliefs and destroys them.”

Translation by Cheryl Chen. Written in English by Gisela Sommer.

Read the original Chinese article.