At least 529 practitioners in Heilongjiang Province have died as a result of persecution, the highest among all provinces and municipal regions in the country.
In Qiqihar, the second largest city in Heilongjiang Province, it has been confirmed that 62 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death as of October 25, 2016.
The 62 practitioners ranged in age from 23-year-old Mr. Wang Weihua to 78-year-old Mr. Huang Jingkun. Most of the practitioners had been subjected to repeated harassment, imprisonment, and torture before they died.
Mr. Pan Benyu was sentenced to a forced labor camp twice and imprisoned twice with terms of four and seven years for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Each time he was released, he would be arrested again shortly and continue to be tortured.
After suffering relentless torture during these years of detention and imprisonment, he passed away on July 17, 2011.
Mr. Pan was first taken to a brainwashing facility for two months after the persecution started in July 1999. He was then sentenced to a year of forced labor. The guards struck his head with a plastic pipe and sprayed ice-cold water on him for hours during the winter. After the torture, he could not stop twitching and was unable to walk.
Mr. Pan was sentenced to a labor camp for a second time in 2000. There, he was beaten, shocked by electric batons, and deprived of food and restroom use. When he lost consciousness from the beatings, the guards poured boiling water on him.
Not long after he was released from the labor camp, he was arrested again and sentenced to four years on July 5, 2001. He was locked up in solitary confinement for more than 70 days. The inmates immobilized him on the ground and withheld bedding and blankets, which caused him to vomit and urinate blood. The flesh on his arms and wrists began to putrefy.
In and out of consciousness and on the verge of death, Mr. Pan was released on June 18, 2005.
The police harassed him at home on April 30, 2006. He was forced to leave home and go from place to place to avoid another arrest. While he was visiting his parents, the police found him and arrested him on December 8, 2006. He was savagely beaten at the police station and had multiple organ failure. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to another seven years and taken to prison on April 18, 2007.
At Tailai Prison, he developed severe liver and heart problems and was unable to take care of himself. He was released on medical parole twice and soon taken back to the prison before he could recover. His condition kept deteriorating over the years, and he passed away on July 17, 2011.
Ms. Xu Hongmei and Ms. Shen Zili
Ms. Xu Hongmei and Ms. Shen Zili were both arrested on January 13, 2007. The police interrogated and tortured the two women at the police station.
Officers tied Ms. Xu to a bed with her limbs stretched far apart, hanged her upside down, and locked her in a metal cage. When she lost consciousness, they poured cold water on her to revive her.
Ms. Shen Zili was tied to a chair. The police grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head against a wall until she lost consciousness. They continued to beat her when she woke up.
After five days of non-stop torture and interrogation, both women were on the verge of death. The police transferred them to the Qiqihar Detention Centre on January 18, 2007.
Without proper medical care, their condition deteriorated at the detention centre. When the police finally sent them to the hospital on February 13, 2007, they were in critical condition and still handcuffed and shackled.
Due to internal injuries caused by the beatings, the women were spitting up blood, their bodies were swollen, and they had trouble eating. They had multiple organ failure, their blood pressure dropped significantly, and they often fell unconscious.
Ms. Xu and Ms. Shen both died on February 27, 2007. Ms. Xu Hongmei was 37, and Ms. Shen Zili was 49. The police forced their families to hastily cremate their bodies on March 1, 2007 and did not allow any photos.
Mr. Pan Hongdong
Mr. Pan Hongdong, 37, was tortured to death in Tailai Prison on May 15, 2005. His body was covered with scars and wounds. There were bloodstains near his mouth, ears, and nose, and a round scar on his chest. There were also obvious bloodstains on his legs and back.
Mr. Pan was serving a ten-year prison term for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. He was frequently tortured and forced to do hard labor every day.
In an attempt to make him write a renunciation statement, the guard ordered inmates to hang him up with four separate ropes attached to his arms and legs and his body facing down.
They also heated up a metal ironing board under the sun before putting him on the board. After he got blisters all over his body from the burns, the inmates poured cold water on him.
Mr. Pan was arrested on September 4, 2001 and sentenced in late 2002.
Ms. Chen Weijun
Ms. Chen Weijun was first arrested in 2000 when he went to Beijing to appeal the central government to stop its persecution of Falun Gong. She was given one year of forced labor.
At Shuanghe Forced Labor Camp, she suffered constant beatings, forced feedings, solitary confinement, deprivation of restroom use, and was hung up by the police. The inmates once stuffed her mouth with a cleaning cloth for three hours, causing her to suffocate and lose consciousness.
Shortly after Ms. Chen Weijun was released from the labor camp in April 2001, she was arrested again in November. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2002 for not giving up Falun Gong.
At Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, she was again tortured by inmates frequently, including being exposed to freezing temperatures, forced feedings, being hung up, as well as being forced to stand or locked on the ground for days. When inmates force-fed her, they either left the feeding tube in her for a long time until mold grew in it, or they inserted the tube into her nose back and forth to increase her suffering.
Ms. Chen was diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer in July 2005 and released on medical parole. However, she was arrested again three months later on October 17, 2005 and continued to be tortured in the prison.
After years of relentless torture, Ms. Chen passed away on June 3, 2007. She was 49.
Mr. Wang Weihua
Mr. Wang Weihua died in No. 3 Prison of Harbin City on June 16, 2003. His autopsy report showed 19 major injuries to his body, including his mouth, temple, top of the head, chest, back, arms, and legs. Some of his internal organs also had injuries. He was 23.
While informing Mr. Wang’s family about his death, the prison told them that he was beaten to death by a convicted murderer but refused to disclose any further details.
His family suspected that the inmate had been ordered by guards to torture him in order to force him to give up his belief–a common practice in prisons throughout China.
Although he was only in his early 20s, Mr. Wang had been arrested three times for telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong and was tortured repeatedly while in police custody, including being hung up, having his genitals pinched, electric shocks, and savage beatings. The police also took off all of his clothes, poured cold water onto him, and opened the window in the middle of winter.
Mr. Wang developed high fever and had difficulty breathing after being tortured following his second arrest on April 10, 2001. His family had to pay 20,000 yuan to the police in order to get him released on medical parole.
Before he was able to recover, the police arrested him again on September 20, 2001. He was sentenced to four years in prison in January 2002.
Mr. Liu Jingming’s family was suddenly informed by Tailai Prison on March 24, 2007 that he had “jumped out from the prison building and died.” This took place less than two months after he was sent to prison to serve 12 years on February 8, 2007. He was 39.
His family suspected foul play. When they went to the prison and asked why officials waited 18 hours after his death to inform them, the prison refused to provide any details and denied that Mr. Liu had been tortured.
According to Mr. Liu’s family, his body was terribly mangled. The right side of the head was caved in. The wool sweater and pants he wore were soaked with blood, but his underwear and underpants did not show any bloodstains. His right leg had a hole, more than two inches in diameter. His right leg was twisted, and both knees were purple and black with bruises.
The prison refused to bear any responsibility for his death.
Prior to the lengthy prison sentence, Mr. Liu had been repeatedly arrested and detained for his faith in Falun Gong.
The 62 Falun Gong practitioners in Qiqihar who died as a result of persecution:
- Xu Hongmei
- Shen Zili
- Liu Jingming
- Ma Wensheng
- Pan Hongdong
- Zhang Guiqin
- Yin Shuyun
- Zhang Yunzhi
- Zhao Yazhen
- Fu Zhiyu
- Liang Jinyu
- Huang Jingkun
- Xu Linshan
- Jiao Zhensheng
- Sun Hongwen
- Wang Weihua
- Gao Deyong
- Wang Baoxian
- Liu Xiaoling
- Li Xuelian
- Hao Zhimei
- Gan Xiuyun
- Li Hong
- Miao Xiaolu
- Li Guiqin
- Gao Hua
- Tan Xiuna
- Gao Xinglian
- Cao Liangyi
- Yue Huimin
- Qiu Wenbin
- Li Guiqin
- Lin Lingmei
- Cheng Yulan
- Zhang Yanfang
- Guo Xiuzhen
- Huang Yujing
- Yu Shulan
- Ke Fenglan
- Song Meiying
- Wang Yuheng
- Li Peisheng
- Sun Dianshun
- Yu Zhongzhu
- Cai Yong
- Wang Zuohua
- Yue Yufang
- Wang Guiqin
- Wang Juan
- Cui Rong
- Zhang Lirong
- Liu Fengling
- Zhu Jinrui
- Meng Fanyu
- Ding Yajie
- Pan Guiying
- Zhang Baozhi
- Han Fenglan
- Liu Yafang
- Wang Hualian
- Ye Lianping
- Ma Hong’s cousin (name unknown)