(Minghui.org) Twenty-five Chinese citizens lost their lives in the second half of 2017 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a mind-body practice being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
With 17 deaths reported in the first half of the year, this number brings the death toll for 2017 to 42.
Due to the Chinese communist regime’s information blockade, the actual number of practitioners who have died in the persecution is likely to be much higher than that confirmed.
A detailed list of the 17 practitioners who died in the first half of 2017 is included in an earlier report, “Persecution of Falun Gong Claims 17 More Lives in First Half of 2017.” This report focuses on the 25 who passed away in the second half of 2017.
Seven of the deceased practitioners died in custody while serving prison terms or waiting to be indicted. The remaining 18 passed away after they were released following their latest arrests in recent years.
Nineteen of the victims were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1.5 to 10 years. Mr. Huang Guodong of Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province, suffered ten years of torture while imprisoned for his faith. He never recovered from the injuries and health problems after he was released in 2011. He died on October 31, 2017, at the age of 66.
The practitioners were from 11 provinces and one centrally-controlled municipality (Tianjin). Liaoning Province reported 6 deaths, followed by Anhui and Gansu (each 3), Henan, Jilin, Shandong, and Sichuan (each 2), and Tianjin, Hunan, Jiangsu, Heilongjiang, and Guangdong (each 1).
Shandong Woman Dies Days after Arrest
Ms. Xing Ximei of Yi’nan County, Shandong Province, was arrested on November 7, 2017. She died just a few days later at the local hospital. Her family was prohibited from taking pictures of her body or ordering an independent autopsy. To date, they haven’t been given an official explanation of the cause of her death.
Ms. Yu Baofang of Anshan City, Liaoning Province, passed away on July 17, 2017, the day she was taken to a local hospital. Two weeks before, Ms. Yu, her husband, and their son were arrested for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.
Her husband, Mr. Wang Dianguo, is still illegally detained and has not seen his wife since his arrest. The authorities never directly informed him of his wife's death, nor did they allow him to make funeral arrangements. He is currently on a hunger strike in protest.
Her son, Mr. Wang Yu, was taken to Zhangda Hospital to see his mother after she passed away. However, he wasn't allowed near her, nor was he allowed to touch her. He was released on the following day, July 18.
The detention center did not have any video of Ms. Yu's emergency treatment in the hospital nor a death certificate citing the cause of death.
Ms. Yan Hongmei of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, was arrested on August 4, 2014, and ordered to serve 4 years in Chengdu Women’s Prison. She developed cancer but was denied medical parole. She died in the prison hospital on December 28, 2017. The prison authorities once claimed that they would cremate her body immediately should she die in custody. Their threat materialized following her death.
Ms. Hu Xia of Chongzhou, Sichuan Province, was arrested on July 18, 2015, and sentenced to serve time in Longquan Prison (though her exact term remains to be investigated). She was brutally tortured and possibly drugged. She died in the prison hospital on December 19, 2017, at the age of 55.
Mr. Yang Yuyong of Tianjin was arrested on December 7, 2016, and died in custody on July 11, 2017.
Informants said that Mr. Yang was brutally tortured in the local detention center. Police officer Liu Jiangang slapped his face and then had 13 inmates beat him all at once until he passed out. They also sexually abused him, pinching his genitals and biting his nipples.
By the time police delivered Mr. Yang to the hospital at 3:40 p.m. on July 11, doctors said his organs had already failed. His family wasn’t informed until 6:00 p.m. that day. When they arrived at Wuqing Chinese Medicine Hospital, they saw police all over the place. They also noted that Mr. Yang was no longer breathing and that his body was black and blue.
Anhui Man Dies of Stroke While Serving 4 Years in Prison
Mr. Ye Guangping of Liuan City, Anhui Province, was arrested on September 7, 2015, and sentenced months later to 4 years in prison. He was moved to Suzhou City Prison in October 2016.
His family was notified on October 8, 2017, that “earlier that day he suddenly went into a coma due to high blood pressure and was rushed to Wanbei Hospital.”
Mr. Ye died five days later. His family noted that his back was purple, but the prison authorities prohibited them from taking pictures or reviewing his medical records. A prison-authorized autopsy claimed that there was no evidence of him being beaten.
Mr. Wang Youjiang, an army major in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, had been subjected to various forms of abuse since his admission to Lanzhou Prison on March 17, 2014. He was often beaten, shocked with electric batons, ordered to do hard labor without pay, forced to stand for long periods of time, deprived of sleep and use of the restroom, and denied family visits and the ability to purchase items from the prison commissary. Sometimes, the prison guards only gave him one steamed bun and one cup of water each day for days on end.
When Mr. Wang protested the inhumane treatment, he was placed in solitary confinement and had inmates monitoring him around the clock. He wasn’t allowed to communicate with any other detainee.
The long-term abuse took a toll on Mr. Wang’s health. He had a brain hemorrhage on July 2, 2015, and was rushed to the local hospital. The prison authorities didn’t inform his family until the hospital issued a notice of his critical condition ten days later.
A team leader in charge of Mr. Wang deceived his family into signing a consent form by promising them a visit with Mr. Wang. His family signed the form but was never allowed to see their loved one in the hospital. They learned later that the left side of Mr. Wang’s body became paralyzed after the stroke and that he was totally incapacitated.
Mr. Wang’s father received a phone call from the prison on June 24, 2017, informing him that Mr. Wang had just had a massive hemorrhage. The elderly man rushed to the hospital, only to see his son die one week later on July 1.
Anhui Man Dies 10 Days After Being Released
Mr. Li Mingxiang of Linquan County, Anhui Province, was arrested on May 29, 2017. His blood pressure shot up to dangerously high levels during his detention, but he wasn’t released until July 9. He died ten days later.
A 63-year-old man in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, died three weeks after finishing his three-year prison term.
Mr. Lu Yuanfeng was arrested on November 19, 2014, after being reported for distributing materials exposing the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.
He was soon sentenced to three years in prison. The guards at Benxi Prison beat him, shocked him with electric batons, and forced him to squat for long periods of time. They also denied him family visits.
Mr. Lu later had a stroke, but the prison refused to render him proper medical attention. His family noted that he had slurred speech and couldn’t walk well when they picked him up on November 19, 2017.
He suddenly fell into a coma on December 9 and died hours later.
A Shimen County, Hunan Province resident died barely one month after she was sentenced to three years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhu Guilin, 53, had been repeatedly detained for her faith since the persecution began in 1999. Her husband divorced her under pressure, and her employer terminated her job.
Ms. Zhu’s latest arrest took place in late July 2017, when she was seized while grocery shopping. Police drove her to the local detention center the next day, but they had to release her on bail when her required medical examination indicated unusually high blood pressure. Instead, they posted two agents outside her house to keep a close eye on her. Ten days later, the local court sentenced her to three years in prison.
As her blood pressure remained high, she was allowed a delay in serving her sentence. However, the agents remained outside her house.
Ms. Zhu’s condition kept worsening. She had a stroke and passed away on August 31.
A woman in Zhoukou, Henan Province, who was sentenced to prison for her faith died less than two months after she was released on medical parole.
Ms. Qi Suhua, around 55, was last arrested at the end of 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. This was not the first time that she had been targeted for her faith.
She was first arrested in 2013 and wasn’t released until she was forced to pay a 5,000-yuan fine. Two years later, she was seized again by police, who demanded more than 90,000 yuan in exchange for her release.
Ms. Qi was sentenced to prison following her latest arrest, though her exact prison term remains to be investigated.
The guards at Xinxiang Women’s Prison tortured Ms. Qi on a regular basis. Her health quickly deteriorated, and she was released in June 2017 on the verge of death.
Ms. Qi remained hospitalized for more than one month following her release, but it was too late. She died soon afterward. Ms. Qi’s family has been threatened not to disclose details of her death to others.
A resident of Lanzhou, Gansu Province, serving time for her faith wasn’t released on medical parole until she was in critical condition. She died seven weeks later, and her son was arrested at her wake to stop him from seeking justice for her.
Ms. Sheng Chunmei and her husband, Mr. Chen Deguang, were arrested on November 6, 2011, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. They were each sentenced to nine years in prison on August 9, 2013.
Ms. Sheng was severely tortured at Gansu Province Women’s Prison, and her health quickly deteriorated. She suffered from gallbladder inflammation, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but the prison repeatedly denied her requests for medical parole. She fell into a coma in May 2017 and was sent to the emergency room. Even so, the prison authorities told her family that she wasn’t sick enough to qualify for medical parole.
Several more months went by, and Ms. Sheng was on the verge of death. The prison authorities finally released her on medical parole on August 23. She died on October 12 at the age of 65, while her husband remains incarcerated at Lanzhou Prison.
Ms. Sheng’s wake was held at Hualinshan Funeral Home. Five police officers arrived on the night of October 13 and stayed there until the following morning, when only Ms. Sheng’s son, Mr. Chen Jianru, was around. They seized the young man and took him to Honggu District Police Department, where they interrogated him until 11 p.m. that night.
Henan Woman Dies Less Than Two Months After Her Arrest
Ms. Kong Aiping of Zhoukou City, Henan Province was arrested on July 20, 2017, and sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for three years. She was constantly harassed after her release. She died on September 14, 2017. She weighed only 80 pounds.
Ms. Dong Yonghui of Binzhou, Shandong Province, was in good health and physically fit; she was able to ride her tricycle to the local market every day before she was imprisoned in late September 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.
Just 8 months later, she was unrecognizable when her children visited her on June 2, 2017. She had lost almost 70 pounds, couldn’t stand without assistance, and could barely talk.
Ms. Dong’s children took her home for medical treatment. After several hospitalizations, she passed away on August 11. She was 79.
Ms. Huo Runzhi was incoherent and covered in bruises when she was driven home in a prison ambulance. She screamed in pain every day and passed away less than two months later.
The Nong’an County, Jilin Province, resident was arrested in March 2016. She was soon sentenced to three years in Jilin Province Women’s Prison.
Ms. Huo was subjected to various forms of physical and mental abuse during her imprisonment. She was beaten so badly that she sustained injuries all over her body, and all her teeth became loose. She also developed high blood pressure and was later diagnosed with colon cancer.
The prison did not inform Ms. Huo’s family of her colon cancer diagnosis until late April 2017. Her loved ones immediately requested her release, to no avail.
Ms. Huo’s son visited her in prison several weeks later and was asked to file a medical parole request on his mother’s behalf. A guard told him that they didn’t want to see his mother die in prison.
The parole request came with a condition, however: Ms. Huo must sign statements promising to renounce Falun Gong. When she refused to give her signature, the guards grabbed her hand and forcibly scribbled her name on the document.
Ms. Huo was driven home on August 16 and died on November 14. She was 72.
Her death capped a decades-long ordeal she endured for her faith. Prior to her latest arrest, she had been detained numerous times and once given 15 months of forced labor.
A resident of Dalian, Liaoning Province, serving time for her faith was released on medical parole after she was badly beaten by inmates and had a hemorrhage. She died 87 days later.
Ms. Geng Ren’e, 61, was arrested on October 28, 2015, for filing a criminal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution of Falun Gong. The local police had called her a month earlier to verify that she had filed a lawsuit against Jiang. Ms. Geng explained that she was working hard to seek Jiang’s prosecution, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
Ms. Geng was later sentenced to 4 years in prison. Her family had no idea where or when she had been tried and only found out from some insiders that she had been sent to Liaoning Province Women’s Prison.
Her family also learned that she was abused in prison on a regular basis. The guards didn’t allow her to sleep or use the restroom. They also often forced her to stand for long periods of time.
Ms. Geng was beaten by a group of inmates sometime around mid-2017 and had a hemorrhage as a result. The prison authorities demanded 20,000 yuan from her family for medical treatment. After spending 6,000 of it, they returned the balance to her family and released her on medical parole on July 28, 2017.
Ms. Geng’s family was told that she had at most 4 months to live. They took her straight to a local hospital after picking her up from the prison. She was discharged a few months later but was readmitted on October 10, 2017. She died at the hospital days later, at 5 a.m. on October 22.
A healthy woman in Foshan City, Guangdong Province began to have severe vomiting and diarrhea just ten days after she was arrested. Her symptoms persisted for the next three months of her detention, and she suspected she had been drugged. She died just two months after her release.
Ms. Feng Juan had credited Falun Gong for returning her to health and improving her relationship with her mother-in-law back in the mid-1990s. She never wavered in her faith after the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999. She also used various means to inform the public of the illegality of the persecution, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
She was seized on April 29, 2017, while hanging a Falun Gong banner. Police ransacked her home that night and confiscated her Falun Gong books and informational materials, as well as other personal belongings.
The local police station interrogated her for two days before moving her to Sanshui Brainwashing Center, an extrajudicial facility used to detain Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Feng refused to renounce Falun Gong as demanded by the brainwashing center guards. She soon began to exhibit abnormal symptoms. She kept vomiting and running to the toilet. In just a few months, she had lost a significant amount of weight.
She never recovered after she was released in early August. She told her family that the food and water given to her at the brainwashing center was probably laced with drugs. She was diagnosed with organ failure and passed away on October 1. She was 67.
Ms. Zhu Weiying of Hefei City, Anhui Province was arrested in June 2011 and sentenced months later to 8 years in prison.
“She could not raise her head, see well, or walk by herself.” This is what Ms. Zhu’s son said of her after he visited her in prison in 2013.
Her son recalled being told by guards at Suzhou No. 3 Women's Prison, “Your mother is eligible for medical parole by every standard, but we can’t let her go because she refuses to give up her belief in Falun Gong.”
Ms. Zhu’s son learned later that his mother’s condition was in large part due to her being continuously drugged at the prison. The guards also tortured her on a regular basis. Her neck was broken after being stomped on. By October 2015, she had gone blind and become incapacitated. She also remained paralyzed.
The prison still refused to render her medical attention or grant her medical parole. It wasn’t until months later that they finally released her when they realized that she was on the verge of death. Ms. Zhu’s condition kept deteriorating after she returned home on June 30, 2017.
She died around October 2017.
Jiangsu Woman Dies Three Months after Being Released from Prison
Ms. Tang Jingmei of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, was sentenced to 2 years in prison on March 24, 2015. She was released on March 23, 2017, and died on July 7. She was 66.
Gansu Woman Dies 7 Months after Being Released on Medical Parole
Ms. Wan Mingfen of Jingtai County, Gansu Province, was first arrested in late May 2012 and released on bail 37 days later. She was sentenced to 3 years in prison in November 2014, and her appeal was rejected in January 2015.
She was sent to Lanzhou Women’s Prison on February 4, 2015. As the guards abused her on a regular basis, her health quickly declined, and she often felt pain in her stomach area. Two weeks before her release, she had to be rushed to the prison hospital for her sharp pain.
She was released on December 28, 2016. Her family took her to Gansu Province Cancer Hospital the next day, where she was diagnosed with cancer. She died on July 30, 2017.
Ms. Tian Caiying of Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was arrested on April 22, 2016. She was very healthy when she was taken to the Fushun Detention Center shortly after her arrest, but her health quickly deteriorated in detention. She suffered sores on her neck, liver disease, and kidney problems. She requested medical parole but was denied.
In November 2016, Ms. Tian was sent to the hospital four times and diagnosed with lymph node tuberculosis. Despite her condition, she was illegally and secretly tried by the District Court without the knowledge of her family and was sentenced to seven and a half years, with the first year to be served outside of prison. The exact time of her court date remains to be investigated.
Ms. Tian was very thin and weak when her older sister brought her home in mid-December 2016. Her severe illnesses, coupled with the fear of being taken back to prison and the strain of financial loss, were beyond Ms. Tian's endurance. She passed away on August 2, 2017, at the age of 59.
Liaoning Man Dies after Serving 9 Years in Prison
Mr. Liu Xiaoming of Fushun City, Liaoning Province was arrested on March 1, 2003, and soon sentenced to 9 years in Shenyang First Prison, where he was brutally tortured. Guards beat him and forced him to do hard labor. Inmates once peed into his rice bowl. Another time, they threw him into the courtyard when the temperature was -4°F (-20°C).
He developed diabetes and tuberculosis during his imprisonment. He never recovered after his release in 2012. He died on July 3, 2017, at the age of 66.
Mr. Huang Guodong of Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province, suffered ten years of torture while imprisoned for his faith. He never recovered from abuse-induced injuries and health problems after he was released in 2011. He died on October 31, 2017, at the age of 66.
Jilin Man Dies After Long-Term Harassment
Mr. Wang Qijia of Changchun, Jilin Province, was arrested on March 9, 2016, and detained for 10 days. Police kept harassing him at home after he was released. He died on November 22, 2017, as a result of tremendous physical and mental suffering. He was 71 years old.
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