Family members are demanding an independently-conducted autopsy following the mysterious death of an imprisoned Christian and veteran human rights activist.
Peng Ming, a pro-democracy dissident known for establishing the China Development Union and publishing a work offering suggestions to China’s development model, known as The Fourth Monument, allegedly fainted on 29 November while watching television. He was rushed to hospital.
Officials phoned his brother, who had visited Peng just three days before, and relayed the news to him. By the time he reached the hospital, Peng had already been declared dead and transferred to a funeral home.
However, authorities did not issue a death certificate, leaving his cause of death unclear. As a result, his family members have demanded an autopsy by an “international, independent medical authority acceptable to the family” and stated that a similar procedure conducted by the Chinese government will not be considered conclusive.
Officials have warned his overseas family members not to attend the funeral.
Following the government’s ban on the China Development Union, Peng was sentenced to 18 months of re-education through labour on a charge unrelated to his political activities. In August 2000, he was released and fled to Thailand, which granted him refugee status until he was resettled in the United States a year later. There, he was baptised in a San Francisco church in July 2002.
When Peng returned to Thailand in 2004 to visit his aging parents, Chinese special agents devised a plan to lure him into Burma and abduct him back to China. Once he arrived in his homeland, he was charged with organising and leading a terrorist organisation, kidnapping and possessing counterfeit money. He was given a life sentence.
Source: China Aid