(Clearwisdom.net) In 1975, the United Nations set March 8 as "International Women's Day" to promote equality between men and women. In 1979, the UN passed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. On July 17, 1980, the People's Republic of China signed the convention even as its rulers recklessly violated its tenets.

Falun Gong followers practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in their daily lives, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued to persecute and torture them for the past nine years. Since 1999, the start of the persecution, in the Jixi area of Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China, many women have died as a result of being persecuted. Let us commemorate these women.

1. Ms. Bai Lixia used to work in the Jixi Mineral Affairs Administration. In 1997, Ms. Bai was diagnosed with breast cancer and couldn't take care of herself even after surgery. However, she recovered her health after she started practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Bai twice went to Beijing to appeal against the persecution, and as a result, she was imprisoned in the Harbin Forced Labor Camp in December 1999. The guards forced her to sleep on the cold floor during the winter, stand in the snow for long periods of time, and stand against the heating pipes. She was also locked in a bathroom, hung up in the air, and violently beaten. On February 28, 2002, Ms. Bai died because of the torture. She was 47 years old.

2. Ms. Liu Guihua was born in 1952. She used to be a teacher at Zhongxin Elementary School in Yong'an Township, Jixi County. Ms. Liu was imprisoned many times because she practiced Falun Gong. In prison, the guards kicked and beat her, hung her up in the air, shocked her with electric batons, slammed her head against the walls, pulled her teeth out with pliers, tied her up with rope, and wouldn't let her use the toilet. While she was in prison, the police secretly sentenced her to an additional six years in prison. She was emaciated due to the torture. On August 3, 2002, Ms. Liu died in the Harbin 211 Hospital.

3. Ms. Jiang Rongzhen used to work in the Jixi City Coal Machinery Factory. She started practicing Falun Gong in May 1999 and died on October 15, 2002, as a result of the persecution. She was 42 at the time. She was covered in wounds from electric shocks and beatings, and she had a hole in her head. On October 12, 2002, the provincial drug rehabilitation center escalated the torture against practitioners, but Ms. Jiang still refused to renounce her belief in Falun Gong. On October 13, the guards locked her in a cell in the freezing basement with the windows wide open. She only had on shorts and a T-shirt. By October 15, 2002, she was beaten to death.

4. Ms. Liu Guiying used to work in a concrete prefabrication factory in Mishan City. In 2002, the police arrested her and locked her in the Mishan City Detention Center. On October 24, 2002, police force fed her, which resulted in her death. On October 26, Ma Dousheng, head of the Detention Center, and Zhao Shuguang, director of a hospital, faked Ms. Liu's death certificate to cover up their crimes and hurried to cremate her body. Liu was 43 years old when she died.

5. Ms. Yang Hailing was 34 years old when she died. She used to work in the Donghai Mine in the Chengzihe District, Jixi City. After the persecution began, Ms. Yang was arrested many times and tortured. On April 12, 2003, Ma Baosheng, a male guard in the Mishan City Detention Center, grabbed Ms. Yang, lifted her up, and threw her to the ground. The force with which she hit the ground left her unconscious. Instead of getting her medical treatment, the guard put her in a freezer in a hospital. When her family arrived at the hospital ten hours later, Ms. Yang's body was still lukewarm. She died on April 13, 2003.

6. Ms. Guo Meisong lived in the Judong community of the Jiguan District Power Plant in Jixi City. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1998. The guards in the women's prison violently force fed Ms. Guo, causing her lungs to fester beyond possible treatment. She died two months after she left the prison for medical care, on May 8, 2003. She was 38 years old.

7. Ms. Zhao Chunying died on May 10, 2003, at the age of 54. She was in the Jixi City Second Detention Center for only 23 days before the prison doctor, Wang Lijun, tortured her to death. When Ms Zhao's family asked to have an autopsy done, it was found that the prison staff had already removed her heart, spleen, and pancreas without notifying the family.

8. Ms. Zhang Hong was 23 years old when she died. She was from Heitai Town, Mishan City. Ms. Zhang started practicing Falun Gong in 1997. On June 28, 2000, Wang Zhongjie, Secretary of the Heitai Town Political and Legal Commission, and Du Yongshan from the Political Security Division arrested her and put her in the Mishan City First Detention Center. Ms. Zhang was there for 72 days. The prison doctor, Qin (first name unknown), hit her many times on her head with a police baton and caused her to vomit blood. She died on February 2, 2004.

9. Ms. Liu Yanchen from Jidong County started practicing Falun Gong in1995. All of her illnesses disappeared. In 1999, Ms Liu was arrested three times and had to pay fines because she told people the truth about the persecution. Li Qinghua, from the Domestic Security Team, beat and kicked her, causing her blood pressure to rise dramatically. The guards took her to the hospital with handcuffs and shackles on. After her blood pressure was stabilized, the guards put her back in the detention center and continued the torture. She died on December 25, 2004, at the age of 43.

10. Ms. Gao Xizhen was 65 years old and retired from the Dongfanghong Forest Bureau in Hulin City. When she began practicing Falun Gong in 1998, all her illnesses disappeared. In October 2000, Ms. Gao went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was arrested, fined, and imprisoned. Guards Chang Yajun and Yu Zhanhai beat her many times and tied her to an iron chair overnight. In October 2003, she was arrested again for distributing fliers that contained information on Falun Gong. The police caught her and beat her until she collapsed. She fainted many times and died on January 23, 2005.

11. Ms. Yao Guoxiu died on March 13, 2005. She used to be a salesperson in a company that sold sugar and alcohol in Jixi City. After July 20, 1999, she twice went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and was sent to Wanjia Forced Labor Camp in Harbin for two years. In the camp, the guards often brainwashed her, locked her in solitary confinement, forced her to sit on an iron chair for long periods of time, beat her, and injected her with unknown drugs. In the end, she mentally collapsed, jumped off a building, and died.

12. Ms. Shi Guiying was born in 1957. She was a teacher at Anle Elementary School in the Huanshan District of Jixi City. Her foot disease and pain disappeared after she started practicing Falun Gong in March 1998. On October 28, 2005, Ms Shi went to visit a relative. On October 30, her family was informed that she was unconscious in a police station. In the hospital she became paralyzed and died on September 10, 2006.

The CCP has been suppressing Falun Gong in China for nearly ten years. Twelve female practitioners from the Jixi area are known to have died as a result of persecution. This is only a few of the numerous practitioners who have died since the persecution began.

On International Women's Day, as we remember our sisters who died safeguarding the truth. We again want to express our concern to the governments and organizations who care about human rights. The CCP maliciously disregards human rights, and we should not allow this deprivation of universal values to continue. I hope people of conscience will help to end this inhumane persecution of humanity in China.