'My Brother Had a Lot of Injuries on His Body'

china-sisters-12022015.jpg Zhang Wuzhou holds a placard demanding an end to an unauthorized post-mortem of her brother Zhang Liumao, who died in jail last month, in personal protest, Dec. 2, 2015.
Photo courtesy of the Zhang family

The sisters of Guangdong-based rights activist Zhang Liumao, who was reported dead by authorities in the police-run Guangzhou No. 3 Detention Center in the early hours of Nov. 4, say they have been excluded from witnessing the post-mortem on his body, fueling his family's suspicion that he was tortured to death. They told RFA in separate interviews with the Mandarin and Cantonese Services what happened on the day the post-mortem took place:

Zhang Weichu:

They should have sent us notification ahead of time ... They told us on Nov. 28 verbally, but we said our lawyer would be out of town, and asked them to postpone the date. They said they would have to check with their superiors, but they never said anyone more about it.

We didn't get a notification until [the day before], and it was a question of take it or leave it.

It started at around 9.30 a.m., 10.00 a.m., and finished at around 12.30 p.m. or 1.00 p.m. They said it would take at least three days to get the results through.

They told us that we couldn't go in there, that this was against the law.

There is so much fraud in the Chinese medical profession. If they decide to write a fake report, there's really nothing we can do about it.

Even the lawyer told us that if this has been ordered by a higher level of government, then it really makes no difference which hospital or department you use, if it's inside China.

Zhang Wuzhou:

I brought it up a week ago with the Guangzhou municipal prosecutor's office, but they evaded the question. I was checking with them that they would be the ones in charge of arranging the post mortem, because they were the ones who ordered my brother's arrest.

Then they arranged it at the very last minute. I'm pretty sure it was so they could cover up the truth and spoil the evidence.

We went to the prosecutor's office ... to protest, and to demand that they immediately halt this illegal post-mortem.

I got to the gates of the procuratorate and demanded to see the chief prosecutor. I was holding a cardboard placard that had the words 'Chief Prosecutor Wang Fucheng, set your sights a bit higher and call off this illegal post-mortem.'

I hadn't been there with my placard longer than a minute when a bunch of police officers snatched it away from me. After that, I stood at the gates, shouting 'I demand a meeting with chief prosecutor Wang Fucheng and an immediate end to the illegal post-mortem."

I shouted those two things for around 40 minutes, but they never let me meet with him. Then I tried to force my way inside the procuratorate, but the people at the gates dragged me round to the complaints office, where they agreed to my request for a meeting.

But I still haven't been able to see him. I demanded to see the duty prosecutor but I wasn't given a meeting with them, either.

Any post-mortem that goes ahead without the consent of the relatives is illegal.

My brother had a lot of injuries on his body, and I also demanded an explanation of his external injuries, but they never gave me one.

They just said his death was of natural causes.

Reported by Yang Fan for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Wen Yuqing for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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