(Minghui.org) Another ten deaths of Falun Gong practitioners as a result of the persecution of their faith were reported in February 2024.

The newly confirmed death cases included one case each in 2014 and 2017, three cases in 2023, and five cases in 2024. Due to the communist regime’s strict information censorship, the persecution can’t always be reported in a timely manner and the real death toll is likely much higher.

The deceased practitioners (four female), aged 53 to 86, hailed from six provinces. Jilin reported the most cases of four, followed by two cases in Gansu and one case each in Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu and Liaoning.

Four practitioners died while still in custody, including an 86-year-old man who was serving an 11.5-year term, a 74-year-old woman who was serving four years, another woman, age unknown and serving a 9-year term, and a 62-year-old man who died in detention centre seven months after his arrest. Most other practitioners died after struggling with poor health for weeks or years caused by the torture during their prison sentences.

Below are select death cases reported in February 2024. The list of the practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).


Deaths in Custody

Belated News: Jiangsu Man Dies in Custody Seven Months After His Arrest in February 2023

Mr. Xia Zhenglun, an insurance agent in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, was arrested in mid-February 2023. While at the Guanyun County Detention Centre, he developed whole body edema and was taken to the Lianyungang First People’s Hospital. All treatments were unsuccessful and he died in September 2023. He was 62.

Mr. Xia had been healthy since he took up Falun Gong in early 2012, and it is unclear what abuse he suffered in detention that resulted in his sudden health decline and untimely passing.

Before he became a Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Xia had deep misunderstandings about the practice due to the communist regime’s persistent hate propaganda. After he came across Zhuan Falun, the book containing the main teachings of Falun Gong, by chance in 2012, he found answers to the many questions he had about life. After he tried the Falun Gong exercises for the first time, he reported that his body felt light and “wonderful beyond words.”

In prior rounds of persecution, officers from the Dongxin Police Station arrested Mr. Xia on the night of June 26, 2014 and held him overnight with his hands cuffed behind his back. They took him to the lockup the next morning and had him detained there for 15 days. They also raided his home and confiscated a large amount of Falun Gong books and informational materials, as well as his computer, music player, and flash drives.

Officers from the same police station seized Mr. Xia again on February 2, 2015 and detained him for another 15 days.

74-Year-Old Woman Dies While Serving Four Years

Ms. Li Yuzhen, of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on June 10, 2021 in a group sweep and later sentenced to four years with a 10,000-yuan fine. She was transferred to the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison on January 7, 2022 after her appeal was rejected.

In the prison’s eighth ward, two bunk beds were pushed together along the length of the walls and most of the newly admitted practitioners were made to sleep between two other people, who each took up a bunk bed. Those who didn’t have a bed had to sleep in the hallway. Ms. Li had some leg problems but was assigned to sleep in one of the upper bunk beds. However, the inmates claimed that they treated her well.

Inmate Yuan Jingfang, a scammer serving a life sentence, was assigned team leader by the guards, due to her active participation in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Li was taken to a hospital in early January 2024 where she died a week later. It’s not clear whether she developed a terminal disease or died as a result of being tortured in prison. She was 74.

86-Year-Old Man Dies While Serving 11.5 Years

Mr. Liu Dianyuan, a Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province resident, was sentenced to 11.5 years in 2016 at the age of 78 for practicing Falun Gong. Despite his extremely poor physical condition, the prison still accepted him. His condition continued to decline over the years. He passed away on February 10, 2024, Chinese New Year’s Day. He was 86.

Mr. Liu was arrested on November 9, 2015, at his sister’s home, after spending five years in displacement to hide from the police. In order to frame him, the police fabricated evidence claiming that the house where Mr. Liu was arrested was full of Falun Gong books and materials.

When Mr. Liu appeared in the Jianping County Court five months later on April 7, 2016, the once healthy and mentally sharp man was emaciated and struggled with poor memory. Presiding judge Li Yan handed down a heavy term of 11.5 years. Mr. Liu would have been 90 years old by the time he finished serving time.

Even though Mr. Liu wasn’t qualified to be admitted to prison given his poor health, the Shenyang City First Prison still accepted him when the bailiff took him there on June 14, 2016.

It’s not clear whether Mr. Liu’s family were allowed to visit him after his prison admission. In September 2022, the guards called his family and told them to buy him diapers. His family later found out that Mr. Liu, then 84, was already incapacitated. But the prison refused to release him for medical treatment.

Mr. Liu’s family received a call from the prison on February 11, 2024, the second day of the 2024 Chinese New Year, and were told that he had passed away the day before.

Mr. Liu Dianyuan


Deaths After Prison Release

Belated News: Married Couple Pass Away Three Years Apart

Mr. Liu Yuhai, a former auto factory worker in Jilin City, Jilin Province, passed away in 2017, a little over a year after he was released from serving a four-year term at Jilin Province Prison. He was predeceased by his wife, Ms. Zheng Cuifen, also a Falun Gong practitioner, who passed away in 2014 when he was still serving time.

Someone knocked on Mr. Liu’s door after 10 p.m. on May 29, 2012 and asked whether the car parking downstairs was theirs. Mr. Liu replied that it was his daughter’s car. As soon as he opened the door, three police officers broke in, ran to his daughter’s room and looked for her husband. Mr. Liu’s daughter, Ms. Liu Li, told the police that her husband was working out of town. The police asked for his phone number, but she refused to tell them.

The police searched around and took away Ms. Liu’s bag. When she tried to get it back, they handcuffed her and took her downstairs. The police also searched her car and returned to Mr. Liu’s home to confiscate his computer and other belongings. Mr. Liu was also arrested and taken to the police station with his daughter.

Although Ms. Liu was released later that evening, Mr. Liu was transferred to the Jilin City Detention Centre the next day. Both of his parents, who were in their late 80s and relied on him for care, were dealt a hard blow by his arrest and detention. His mother passed away two months later on August 2, yet the police refused to release him to attend her funeral.

Mr. Liu’s family later confirmed that the police had submitted his case to the Gaoxin District Procuratorate. When they went there on September 14 to seek his release, they were surprised to be told that Mr. Liu had been tried more than ten days ago by the Gaoxin District Court. The family asked judge Wang in charge of Mr. Liu’s case why he didn’t inform them of the hearing, but he didn’t answer.

The family called judge Wang again on November 27, 2012 to inquire about his case. This time, Wang said that he had already sentenced Mr. Liu to four years on November 24. The family said they had just contacted him on November 22 and 23, so why didn’t he say a word about his upcoming conviction on November 24? Wang claimed that he didn’t have the obligation to inform the family about the hearing or the trial.

When Mr. Liu’s family visited him at the Jilin Prison on March 28, 2013, they waited for nearly one hour before Mr. Liu was taken out by a guard, who stayed to monitor their conversation. Mr. Liu looked haggard. He revealed to the family that he was forced to write statements to renounce Falun Gong, otherwise he wouldn’t be granted family visitation.

When his family commented that it was a pity that he wrote such a statement, the guard immediately hung up the call, ending the visit that lasted less than a minute. The family noticed that Mr. Liu had tears in his eyes when he was taken away. They suspected that he must have endured unspeakable torture and was forced to write the statement against his will.

Mr. Liu’s family visited him again in mid-April 2013. This time, guards stood behind both him and his family to monitor the conversation. His wife wasn’t allowed to speak to him, as the guards demanded her to provide a letter from her local police to say that she didn’t practice Falun Gong. Mr. Liu only told his daughter that he was going to undergo a pancreatic surgery and didn’t dare to say anything else.

Mr. Liu later developed high blood sugar levels and suffered a stroke due to the abuse in the prison. He fell into critical condition and was taken to the hospital for resuscitation. When his daughter visited him at the hospital, he was still handcuffed and shackled. He wasn’t allowed to use the restroom at night and was forced to defecate in his pants.

Mr. Liu’s persecution dealt his wife a hard blow. Her health kept declining and she passed away in February 2014. She was only 62.

Mr. Liu struggled with very poor health after he was released in 2016. He pass away a year later.

Health Destroyed After a Three-Year Prison Term, Gansu Man Dies Six Years Later

Mr. Lu Yunfei, of Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, died on December 8, 2023, six years after he was released from serving a three-year term for practicing Falun Gong. He was 53.

Mr. Lu was arrested on March 9, 2014, after being reported by a security personnel in an office building for distributing Falun Gong materials there. The police raided the residence shared with his parents next day.

Due to torture at the Lanzhou City Third Detention Centre, Mr. Lu fell into critical condition from excessive abdominal fluid accumulation and gastric cysts on April 18, 2014. After he was taken to the hospital for treatment, the doctor initially refused to allow his family to see him, but later relented after they insisted on suing him.

The family was devastated to see the once healthy man became extremely emaciated in just over a month. His lips were very dry and he lost the ability to talk. He was incontinent, and yet was still shackled to the bed. Not wanting to bear responsibility for Mr. Lu’s condition, the police released him on May 8.

Before Mr. Lu fully recovered, the police arrested him again on January 20, 2015 and still held him at the same detention centre. After he was indicted, his 78-year-old mother wrote to the judge Liu Dongyu of Chengguan District Court, demanding him to acquit her son, but to no avail.

Mr. Lu stood trial on October 20, 2015 and was sentenced to three years on December 25, 2015. His mother appealed the verdict on his behalf, but judge Fu Jue of the higher court persuaded her to drop the case, with the excuse that he didn’t have the authority to overturn Mr. Lu’s sentencing.

Mr. Lu suffered brutal torture at the Lanzhou Prison. He continued to struggle with declining health after being released on November 20, 2017. He died on December 8, 2023.

In addition to his last sentencing, Mr. Lu was detained for 15 days in 2001 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was arrested again in 2003 and held at the Lanzhou City Second Detention Centre. He was forced to do hard labor without pay. As he refused to renounce Falun Gong, the police transferred him to the Gongjiawan Brainwashing Centre, where he was closely monitored by the inmates and not allowed to talk to other practitioners held there.

69-Year-Old Gansu Woman Dies Weeks After Being Released from Prison on Verge of Death

Ms. Li Fenglan, a Baiyin City, Gansu Province resident, was repeatedly denied medical parole despite her metastatic breast cancer, while serving time for her faith in Falun Gong. By the time she was finally released in December 2023, it was too late to treat her condition. She died weeks later, on January 10, 2024, at the age of 69.

Ms. Li was already cancer-stricken when she was admitted to the Gansu Province Women’s Prison on February 27, 2023, to serve a term of one year and eight months. The prison guards took her to a hospital for chemotherapy, but her cancer still metastasised.

Ms. Li’s husband and the prison both requested that she be released on medical parole, but the police in charge of her case rejected them on the grounds that she had already been granted parole once back in 2019. They insisted that no more paroles would be allowed for her.

In December 2023, ten months after Ms. Li’s prison admission, her family hired a lawyer to fight her parole denial. The lawyer managed to get the local chapter of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to pressure the police to approve the parole request.

The CPPCC representative picked Ms. Li up from the prison but had to take her straight to a hospital, as she was on the verge of death and could no longer eat or drink. The hospital said it was too late to treat her and could only give her IV drips to sustain her life. Her husband then decided to take her home. She died shortly after, on the morning of January 10, 2024.

Ms. Li’s sentencing stemmed from an earlier arrest on August 7, 2016. She was released on bail the next day after she was found to have high blood pressure and denied admission to the local detention centre. In the next few years, the local police and the court made numerous failed attempts to have her detained, as her blood pressure remained high.

She stood trial in April 2018, but there was no report on what prison term she was given. While she was released on bail again after the court hearing, she was taken back into custody on February 19, 2019 after being deceived into going to the local court. She was admitted to Jiuzhou Women’s Prison on April 15, 2019.

Ms. Li developed breast cancer in prison and was released on medical parole. She was arrested again on March 14, 2022 and soon released on bail due to her health condition. She was taken back into custody on September 6, 2022 after being deceived into going to the court. She was then admitted to the Gansu Province Women’s Prison on February 17, 2023 to serve one year and eight months.

There was no report on any court hearing or prison sentence following Ms. Li’s arrest in 2022. Due to the communist regime’s information censorship, Minghui.org correspondents faced tremendous challenges in gathering accurate information in a timely manner. Based on the available information so far, the most likely scenario was that Ms. Li had only been sentenced once, back in 2019, and that she was ordered to serve the remainder of her prison term – totaling one year and eight months – when she was taken back into custody in 2022.

Hebei Man Dies Four Years After Serving Prison Term for Practicing Falun Gong

Mr. Yu Hailong, a Chengde City, Hebei Province resident, struggled with declining health after his prison release in 2020. He passed away on January 26, 2024, at the age of 53.

Mr. Yu was arrested on July 8, 2016 with three other practitioners, while on their way to a small town nearby to distribute Falun Gong materials. He made two court appearances on December 20, 2016 and January 5, 2017, before being sentenced to four years with a 10,000-yuan fine on February 15, 2017. His appeal was denied by a higher court.

Mr. Yu developed sores all over his body after four years of torture in the Jidong Prison. He kept losing weight after being released in 2020. He was unable to recover and passed away on January 26, 2024.

Jidong Prison, which has nine branches, is under the administration of the Hebei Provincial Prison Administration Bureau. Most of the male Falun Gong practitioners sentenced in Hebei Province are detained here. Prison guards use all sorts of cruel methods to try to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith. At least 36 practitioners have died after being tortured here.

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