(Minghui.org) The deaths of 102 Falun Gong practitioners resulting from the persecution of their faith were confirmed between January and October 2021.
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.
Hundreds of thousands of practitioners have since been harassed, arrested, detained, imprisoned, and tortured. A total of 4,706 deaths have been documented by the Minghui.org website as of November 13, 2021. Due to the strict censorship of information in China, however, the actual number is likely much higher.
The newly-confirmed deaths in the first ten months of 2021 include 1 that took place in 2017, 3 in 2018, 2 in 2019, 23 in 2020, and 73 in 2021.
The 102 practitioners, including 60 women (58.8%), hailed from 54 cities in 24 provinces and municipalities. Liaoning (19), Heilongjiang (14), Jilin (11), Shandong (7), and Sichuan (7) are the top five provinces with the most cases. The remaining 19 regions had between 1 and 5 cases.
Except for 19 practitioners whose ages were unknown, the other 83 practitioners were between age 46 and 85. They came from all walks of life, including teachers, doctors, engineers and factory workers.
Seventy-five (73.5%) of the deceased practitioners had been held in mental hospitals, brainwashing centers, labor camps, or prisons for their faith, where they were subjected to torture, forced labor, and drug administration. Among them, Ms. Lu Xiuli of Shanghai was held in a mental hospital 20 times. Mr. Lyu Songming of Hunan Province was imprisoned for 14 years and Ms. Zhong Junfang of Sichuan Province served a labor camp term and three prison terms for a total of 17 years.
Twenty-one (20.8%) of the practitioners died in custody, including two in police stations, nine in detention centers, and ten in prison.
Most of the death cases between January and August have been covered in previous reports. Below are select cases reported in September and October 2021.
The full list of the 102 deceased practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).
Deaths in Custody
Mr. Pan Yingshun’s family received a call in July 2021 from the prison and was told that he had been sent to an intensive care unit. His three children rushed to the hospital, but were blocked outside by the doctor, who cited pandemic related regulations. After repeated pleas, they were allowed to take a quick look at Mr. Pan, who was unconscious and didn’t recognize them.
Mr. Pan’s children asked the prison guard watching him what had happened. The guard responded that an inmate poured boiling water on him on July 6. He was moved to the prison hospital five days later and transferred to a regular hospital on July 19.
Mr. Pan’s children asked to see the surveillance camera recording to verify the guard’s account, but their request was denied. Mr. Pan passed away on July 30. He was 70 years old.
Mr. Pan and his wife, Ms. Zhai Suping, of Qinhuangdao City, Shandong Province, were arrested at their family-owned pharmacy on January 19, 2018, after the police claimed to have seen them put up the sticker through surveillance cameras. The police drove Mr. Pan to a place where a self-adhesive sticker was posted and took photos of him with the sticker, which contained information about how the head of the local Domestic Security Office persecuted Falun Gong.
Mr. Pan was sentenced to four years and six months in Jidong Prison, and Ms. Zhai to four years and nine months in Shijiazhuang Women’s Prison on January 30, 2019 by the Changli County Court. Both of the prisons are in nearby Hebei Province. It’s not clear whether the couple’s children have informed Ms. Zhai, who is still serving time, of Mr. Pan’s death.
Passing Away After Long Term Persecution
Ms. Guo Hongyan, a bakery owner in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, passed away on April 30, 2020, years after she served two prison terms for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Guo was first arrested on September 9, 2009. At the Zhangshi Brainwashing Center, the guards tried various methods to force her to renounce Falun Gong, but to no avail. Three days after she was transferred to the Shenyang City No. 1 Detention Center on October 16, she started a hunger strike to protest the persecution.
The Shenhe District Court held a hearing on April 21, 2010. Only her mother and aunt were allowed to attend. She was sentenced to one year on May 31 and released on October 15, 2010.
Ms. Guo was just about to enter her bakery on April 24, 2014, when three men got out of a car without a license plate and ordered her to go with them. As she refused to comply, the officers dragged her to the car and took her to the police station.
Unable to manage the store following Ms. Guo’s arrest, her parents sold it at a very low price.
Ms. Guo was sentenced to three years by the Shenhe District Court on March 19, 2015.
While Ms. Guo never recounted the torture she suffered at the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, some insiders provided limited information about her. They said that the guards instigated the inmates to beat, verbally abuse, and humiliate her. She was often forced to squat under a table, usually for half a day, which caused injuries to her legs so severe that she still limped after a long time.
As Ms. Guo refused to renounce Falun Gong, she was forced to sleep on a bare board without bedding. In the winter when the temperature was below freezing and inmates still felt cold with thick comforters and bottles filled with hot water to keep warm, Ms. Guo was still left on the bare bed.
The inmates also barred her from taking showers or washing her hair. Her hair became tangled and covered with thick dirt and oil. When she was occasionally allowed to take a shower, the inmates forbade her from using hot water, even in the winter. Once when she was taking a shower, the inmates poured basin after basin of ice-cold water on her, while laughing at her, “You are as filthy as a beggar. You’d better wash yourself hard. You are such a lunatic.”
Shortly after Ms. Guo was released in April 2017, she was dealt another blow when her husband divorced her. Her health subsequently began to deteriorate. She passed away on April 30, 2020 at age 51.
Ms. Yan Lijun, a Chengdu City, Sichuan Province resident, passed away on June 17, 2021, after enduring two decades of persecution for practicing Falun Gong.
In late 1999, a few months after the Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong, the Sichuan Gear Factory that Ms. Yan worked at, held a brainwashing session targeting its hundreds of employees who practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Yan was held there for three months.
Ms. Yan twice went to Beijing, in March and July 2000, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was taken back and held at the Huayang Lockup for 15 days both times. The gear factory fined her 13,000 yuan.
Ms. Yan was arrested again in 2004 and held at the Zhengxing Brainwashing Center for seven months.
Her next arrest was on November 11, 2007 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Her home was ransacked. She was tortured and administered toxic drugs while in custody. The Shuangliu County Court held a secret trial on October 8, 2008. Her family wasn’t informed of the hearing. The lawyer appointed by the court wasn’t allowed to enter a not guilty plea for Ms. Yan. The judge sentenced her to four years in the Longquan Women’s Prison.
After Ms. Yan was released ahead of time, the gear factory withheld her salary of nearly 40,000 yuan. She was arrested one more time on July 26, 2011 and detained briefly.
Ms. Yan and her husband later moved to his hometown in Chongqing. Staff members from the residential committee repeatedly traveled from Chengdu to Chongqing to harass them and ordered her to renounce Falun Gong.
In late 2016, Ms. Yan was arrested while studying Falun Gong teachings at a practitioner’s home in Chongqing. She was detained for a month. The police confiscated all of her belongings, including shoes, when releasing her. She walked back home barefoot.
Ms. Yan returned to Chengdu for a visit in 2017. She was arrested again while studying Falun Gong teachings at a local practitioner’s home and then detained for a month. The practitioner who hosted the study session, Ms. Fan Ying, was later sentenced to five years.
The long term harassment and constant detention took a toll on Ms. Yan’s health. She developed a heart condition and passed away on June 17, 2021.
Man in His 70s Becomes Incapacitated After a Year of Displacement, Dies Shortly After Returning Home
Mr. Wang Lianzhong was already incapacitated when he returned home in March 2021, after one year of displacement to avoid being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. The police still harassed him from time to time. After struggling with poor health for three months, the Dongying City, Shandong Province resident passed away in June 2021. He was in his 70s.
Mr. Wang was targeted in a police sweep on November 24, 2018. He and four other practitioners appeared in Dongying District Court on November 15, 2019. The judge threatened their lawyers when they entered a not-guilty plea for the practitioners. When Mr. Wang talked about how his many ailments disappeared after practicing Falun Gong, the judge stopped him and said, “You are only allowed to say whether you are still practicing Falun Gong.”
Although Mr. Wang wasn’t sentenced like the other four practitioners (who were given up to 7.5 years), the authorities kept harassing him. The court also suspended his pension and froze his retirement account.
To avoid the persecution, Mr. Wang lived away from home in late 2019. After spending over a year in displacement, he became incapacitated and returned home in early March 2021. Despite his deteriorating condition, the police still harassed him frequently and ordered him to write statements to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Wang was terrified and lived in fear. He passed away in mid-June 2021.
Ms. Liu Fengyun, a Tangyuan County, Heilongjiang Province resident, experienced sudden chest pain hours after she was arrested in April 2020 for practicing Falun Gong. She was later sentenced to two years and ordered to serve time at home. Her condition kept worsening and she passed away on July 22, 2021.
Ms. Liu was followed by the police and arrested when she put up posters about Falun Gong early on the morning of April 25, 2020. The police kept her in a small room in the police station, where she began to feel tightness in her chest. The pain was excruciating and she couldn’t stop crying. She was taken to the hospital and found to have a myocardial infarction. Instead of seeking further treatment for her, the police took her back to the police station, where they resumed their interrogation. They also took photos of her and collected her fingerprints before releasing her at around 11 p.m. on the same day.
A few days later, the police returned to Ms. Liu’s home for another round of interrogation. They also video recorded her. Meanwhile, a staff member of the residential committee came and ordered Ms. Liu to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong. She refused to comply.
After the police submitted Ms. Liu’s case to the Procuratorate, the prosecutor kept ordering her to write a renouncing statement to give up Falun Gong, before indicting her.
Ms. Liu was later sentenced to two years with a 5,000 yuan fine by the Xiangyang District Court. The judge told Ms. Liu that he had submitted her case to the provincial prison administration bureau. She was allowed to serve time at home, but only for six months at most. He indicated that it’s up to the bureau to decide when and where she should go for a physical examination to determine whether she would be healthy enough to be admitted to prison.
Ms. Liu suffered constant chest pain upon returning home. She was very weak and couldn’t even lift a basin of water. She also suffered a persistent fever. She was admitted to the hospital on July 21, 2021 and died there the next day. She was 56 years old.
Mr. Song Laiping, a Wuzhong City, Ningxia Province resident, died on July 31, 2021, one and a half years after being released from serving 18 months for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Song was first arrested in April 2018 and soon released on bail. After he was taken back into custody four months later, his family was only allowed to see him once in March 2019 before he was transferred from the local detention center to the prison, until he was released.
Before he was arrested, Mr. Song was energetic and strong. He was quick in action and had a sharp mind. When he was released on February 10, 2020, he was emaciated and slow in thinking and action. He often staggered and was very irritable. When he had an attack of rage, he smashed things and was incontinent. In the beginning, the rage attacks happened once every ten days, but as his condition worsened, he sometimes suffered an episode every two days or even daily.
According to the very limited recollection Mr. Song had when he was clear-minded, the authorities had subjected him to involuntary medication throughout his term. When he first discovered that the detention center guards put an unknown drug in his meal, he dumped the food instead of eating it. After the guards found out, they verbally abused him and starved him. Although the detention center allowed him to start eating normally after his family filed a complaint, Mr. Song noticed that he suffered severe memory loss when he was transferred to the prison. As for the Falun Gong exercises he had been doing for years, he completely forgot the movements.
Shortly after he was taken to the Yinchuan Prison New Admission Center, a guard beat him as he refused to take certain drugs. The guards later tied him up and force-fed him the drug.
At the Shizuishan Prison, Mr. Song was first held in the 16th Ward in a solitary confinement cell. He was forced to sit on a small stool all day long and listen to high decibel propaganda slandering Falun Gong. Even after he was taken to the ward for elderly inmates, Mr. Song was still tortured by the inmates and ordered to renounce Falun Gong.
An insider revealed that Mr. Song had been taken to the police hospital for emergency treatment at least twice during his imprisonment. Shortly after he was admitted to the Shizuishan Prison, the inmates heard loud noises in Mr. Song’s room, followed by very violent vomiting. He was then taken to the hospital for resuscitation. But after he was released, he couldn’t remember the incident at all.
Mr. Song eventually succumbed to the injuries inflicted to his body. He passed away on July 31, 2021 at age 69.
Having endured 11 years of imprisonment and non-stop harassment for practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Song Xiulian, a Dalian City, Liaoning Province resident, passed away on August 13, 2021. She was 60 years old.
Ms. Song, a retired employee of Lushun Pharmaceutical Factory, took up Falun Gong before the persecution began in 1999. In her spare time, she volunteered to teach the Falun Gong exercises at her local practice site.
To raise awareness about the persecution, she and other local practitioners installed speakers outside of Dalian Forced Labor Camp and Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, to broadcast audios exposing the communist regime’s propaganda slandering the practice.
Ms. Song was arrested at home in March 2001 and sentenced to 11 years on February 21, 2002. While serving time at Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, Ms. Song often protested the persecution by refusing to do forced labor. Despite the guards’ non-stop attempts to force her to renounce Falun Gong, she never gave in. She was released on April 17, 2012.
Ms. Song was arrested again at home on July 10, 2020, by officers from the Xigang Police Station. Her home was ransacked. After she was taken to the police station, the police took her to the restroom (which didn’t have a surveillance camera) and forced her to repeat interrogation answers they had prepared. She was released a day later.
The police harassed Ms. Song two more times, first on January 3, 2021, and again in March 2021. They attempted to take photos of her and force her to renounce Falun Gong. She refused to comply.
Ms. Song was arrested again after March 2021 (exact time unknown). Due to the pandemic, the local detention center refused to admit her. The police attempted to force her to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. She did not comply.
The mental pressure from the non-stop persecution took a toll on Ms. Song’s health. She passed away months later in August 2021.
Ms. Fan Shuying, a Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province resident, passed away in September 2021, about two and a half years after she finished serving a three-year term for practicing Falun Gong. She was 53 years old.
After the persecution began in July 1999, Ms. Fan was arrested multiple times and served two labor camp terms and a prison term. She was incarcerated for a total of seven years.
Ms. Fan was first arrested on December 28, 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was given a year at the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp, where she was tortured and developed scabies all over her body. Her husband, who has a disability in his leg, and their young daughter were left at home and struggled to care for themselves during her incarceration.
Ms. Fan was arrested again on April 26, 2003 while walking on the street. The police claimed that she had been reported by a local for distributing Falun Gong materials. The “local resident” turned out to be a plainclothes officer.
Ms. Fan held a hunger strike to protest the persecution. Meanwhile, Falun Gong practitioners outside of China made phone calls to the police and demanded her release. Fearing that she might die in the detention center, the police released her on May 8, after charging her family a 2,000-yuan bail bond.
Ms. Fan regained her energy after recovering at home for two weeks. Seeing that her life was no longer in danger, the police gave her three years of forced labor and took her to Wanjia Labor Camp on May 29.
Ms. Fan’s next arrest was at around 6 a.m. on September 24, 2015, after which she was detained for 15 days.
Her last arrest was on February 18, 2016 for talking to people about Falun Gong in a village, together with three other practitioners. The village secretary and several villagers testified against them when they appeared in court in July. All four practitioners were sentenced to three years.
Ms. Fan was on the verge of death when she was released from the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison in January 2019. Unable to recover, she passed away in September 2021.
Ms. Ji Delian, a Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, resident, passed away in mid-October 2021, a year after she was released from a three-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong. She was 79 years old.
Ms. Ji was arrested on May 21, 2014, while handing out Falun Gong informational materials. Although she was soon released on bail, she was arrested again on May 18, 2015, for attending the trial of another local Falun Gong practitioner. The police released her at around midnight and put her under house arrest the very next day.
The police started to harass Ms. Ji and her family again on September 10, 2015, after she filed a criminal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Ji was tried by the Wanbailin Court on November 13, 2015. Judge Li Zhiqiang said to her daughter the day before the trial, “Tell your mother to cooperate with us. Don’t think that she won’t be sentenced because she is in her 70s. The age limit has been increased to 75!”
Ms. Ji was later sentenced to three years in prison but was allowed to serve time at home, after the local detention center denied her admission due to her physical condition.
Ms. Ji appealed her sentence to the Taiyuan Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold her original sentence on May 18, 2016. At the age of 73, Ms. Ji had to live away from home to avoid being imprisoned.
Ms. Ji returned home a year later, only to be arrested on June 22, 2017, when she went to the Ximing Police Station to renew her ID. She was first held in Geliao Detention Center and then taken to the Yuci Women’s Prison.
During her three-year term, her children made 1,000-yuan monthly deposits for her and often sent food to her. Sometimes the inmates would tell them that Ms. Ji wanted to have beef, and they would send that soon. When Ms. Ji was later released, her family was surprised to learn that she was never given any of the food they sent her.
Ms. Ji became incapacitated in 2019 due to torture. Yet the two inmates assigned to monitor her still constantly beat and verbally abused her.
She weighed less than 70 pounds when she was released in 2020. Her abdomen was sunken and bruised. As she was too weak to recall what had happened to her in the prison, her family didn’t know what torture she was subjected to. After struggling with poor health for a year, she passed away in October 2021.
After Ms. Zhao Xiulan’s husband died of fear a few years ago after witnessing the repeated arrests and harassment she had suffered for practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Zhao herself died on October 22, 2021, as a result of the 22-year-long persecution of her faith. She was 75 years old.
Ms. Zhao, of Mian County, Shaanxi Province, took up Falun Gong in 1997, when a doctor predicted she had only one year to live, due to her brain tumor and bladder cancer. Her symptoms disappeared only a week after she learned Falun Gong.
After the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution two years later, Ms. Zhao was targeted for not renouncing her faith. She was arrested on March 8, 2012, for urging the police chief not to persecute Falun Gong. The police interrogated her for seven hours and threatened to give her two years of forced labor when they released her in the evening.
The police attempted to take Ms. Zhao back into custody on March 17, but she wasn’t home when they came. She was forced to live away from home to avoid the persecution.
Ms. Zhao was arrested again on April 29, 2013, and interrogated at the Chengxi Police Station. She was released two hours later.
While dining outside on March 16, 2017, Ms. Zhao talked to another customer about Falun Gong, who turned out to be a police officer. The police arrested her in the afternoon and interrogated her for over nine hours, while holding her in a metal chair in a room without heat. She was released at around 10 p.m.
Ms. Zhao was arrested two more times, on May 3 and June 20, 2018, and released hours later both times.
Two plainclothes officers from the Chengdong Police Station attempted to arrest her on July 10, 2018, but relented due to her family’s resistance.
The police returned on July 13 and July 17, 2018. As Ms. Zhao refused to open the door, they harassed her neighbor.
Ms. Zhao’s next arrest was on April 26, 2021. As soon as she left home, she was dragged into a police car by officers on the lookout for her. The police forced her to go through a series of physical examinations, including a blood test. They then took her to the Mian County Procuratorate and tried to pursue prosecution of her for talking to people about Falun Gong two years earlier.
The police released Ms. Zhao in the early evening after forcing two staff members of her residential committee to sign certain documents for her.
Ms. Zhao’s family noticed three cars parked outside their home at 7 a.m. on April 29. Two hours later, an officer knocked on the door, but her family pretended that no one was home. At around 10 a.m., Ms. Zhao’s family looked out to see whether the police had left. They were instead noticed by the police, who returned to knock on their door. They still refused to open the door. The police left and came back at 3 p.m. and again the next day.
The police harassed Ms. Zhao a few more times, on June 9, 10, and 16. As she refused to open the door, the police tried to collect information about her from her neighbor.
The repeated harassment took a toll on her health and she passed away on October 22, 2021.
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