(Minghui.org) By the time Ms. Zhong Junfang was released on February 14, 2020, after serving an 8.5-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, she had lost half of her body weight and developed liver and breast cancer. After struggling with poor health for a year, she passed away on April 13, 2021. She was 68 years old.

Ms. Zhong’s death adds to the growing list of Falun Gong practitioners who have lost their lives to the Chinese communist regime's persecution of their faith, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline.

Because she upheld her faith, Ms. Zhong, of Qianwei County, Sichuan Province, was given one forced labor term and sentenced to prison three times, for a total of 17.5 years.

Two-Year Term at Nanmusi Forced Labor Camp

Ms. Zhong was first arrested in 2000 and given two years of forced labor. During the detention, she was subjected to physical torture and humiliation, and deprived of sleep for long periods of time.

Falun Gong practitioners at the labor camp were required to ask permission to do anything. Ms. Zhong once approached a guard to ask permission to go to the restroom, and her request was rejected. She stood up and tried to go anyway. Guards Dai and Meng Yaling falsely accused her of trying to escape. She was then dragged to an open area and forced to run, resulting in her urinating in her pants and being taunted.

She was then put in solitary confinement for more than ten days. While in solitary confinement, she was not allowed to go outside, and each meal had only one dish consisting of 50g of carbohydrate.

Two 3.5-year Prison Terms

Ms. Zhong was arrested again in February 2003, and later sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. She was detained in Chengdu Women’s Prison until August 2006.

After she was released, her phone was tapped. She was arrested again and accused of planning to go to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was again sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and detained in the No. 2 Ward at Chengdu Women's Prison.

Because she refused to give up her belief in Falun Gong, she was often harassed by guards and inmates. For example, the guards banned her from buying food with her own money card in the prison, which often led to her suffering from hunger. She also had less freedom of movement than the other inmates.

After the Wenchuan Earthquake—the large earthquake in Sichun Province on May 12, 2008—there was an earthquake drill at the prison. Ms. Zhong refused to wear the prison uniform in protest of her illegal detention. The guards took away all her clothes except her bra and underwear. Ms. Zhong still refused to wear the prison uniform. To participate in the drill, she covered herself with a bed sheet, and continued to do so until November 2008. During that time, the guards instigated the inmates to insult her to pressure her to wear the prison uniform.

Ms. Zhong was tormented by the inmates when she did the Falun Gong exercises (inmates were often rewarded or given incentives to monitor and torture practitioners). Inmate Zhang Zhongyi beat her severely upon catching her doing the exercises in the cell. Ms. Zhong was bruised all over from the beatings.

A guard once spotted her doing the exercises after midnight. Ms. Zhong was dragged to the guards’ office, cuffed, and hung up from the window bars, where she was exposed to freezing temperatures of the winter night. The next day she was moved to the hallway and cuffed to the second floor rails.

Torture Illustration: Hanging

Ms. Zhong started a hunger strike to protest the inhumane persecution. She was carried to the prison clinic and subjected to forced-feedings. Her condition became so severe that she had to be put in the prison hospital until she was released.

Yet, she still wrote letters to the guards and officials at the prison to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and expose the persecution. The guards later directed the inmates and others to not give her any pens or paper.

Sentenced to 8.5 Years in Prison

Her latest arrest was on August 10, 2011. She had sold her apartment not long before, and the police confiscated the more than 100,000 yuan of the sales proceeds, which were never returned to her.

She was sentenced to 8.5 years on April 22, 2012. Inmates at Chengdu Women’s Prison were instigated by the guards to beat her, put unknown drugs in her food, and take away her comforter in the winter to freeze her. She was also force-fed when she held a hunger strike to protest the persecution.

As a result of the torture, Ms. Zhong developed hypertension and had a chronic nosebleed. Yet the prison authorities refused to release her on medical parole, saying, “She’s still breathing, so we can’t just release her.”

By the time that Ms. Zhong's latest term expired, she weighed less than 70 pounds. The police took her to a deserted senior center in the suburban area without telling her family. When her family went to the police station to look for her, the police denied that they had any knowledge of her whereabouts. Only with her family’s persistent inquiries, did the police finally reveal the location of the senior center.

Her family went here to take her back. Having sold her apartment before her latest arrest, Ms. Zhong stayed with her niece. Not long after, the 610 Office forced her brother to sell the house his daughter and Ms. Zhang were living in.

After Ms. Zhong rented a place to live by herself, the local police continued to monitor her and ordered her to not leave the region.

To make things worse for her, her 3,000 yuan monthly pension was reduced to 600 yuan. When she tried to seek justice at various government agencies, they reported her to the police, who then kept her handcuffed for hours each time, with the longest time being 33 hours.

The police ransacked her home on December 25, 2020, and confiscated her Falun Gong books and other belongings. Both Ms. Zhong and her niece Ms. Huang Fangqing were held in custody for a few hours.

The home raid further devastated Ms. Zhang and aggravated her condition. She passed away four months later, on April 13, 2021.

Related reports:

A Healthy Woman Turned Into Double-cancer Sufferer After 8.5 Years of Abuse in Prison for Her Faith

Woman Very Ill from Hunger Strike After Six Years of Incarceration

Ms. Zhong Junfang Sentenced to Over 17 Years for Her Belief

Three Practitioners from Jianwei County, Leshan City Sentenced to Long Prison Terms

Ms. Zhong Junfang, Mr. Yu Faquan and Others Arrested in Jianwei County, Sichuan Province

Female Practitioners Tortured at Longquan Women's Prison

Chinese version available

Category: Reports of Death Cases