A Chinese local government Friday denounced rumors spread by the Falun Gong cult about the cause of the death of three cult members.
At a press conference held by the Hefei Municipal government in Anhui province, east China, a policewoman and three police officers said Li Mei, one of three female followers referred to inthe rumors, committed suicide, and Zhang Duoyun and Li Jun died ofhemorrhage of the brain and hepatitis B, respectively.
The facts are in sharp contrast to the rumors spread by the outlawed Falun Gong cult overseas, which allege the three followers were persecuted to death.
Deng Zuxia, a policewoman, said, Li Mei, 29, was put in an education-through-labor camp for 18 months after she was convictedof engaging in cult activities.
On January 29, 2001, Li, who was serving her term, became desperate and jumped from the third floor of a building when she realized a prediction made by the cult leader Li Hongzhi failed tomaterialize, the policewoman recalled.
Li was immediately rushed to a local hospital for emergency medical treatment, but died of serious injuries on February 1.
Yu Min, a local law enforcement officer, said Zhang Duoyun, 64,collapsed on November 13, 2001 at her home when opening door for her grandson, and died the next day in hospital.
Li Jun, died of chronic hepatitis B at the age of 31 in 2001.
Li Jiading, father of Li Jun, said her daughter used to take traditional Chinese medicine for her liver disease, but she refused to take any medication after she converted to the cult andengaged in its illegal activities.
Falun Gong Cult encourages its followers not to seek medical care or to take medication for their diseases, but seek help from their cult.