(Minghui.org) The deaths of 24 Falun Gong practitioners as a result of being persecuted for practicing their faith were reported in April and May 2024.

The newly confirmed deaths included one each in 2003, 2015, 2019, 2020, and 2021; four in 2023; and 15 between January and May 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 24 deceased practitioners, 20 of them women, hailed from 13 provinces and municipalities. Liaoning Province registered five deaths, followed by four in Hebei, three in Heilongjiang, and two each in Beijing and Hubei. The remaining eight regions, including Henan, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Chongqing, Jiangxi and Yunnan, registered one each.

The practitioners were between the ages of 50 and 91 at the time of their passing, except one practitioner whose age wasn’t known. Two were in their 50s, seven in their 60s, nine in their 70s, four in their 80s, and one in her 90s. They came from all walks of life, including a convenience store owner, an obstetrician, a real estate company manager, and several government employees.

All of the practitioners faced constant harassments for upholding their faith before they died. Nineteen had served either labor camp terms or prison terms. Two were held in brainwashing centres. While in custody, they were subjected to various forms of torture, including beatings, force-feeding, and involuntary drug administration.

One woman in Hubei Province became critically ill while serving a one-year term. She was released in February 2024 and died a month later. Another woman in Hebei Province suffered a mental breakdown and became incapacitated after being given a toxic injection. Her husband couldn’t stand the pressure of the persecution and divorced her. She died around October 2020 at the age of 50.

A man in Hubei Province was beaten by the police in Beijing when he went there to appeal for Falun Gong. He had an intracranial hemorrhage as a result. For his continued efforts to raise awareness about the persecution, he was given a two-year labor camp term and a four-year prison term. When he reached retirement age, the authorities suspended his pension. He had to work odd jobs to support himself. The mental distress and financial persecution took a toll on his health. He died in April 2024. He was 70.

Another man in Heilongjiang Province was emaciated, unable to speak coherently, and paralysed in both legs after serving 14 years in prison. He also had poor memory and suffered from a prostate condition. In his final years, he required a nasal feeding tube. The 66-year-old man died at a senior center on January 27, 2024, two weeks before the Chinese New Year. His death came six years after the passing of his wife, who also suffered severe physical conditions as a result of the persecution.

Below are select death cases reported in April and May 2024. The list all 24 cases can be downloaded here (PDF).


Death Shortly after Release

Hubei Woman Released in Critical Condition, Dies a Month Later

Ms. Chen Xuzhen of Danjiangkou City, Hubei Province, died on March 14, 2024, one month after she was released in critical condition after serving one year in custody.

Ms. Chen was arrested on March 2, 2023, while studying the Falun Gong teachings with several others. She was sentenced to one year with a 2,000-yuan fine. She became critically ill and was released from the detention centre in February 2024. She died a month later.

Ms. Chen’s passing capped years of persecution for upholding her faith in Falun Gong. She was previously arrested multiple times and faced constant harassment.

Following her arrest in early 2000 for doing the Falun Gong exercises at a train station, her husband struggled to care for their son (a high school senior) and their third-grade daughter. Ms. Chen had no full time job and her husband had been laid off. The couple ran a small coal yard to make ends meet. The local street committee threatened to shut down their business if Ms. Chen’s husband failed to stop her from going out to appeal for Falun Gong again.

After Ms. Chen was released, the police continued to harass her and raided her home from time to time. They also arranged for people to monitor her family every day. Her children were terrified and struggled to focus on their school work.


Deaths after Lengthy Prison Terms

Persecution of Falun Gong Claims Married Couple’s Lives Six Years Apart, Husband Once Shot by Police and Jailed for 14 Years

A 66-year-old man in Mishan City, Heilongjiang Province, died at a senior centre on January 27, 2024, two weeks before the Chinese New Year. Mr. Jiang Honglu’s death came six years after his wife, Ms. Yuan Shuzhi, passed away on April 4, 2018, at the age of 60.

Mr. Jiang, who used to work at the Mishan City Highway Administration, was given one year and three months of forced labor in December 1999. When he talked to people about Falun Gong in 2002, an officer chased him, shot him in the leg, and kicked his head. He was later sentenced to 14 years and became paralysed in both legs as a result of being tortured in prison. He was unable to speak coherently, had poor memory, and suffered from a prostate condition. In his final years, he required a nasal feeding tube.

His wife Ms. Yuan was also repeatedly arrested and tortured. The mental pressure from the persecution took a toll on her health. She developed diabetes and had severe swelling in her legs, which eventually resulted in both legs being amputated. Her condition continued to deteriorate after the operation, and she passed away on April 4, 2018, shortly after she turned 60.

The couple’s son, around 39, was traumatised by the persecution of his parents over the years. He became withdrawn and refused to socialize. He stayed in his room most of the time.

Shot in the Leg, Sentenced to 14 Years

Mr. Jiang was out talking to people about Falun Gong on February 12, 2002, when officer Meng shot him in the leg. The bullet fractured his lower left leg. After he fell, Meng and Du kicked him in the head. He fainted and his eyes protruded.

Fearing that Mr. Jiang might die from excessive bleeding, the police took him to the hospital. They handcuffed him to a bed and had the doctor push his eyeballs back in place. He wasn’t given any other treatment, and his family wasn’t allowed to see him.

The police covered his head with a blanket, with him lying on a mattress, and drove him (and the mattress) to the detention center (since he could not stand). As they drove out of the hospital gate, somebody asked, “What happened to him?” An officer said, “He caught a cold.”

Officers Meng and Du interrogated Mr. Jiang several times at the detention centre. They whipped him with a leather belt and force-fed him wasabi oil through a nasogastric tube. It took nine months for Mr. Jiang to recover and be able to take care of himself again.

The Mishan Court tried Mr. Jiang on October 23, 2002, and sentenced him to 14 years.

Tortured to the Verge of Death

The guards at Mudanjiang Prison held Mr. Jiang in solitary confinement for two weeks because he refused to renounce Falun Gong. When he was let out, he had difficulty keeping his balance.

By June 6, 2008, Mr. Jiang had lost the ability to talk due to the abuse. In a new persecution campaign in October 2009 when the prison ordered each ward to “transform” at least 75% of incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners, the inmates deprived Mr. Jiang of sleep, but he still refused to give in.

Mr. Jiang applied for medical parole on May 1, 2010, and was released on August 10, 2010.

A local justice bureau official contacted Mr. Jiang in September 2013 and ordered him to get a physical exam. They threatened to take him back to prison if he didn’t get a the physical after three notifications.

Mr. Jiang was arrested again on September 23, 2015, and taken back to Mudanjiang Prison on October 13. He was released on February 11, 2016, after he finished serving his term. He was emaciated, paralysed in both legs, and unable to speak coherently. He also had poor memory, and suffered from a prostate condition.

Weeks before the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Congress held between October 16 and 22, 2022, the authorities attempted to harass him and his wife, not knowing that his wife had already passed away in 2018.

Mr. Jiang relied on a nasal feeding tube in his final years. He never recovered and died in January 2024.

After 13 Plus Years Behind Bars, Beijing Man Dies 4 Months After Completing Third Prison Term for Practicing Falun Gong

Mr. Pang You, a Beijing resident, was unrecognisable when he was released on November 26, 2023, after serving one year and three months for practicing Falun Gong. He suffered loss of serum proteins from his digestive track and excessive sweating. He was extremely weak and struggled to walk.

The local authorities kept tabs on Mr. Pang, a former city planning office director and real estate company manager, even after he returned home. The police harassed him from time to time and arranged people to closely monitor him during the week-long “Two Sessions” in March 2024.

The “Two Sessions” are the annual meetings of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). This year the CPPCC began on March 4, 2024, and the NPC one day later. They both concluded on March 11. The communist regime has been known for intensifying its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners around sensitive dates, such as the “two sessions.”

Mr. Pang’s condition quickly deteriorated and he died on April 9, 2024. He was 61. His passing capped decades of suffering at the hands of the communist regime.

Mr. Pang was first sentenced to eight years following his arrest on September 27, 2000. Less than one year after he was released in 2008, he was arrested again on August 3 of that year and sentenced to four years. His third prison sentence stemmed from his arrest on May 2, 2022. While he was released on bail the next day, he was taken back into custody on July 28, 2022. His health declined during detention and he was sent to the Beijing Police Hospital two months later. He attended a virtual hearing in his hospital room on July 3, 2023 and was sentenced to one year and three months shortly afterwards.

Mr. Pang’s health kept declining during his detention. He had heart and kidney failure, as well as serious edema below the hip bones. At one point his entire body was swollen below the chest. He also suffered from diabetic complications, with two holes on his feet oozing pus. He had trouble standing. He was wheeled out when his lawyer went to see him. Despite his condition, the authorities refused to release him on parole.

The late Mr. Pang You with his wife and son


Mental Disorder Brought on by Persecution

Hebei Woman Suffers Declining Health and Mental Disorder after Serving Second Prison Term, Dies at 78 Less Than Four Years Later

A 78-year-old woman in Tangshan City, Hebei Province, died on April 10, 2024, less than four years after she completed her second prison term for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhang Yueqin and her husband Mr. He Yixing, also a Falun Gong practitioner, were both arrested on April 19, 2017, and sentenced to 3.5 years on November 21 that year. After their appeals were denied, Ms. Zhang was admitted to the Hebei Province Women’s Prison in the capital city of Shijiazhuang in early April 2018; Mr. He was admitted to Jidong Prison in Tangshan City days later. The authorities suspended over 100,000 yuan of Ms. Zhang’s pension during her prison term.

While serving time, Ms. Zhang was so abused that she developed a mental disorder and her health declined. She was released in October 2020. When she recounted what she had endured to her family, her legs shook uncontrollably and she had a hard time organising her speech. She told her family that the guards put unknown drugs into her food. In the next few years, she struggled with declining mental health. She also had difficulty eating and often vomited, as well as having loose bowels, resulting in significant weight loss. She died on April 10, 2024.

Prior to her last prison sentence, Ms. Zhang, a retiree from the Tangshan City Meat Factory, was repeatedly arrested and detained. She was previously sentenced to five years in January 2009 and brutally tortured in prison.

Ms. Zhang Yueqin and her husband in their younger years

Injected with Toxic Drug and Divorced by Her Husband, Hebei Woman Dies at 50

Ms. Zhang Xue of Tangshan City, Hebei Province, became mentally disoriented due to torture and involuntary drug administration following an arrest in March 2014. She was also incontinent and delirious. Her health kept declining over the years. She passed away in October 2020. She was only 50.

After the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Zhang was repeatedly arrested and detained. Her young child cried for her each time she was arrested. Unable to stand the pressure, her husband divorced her.

Ms. Zhang’s last arrest was on February 3, 2014. When she was released a week later on February 10, there were multiple injuries on her forehead caused by electric shocks, her eyes were bloodshot and swollen, her lips were swollen, and there was a large bruise on her jaw. She was incoherent and her eyes were lifeless. She always covered her face when someone tried to talk to her and said, “The police didn’t beat me.”

Once when Ms. Zhang’s mind was clear, she told her older sister that, as they were taking her home, the police tried to get her to jump off a bridge, which she refused to do. She also revealed that the police held her down on the ground and gave her an injection of toxic drug.

Due to the torture and drug, Ms. Zhang became incontinent and remained in a delirious state. She died in a homeless shelter around October 2020.


Financial Persecution and Repeated Harassment

Former Military Clothing Factory Worker Dies in Poverty

Mr. Ouyang Haiwen of Wuhan City, Hubei Province, passed away on April 19, 2024, after suffering years of torture in prison and financial devastation. He was 70.

Mr. Ouyang used to work for a military clothing factory in Wuhan. When he refused to renounce Falun Gong after the persecution started, he was fired.

Mr. Ouyang went to Beijing on June 30, 2000, to appeal for Falun Gong. The police wore boxing gloves and punched him in the head. He suffered intracranial hemorrhage and passed out. He remained in a coma for a week and the doctor issued two notices of critical condition. Not wanting to bear the responsibility for his condition, the police in Beijing ordered his wife and their counterparts in Wuhan to pick him up and escort him back to Wuhan in handcuffs. He resumed practicing Falun Gong upon returning home and soon recovered.

Mr. Ouyang was arrested a few more times between 2001 and 2004. He was given two one-year terms at the Hewan Forced Labor Camp and held in brainwashing centres.

Mr. Ouyang’s next arrest was on January 10, 2011, for posting messages about the persecution in a public area. He was tortured in the local detention centre and denied family visits. The local court tried him secretly on May 31, 2011. He appeared in court with an oxygen tank and on IVs. He testified in his own defense and maintained that he didn’t violate any law by practicing Falun Gong or telling people about the persecution. The judge sentenced him to four years in mid-June that year.

After he was transferred to Fanjiatai Prison in early 2012, the guards and inmates beat him, forced him to stand for long hours without moving, and prohibited him from buying daily necessities because he refused to give up Falun Gong. He was released on January 11, 2015.

Beginning in September 2020, the social security bureau suspend his monthly social security payment of 2,800 yuan and ordered him to pay another 130,000 yuan before reinstating the payment. To support himself, he had to do odd jobs despite his poor health. He suffered an internal hemorrhage and passed away in a nursing home on April 19, 2024.

The late Mr. Ouyang Haiwen

Liaoning Woman Dies after Serving 3.5 Years in Prison and Enduring Non-stop Harassment Afterward

A Dalian City, Liaoning Province, resident faced continued harassment after she barely survived a 3.5-year term for her faith in Falun Gong. Her health kept deteriorating over the years. She passed away on May 8, 2024. She was 62.

After the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Zhou Huimin, the owner of a ceramics shop, was repeatedly arrested and harassed for upholding her faith. Below is a recap of the persecution she suffered over the years.

Detention in 2008

For talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Zhou was arrested at her shop on September 23, 2008. Her daughter and a sales associate were also arrested. She was detained at the Yaojia Detention Center for an unknown length of time.

Detention in 2011

Ms. Zhou was visiting a friend on July 19, 2011, when seven plainclothes officers barged in. Without showing their IDs, they ordered Ms. Zhou to produce her ID. She refused to comply. The police searched her friend’s home and then handcuffed and dragged Ms. Zhou to their cruiser.

When Ms. Zhou asked why she was being arrested, one officer flashed his ID in front of her but kept his name covered. “If you are police officers, why don’t you wear your uniforms and tell me your names? What are you hiding?” They responded that it was fine for them to do whatever they wanted.

At the police station, Ms. Zhou refused to get out of the car and shouted, “Falun Dafa is good!” The police grabbed her neck, covered her mouth, and dragged her all the way upstairs.

She told the officer who came to interrogate her how her health and character improved after practicing Falun Gong. Another officer took a picture of Falun Gong’s founder and ordered her to step on it. She firmly refused. She also refused to cooperate when they attempted to take her photo and collect her fingerprints. They grabbed her by her hair and squeezed her fingers.

Around 5 p.m., the police carried Ms. Zhou into the police car and headed to the Dalian City Detention Centre. An officer hit her on the head and slapped her with his shoe when she tried to take her case document from another officer.

Ms. Zhou felt dizzy when she was being subjected to the required physical exam at the detention centre. The police admitted that it was because they’d hit her. One officer added, “I will not only beat you, I will also torment you.”

Ms. Zhou was detained for a month. The marks from the tight handcuffs were still very dark when she was released.

Sentenced to 3.5 Years Following an Arrest in 2013

Ms. Zhou was caring for her newborn granddaughter at home on July 18, 2013, when the police broke in and arrested her. They asked her if she still practiced Falun Gong. She tried to clarify the facts to them, but they refused to listen and took her away. She was later sentenced to 3.5 years and admitted to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on April 1, 2014.

Ms. Zhou was tortured and forced to work without pay in the prison. She developed many ailments as a result, including an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Continued Harassment Following Prison Release

On April 18 and 20, 2017, only a few months after Ms. Zhou was released, the police harassed her and her family twice over the phone. On April 21 that year, they harassed her for the third time at home and cut off her Internet cable.

The police also tracked down Ms. Zhou’s family members several times without her knowledge and ordered them to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong on her behalf. It’s not clear whether they complied.

Due to non-stop harassment, Ms. Zhou’s health further deteriorated over the years. She passed away on the evening of May 8, 2024.

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