(Minghui.org) The month of January 2022 recorded the deaths of 20 Falun Gong practitioners as a result of the persecution of their faith, including one case that took place in 2008, one case in 2019, 15 cases in 2021, and 3 cases in January 2022.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since its introduction to the public in 1992, countless people have been drawn to its profound principles and health benefits. Fearing its ever-growing popularity, the Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide campaign in July 1999, attempting to stamp out the practice.
The 20 deceased practitioners, including 14 females, came from 9 provinces in China. Liaoning and Hubei each had five cases, followed by two cases in Jilin, Shaanxi, and Sichuan each. Anhui, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, and Inner Mongolia each registered one case.
Among the 18 practitioners whose ages were known, they were between 50 and 89, with an average age of 70. Four practitioners were in their 50s, 4 were in their 60s, 5 were in their 70s and another 5 were in their 80s.
Most of the practitioners had been repeatedly arrested and incarcerated in the now 23 years of persecution. Five of them died while still in custody, including an 80-year-old man who was sentenced to another four years right after serving three years and a 50-year-old woman who died three days following her arrest.
Below are snapshots of some of the death cases. The list of the 20 practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).
Deaths in Custody
Ms. Huang Sulan, of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was arrested outside of her apartment building on January 20, 2022, by officers of Pengzhou City (about 30 miles away). She was held at a secret detention facility in Pengzhou.
The police informed Ms. Huang’s family on January 23, 2022, that she had died earlier that day. Her body was soon moved to the Pengzhou City Funeral Home. Her family has seen her body, but further details about her death remain under investigation.
Prior to Ms. Huang’s last arrest, she was previously arrested on July 10, 2019, while visiting practitioner Ms. Mao Kun. Although Ms. Huang was released on August 9, Ms. Mao was later sentenced to 11.5 years and died in custody.
When Mr. Li Xiyong’s family went to the prison to pick him up on April 9, 2021, they were devastated to learn that the 80-year-old man, who just finished serving a three-year prison term, had been taken away by the police. He was sentenced to another four years, four months later, and developed diabetes and fluid accumulation in his chest. The authorities handcuffed and shackled him to the hospital bed while he was being treated.
Mr. Liu, a resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, developed another serious medical condition on December 9. He was in a wheelchair that was placed inside a metal cage in the back of the van while he was taken to the hospital. His family was surprised to see that Mr. Liu’s face, hands, and feet were all swollen. He appeared to be incapacitated and was unable to talk clearly. When his granddaughter tried to adjust his face mask, the guards intimidated her and didn’t allow the family to get close.
The guards demanded that Mr. Liu’s family pay all his medical expenses. They claimed that he was in poor health prior to being arrested and said they bore no responsibility for his condition. His family’s repeated requests for medical parole were also denied.
Mr. Liu passed away in the hospital on December 29. The prison staff did not allow his son to take his body. They took it to a funeral home themselves, fearing that his family would file a complaint against them. The police guarded his body until it was cremated on January 1, 2022.
With the onset of the persecution in 1999, Mr. Liu was repeatedly incarcerated for upholding his faith and raising awareness about the persecution. He was given 2 years of forced labor following an arrest in April 2002 and sentenced to 3.5 years after another arrest on July 24, 2008. He was sentenced again to three years without a court trial, following his last arrest on April 9, 2018. While his wife desperately sought his release at the local police station, an officer said to her, “We will let him die inside this time!”
Ms. Zhong Shujuan, a 66-year-old resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, died in Liaoning Women’s Prison on December 24, 2021, three years after her request for medical parole to treat her breast cancer was denied. Her body was cremated in the presence of the police, prosecutor, and judge who were involved in her sentencing.
Over the past 22 years, Ms. Zhong was arrested seven times and incarcerated for a total of 12 years for upholding her faith. She was detained at the Dalian Detention Centre for 18 days, a drug rehabilitation centre for 28 days, Dalian Forced Labor Camp for two years and 40 days, and Masanjia Forced Labor Camp twice, for two years and four months the first time and two years and 16 days the second time.
Additionally, Ms. Zhong was held in the Luotaishan Brainwashing Centre for 21 days in July 2009, and in a hospital for 15 days in March 2016. She was sentenced to 7.5 years following her last arrest on June 28, 2016 and remained detained until she died.
Ms. Zhong was not the only person in her family affected by the persecution. Her daughter Ms. Li Xiuli suffered a mental breakdown in 2007, at the age of 27, as a result of long-term harassment by the authorities. She never recovered after a traumatic police raid when she was home alone.
After one of her mother’s arrests, Ms. Li and her father Mr. Li Kuan were so traumatised that they did not leave their home for more than 40 days. They didn’t dare to answer phone calls or open the door. People thought they had died and found out they were still alive only after using force to enter their apartment.
Following Ms. Zhong’s latest arrest in 2016, her husband was detained for half a month and later sentenced to three and a half years of probation. Their daughter’s mental health has further declined.
Mr. Yang Xingye, a Pengzhou City, Sichuan Province, resident passed away on December 10, 2021, four months after he was taken back into custody for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Yang’s ordeal stemmed from what happened to him in 2017, when he was arrested for upholding his faith and released on bail in July that year. After remaining on bail for four years, he was sentenced to four years in prison on July 13, 2021. The hearing was not held in the local courthouse, but a tea shop.
Weeks before Mr. Yang’s sentencing, he had been approached by two residents in his neighborhood who pretended to be interested in learning Falun Gong. They stopped contacting him after getting 50 copies of Falun Gong informational materials from him. In hindsight, the two residents were probably used by the authorities to gather prosecution evidence against him.
Mr. Yang was let go after his sentencing. Two weeks later on July 27, three police officers knocked on his door. When he refused to let them in, they found a locksmith to forcibly open the door and took him back into custody.
On August 14, after two weeks at the Pengzhou City Detention Centre, Mr. Yang was taken to the Pengzhou City New People’s Hospital, while still being shackled. The reason why he was taken there wasn’t clear.
The police transferred Mr. Yang to another hospital in nearby Chengdu in September. In November, they informed his family that they could apply for his release on bail for medical reasons. Because Mr. Yang’s medical insurance account and pension were frozen by the authorities, his family couldn’t afford the medical expense for him. As they didn’t apply for bail and take him home, the police forced them to sign a liability waiver.
Mr. Yang’s condition further deteriorated afterwards. He passed away on December 10, 2021. The details about his condition remain unclear. But according to people who knew him, he was very healthy before being arrested.
Jilin Woman Dies in Prison While Serving Time
Ms. Wang Qingwen’s family was informed by Jilin Province Women’s Prison on October 26, 2021 that she had passed away. The authorities cremated her body on the next day and sent her ashed to her hometown in Liaoyuan City, Jilin Province. She was 78 years old.
Ms. Wang was previously sentenced to a three-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong. Although the authorities allowed her to serve time outside of prison, the police took her into custody at Liaoyuan City Detention Centre some time in 2021.
Ms. Wang was later transferred to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison and developed severe symptoms. She was taken to the police hospital in late October 2021 and soon died there. The prison refused to provide further information about her death to her family. Some officials said she died of rectal cancer, while others said she died of lung cancer.
Deaths Due to Long Term Persecution
Mr. Li Zhouwen, a mechanical technician in Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, died in November 2019, three years after he was tortured in prison for refusing to renounce his faith in Falun Gong. He was 75 years old.
His wife, Ms. Zhang Gaixiu, was also persecuted to death after she was sentenced to four years for practicing Falun Gong. She died at the age of 57 on February 26, 2008.
After the Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, the police frequently harassed the couple for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. They barged into their home on September 11, 2001. Without showing their IDs, they ransacked their home and confiscated all their Falun Gong books and materials.
Mr. Li was taken to a place and detained there for 23 hours before being transferred to the Chenchun Police Station, where he was ordered to sign some court-related documents. He was taken to the county detention centre after signing the documents. He was beaten several times at the detention centre for doing the Falun Gong meditation.
Mr. Li was later sentenced to seven years, and his wife was sentenced to four years. As her old illnesses recurred due to the abuse in detention, she was allowed to serve time outside of prison.
Mr. Li was held in the Zhuangli Prison between 2002 and 2005 and the Weinan Prison during the rest of his prison term. He was subjected to torture and brainwashing in both prisons, and was also forced to write guarantee statements renouncing his faith.
Due to mental pressure from the persecution and discrimination from society, the couple’s son became hostile towards Falun Gong and he didn’t allow Mr. Li to freely leave home or talk to other Falun Gong practitioners after he was released in December 2007.
While Ms. Zhang was serving time outside of prison, the Public Security Bureau officers went to her home and harassed her every month. She became terrified and anxious, and developed a mental disorder. She died on February 26, 2008, at 57 years old.
The officers from Domestic Security Division and 610 Office continued to harass Mr. Li after he was released in 2007. As he refused to renounce his faith, the police arrested him on May 6, 2009, and held him in a government guesthouse until May 22, before taking him to the local detention centre. He was subsequently sentenced to 4.5 years in Weinan Prison.
The two prison terms of 11 years caused tremendous mental damage to Mr. Li. His family experienced discrimination from society and also financial losses (Mr. Li used to make 10,000 yuan per month before being imprisoned).
When Mr. Li was released in 2016, he was incapacitated and couldn’t take care of himself. He passed away in November 2019.
When Mr. Tian Chengjun’s five-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong expired on June 18, 2013, the authorities continued to detain him at a secret location for years. He was extremely weak and emaciated when he was released. He locked himself at home and didn’t dare to go out to meet with anyone. As the police continued to harass him, he moved in with his sister, only to die on February 27, 2021, after suffering a heart attack. He was 53.
Mr. Tian, a Baoqing County, Heilongjiang Province resident, was arrested at home on June 18, 2008, less than two months before the Beijing Olympics. The authorities claimed that they were preventing him from going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. Several other local practitioners were also arrested around the same time and had their homes ransacked.
The Baoqing County Procuratorate approved Mr. Tian’s arrest in mid-August 2008 and indicted him a week later. He appeared in the Baoqing County Court on November 18 and was sentenced to five years on December 4. Another seven practitioners were also sentenced with him: Mr. Liu Junzhong, in his 40s, and Ms. Wang Junhong, in her 30s, were each sentenced to ten years; Mr. Yu Zhanhong was sentenced to nine years; Ms. Tian Xiaoxuan was sentenced to eight years; and Ms. Jiang Jie, in her 30s, Mr. Meng Xianguo, 48, and his wife Ms. Wang Yarong, in her 40s, were each given seven years.
Mr. Tian was transferred from the Baoqing County Detention Centre to the Lianjiangkou Prison on May 7, 2009. He was forced to do unpaid labor and subjected to various forms of torture.
When his term expired on June 18, 2013, the prison transferred him to another undisclosed detention facility out of town. It’s not clear how long exactly he was detained beyond his prison term.
89-year-old Man Dies Following Latest Harassment
Mr. Liu Yongcun, of Shulan City, Jilin Province, was reported for talking to people about Falun Gong and distributing calendars with information about Falun Gong at Fate Town in the same province in the winter of 2020. The police ransacked his home and forced him to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Liu was terrified. He suffered a stroke and became bedridden since.
The police returned again on May 12, 2021 to ransack his home. Many of his personal items were taken away. The police attempted to arrest him, but relented upon seeing his physical condition.
Struggling with declining health, Mr. Liu passed away on September 10, 2021. He was 89.
Ms. Yuan Yuzhen, a former award-winning teacher in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, died on November 19, 2021, after enduring two decades of persecution for her faith in Falun Gong. She was 81 years old.
After the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, Ms. Yuan went to Beijing three times to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was arrested each time and had her home ransacked. She was also given one year of forced labor after being taken back to Nanjing. The arrests, detention and subsequent harassment took a toll on her health and eventually claimed her life.
Ms. Yuan was first arrested in April 2000 when she went to Beijing to appeal. She was held in a metal cage and chained to a metal chair. The nails on the chain cut deep into her flesh. She was given one month at the Nanjing City Detention Centre after being transferred back to Nanjing. Her home was also ransacked.
Ms. Yuan went to Beijing to appeal for the second time in October 2000. The Beijing police hit her on the head, causing her head to swell. Her face was bruised and her teeth bled. The police also stepped on her fingers, hung her up by the wrists with her arms behind her back and shocked her with electric batons. She passed out from the electric shocks. She was later taken back to Nanjing and had her home ransacked again.
Ms. Yuan returned to Beijing to appeal for the third time in December 2000. She was arrested while holding up a banner at Tiananmen Square. She was first held at the Tiananmen Police Station and then transferred to a police station in Haidian District. The guards beat her and tortured her as she refused to reveal her name and address.
(Note: Due to the Chinese regime’s policy of implication, Falun Gong practitioners often refuse to reveal their names in order to protect family members, co-workers, and other associates.)
A week later, the Beijing police transferred Ms. Yuan to a detention centre in nearby Liaoning Province. They also attempted to take her to a psychiatric hospital, but the doctor refused to admit her. She was then taken to a prison and held with death row prisoners, before being taken back to the detention centre, where she was forced to report her name.
After she was taken back to Nanjing, Ms. Yuan was given one year at Judong Women’s Forced Labor Camp, after one month at the Nanjing City Detention Centre. The labor camp guards beat her, pulled her hair, hit her head against the wall and slapped her in the face. She was also taken to a brainwashing centre and almost lost all of her teeth from the beatings she sustained there.
A group of officers broke into her home around April 2007 and held her at the Gulou District Brainwashing Centre for 12 days.
Ms. Yuan was arrested again on March 16, 2011, for talking to people outside of a supermarket. Two plainclothes officers pushed her into a car and sprayed her face with a noxious compound.
During her detention at the Gulou District Brainwashing Centre, the police called her husband, Mr. Li Wankun, and insisted that he talk to them. Mr. Li said he wasn’t available that day and would talk to the police the next day. When he returned home later that day, he was devastated to find that the police had broken into his home and turned everything upside down.
He questioned the police as to why they raided his place with no one around. The police replied, “We can’t stop working just because you weren’t home.” Mr. Li was so infuriated that he almost fainted. The police continued to harass him from then on, leaving the elderly man traumatised and living in fear.
Ms. Yuan was harassed and intimidated again in June 2015, after the police learned that she filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. She began to suffer high blood pressure after that. Sometimes she had difficulty breathing and shook uncontrollably. She lived in tremendous fear, and her health declined rapidly. She eventually passed away on November 19, 2021.
Inner Mongolian Woman Dies in Displacement
Ms. Zhang Fengyun, of Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, was forced to live away from home, after the police ransacked her home on September 25, 2018, upon finding that her daughter, Ms. Song Sijuan, was set to fly to New York to attend a vocal competition hosted by NTDTV, an American TV station known for reporting uncensored news about China, including the persecution of Falun Gong.
While Ms. Zhang and her daughter were not home during the raid and escaped the arrests, her husband, Mr. Song Xiandong, was arrested and later sentenced to ten months. The police dispatched a large number of officers to track down the two women.
With her pension suspended by the authorities, Ms. Zhang lived a destitute life while living outside. The mental pressure took a toll on her health. She passed away around December 15, 2021.
After serving two prison terms and a forced labor camp term for refusing to give up her faith in Falun Gong, Ms. Wu Naiying passed away on December 16, 2021, two years after she was released from serving a three-year term. She was 66 years old.
After the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Wu, of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, was arrested five times. She was given two years in a labor camp and twice sentenced to prison for a total of seven years.
Ms. Wu was first arrested in 2000 and detained for 15 days. She was arrested again in 2001 and held in the Shenhe District Brainwashing Centre.
She was given two years at the Longshan Forced Labor Camp in August 2003 following her other arrest. The guards beat her and once shocked her with three electric batons.
Ms. Wu was arrested again on August 10, 2008. The police covered her head with a black hood and handcuffed her hands behind her back. The Dadong District Court sentenced her to four years on October 29, 2008. She was subjected to verbal abuse, forced labor, and other torture after being taken to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on January 13, 2009.
Ms. Wu filed a criminal complaint on June 15, 2015, against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party who ordered the persecution. She was arrested again on November 14, 2016, while studying Falun Gong books at home with three other practitioners. Many of her personal belongings were confiscated. The authorities also accused her of putting up an informational poster about Falun Gong, after recording them with surveillance cameras.
The police first held her in Shenyang City Detention Centre. She soon suffered dangerously high blood pressure and was hospitalised for two weeks before being taken back to the detention centre.
Ms. Wu was sentenced to three years and fined 20,000 yuan by the Shenhe District Court on September 29, 2017. She was taken to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on January 9, 2018.
When she was released in November 2019, she was unable to speak coherently and she lost much of her memory. She once recalled that she had difficulty breathing from being tortured in prison. She also had pain in her feet and legs, as well as severe constipation.
After struggling with poor health, she passed away at around 1 a.m. on December 16, 2021.
A Hefei City, Anhui Province resident was sentenced to three years and ten months shortly after her arrest in early September 2021 for practicing Falun Gong. Due to her poor health, the local prison refused to accept her. Ms. Li Cuiping’s health continued to deteriorate after she was ordered to serve time at home. She passed away in mid-December 2021, at the age of 73.
Ms. Li took up Falun Gong in 1997 and she credited the practice for curing her uterine cancer. Because she refused to renounce Falun Gong in the face of the persecution, she was arrested and detained several times, before finally succumbing to decades-long mental pressure.
Ms. Li was first arrested in 2003 and sentenced to three years in Anhui Province Women’s Prison, where she was forced to do unpaid labor and watch videos defaming Falun Gong, and was beaten by the inmates in the same cell.
She was arrested two more times, at 11 p.m. on July 20, 2007, and on June 24, 2011, respectively, for talking to people about Falun Gong.
She was rejected admission by the local detention centre after yet another arrest on January 2, 2020. Her home was ransacked and her Falun Gong books and related materials were confiscated. The police placed her on house arrest and came back several times to harass her.
Both Ms. Li and her son, Mr. Ma Shan, were arrested at home on November 3, 2020. Their home was ransacked and they were again put on house arrest.
Ms. Li’s last arrest was in early September 2021 while she was withdrawing cash at a bank. She was held in a brainwashing centre for two weeks and released when she was extremely weak. Not long after, she was ordered to appear in Shushan District Court on September 24. As she was too weak to walk on her own, several bailiffs carried her into the car and took her to the court.
Ms. Li was later sentenced to three years and ten months. The prison refused to accept her due to her health condition. She returned home and passed away three months later.
Ms. Hu Yanbo suffered a mental disorder when she was released from Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in 2006, after serving four years for practicing Falun Gong. As she was unable to care for herself, her father sent her to a psychiatric hospital. After struggling for 16 years, she passed away in January 2022. She was 50 years old.
Ms. Hu, of Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was arrested four times between 1999 and 2002, including one arrest in 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong.
She was sentenced to four years following her last arrest in October 2002. She was held at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp for three years and then transferred to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison.
The prison guards used all kinds of torture trying to force her to renounce Falun Gong, including beatings, up to one month of sleep deprivation, and tying her to a metal rack in the bathroom in a squat position.
One practitioner who was also imprisoned there once recounted that the guards forced Ms. Hu to stand in the bathroom in order to transform her. The standing started from 10 p.m. and no one knew how long it lasted every night.
Ms. Hu later fell ill. The guards ordered the inmates to add unknown drugs to her food, which caused her to be dizzy-headed and unable to get out of bed. She almost died from the torture and involuntary drug administration.
Ms. Hu was in a delirious state when she was released. She was also fired by her employer. As her mother had passed away a long time ago, her father sent her to a psychiatric hospital, as he still had to work to support the family.
In the first week of 2022, her father received a call from the hospital and was informed that she had just passed away. The nurse caring for her said she refused to eat meat and only ate pickles. The elderly father was devastated to see her emaciated body.
Ms. Qu Cailing, of Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was severely tortured while serving a 1.5-year labor camp term and a 9-year prison term, for upholding her faith in Falun Gong. Unable to bear the pressure from the persecution, Ms. Qu’s husband divorced her and was given sole custody of their teenage daughter. Her workplace suspended her pension in 2000, after she was first arrested for her faith. After suffering years of mental distress and financial difficulty, she passed away on January 22, 2022. She was 70 years old.
Ms. Qu used to work in the family planning office in Fushun. She suffered multiple diseases and had to be hospitalised several times each year. In February 1997, she chose to retire early, at the age of 45. Two months later, she was introduced to Falun Gong and her health recovered soon after.
After the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, the local 610 Office, personnel from her workplace, and community workers kept harassing her and tried to force her to renounce Falun Gong.
She was detained at the local police station three times and her family was extorted for 1,000 yuan. Yu Manchang, the director of the Shuncheng District 610 Office, pressured her husband and ordered him to watch Ms. Qu. Yu threatened to suspend his job as a school teacher if he didn’t comply.
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