Family Tragedy: Parents Die and Three Children Detained and Sentenced, All for Upholding Their Shared Faith
(Minghui.org) Because of upholding their shared faith in Falun Gong, a family of five suffered catastrophic persecution. The father and mother died one after another. Two of their children were arrested and given lengthy terms. The couple’s other child has been detained a year since her arrest in 2019 and the police refuse to release her despite that her case has been returned by the Procuratorate.
The family in Xishui County, Hubei Province began to practice Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline in 1997. Many of their illnesses disappeared soon after. Living by Falun Gong’s principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” the family was harmonious and happy.
Their happy life, however, was completely turned upside down when the Chinese Communist Party ordered the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.
Mr. Nan Chuyin, a well-known doctor among locals, passed away on January 24, 2001, as a result of a beating in detention. His wife, Ms. Zhou Dongmei, died on June 21, 2010, after her health deteriorated from repeated arrests and harassment.
The couple’s only son, Mr. Nan Xiaoqing, was expelled from college and was sentenced to eight years in April 2003. His younger sister, Ms. Nan Xifeng, was first given one and a half years of forced labor in 1999, and then sentenced to six years in 2001. Mr. Nan’s older sister, Ms. Nan Tianju, suffered multiple arrests and detentions. She is still detained at the time of writing, following her most recent arrest on August 11, 2019.
Below are the persecution accounts of each family member.
Mr. Nan Chuyin
Mr. Nan Chuyin was arrested on July 23, 1999, along with his two daughters for practicing Falun Gong exercises in Xishui Square. He was detained in the No.2 Detention Center of Xishui County for ten days. His daughters were detained in the No.1 Detention Center of Xishui. During his detention, he was forced to do heavy labor of mixing cement under the scorching sun. His legs had ulcers after a few days of work.
Because of appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing in October 1999, Mr. Nan and his two daughters were arrested and detained again. He and his older daughter were detained in No.1 Detention Center for more than 40 days. His younger daughter was given a one and half years of forced labor.
On the evening of December 25, 1999, Mr. Nan, his wife, son and the older daughter went to the Xishui Square to do the Falun Gong exercises, only to be violently beaten by the police on the spot.
One officer smashed the older Mr. Nan’s head with a flashlight. Others knocked him to the ground, stepped on his neck, and kicked his head and body. His face was covered with blood.
Mr. Nan and his older daughter were detained in Xishui No.1 Detention Center. His wife and son were held at Xishui No.2 Detention Center. While Mr. Nan remained in custody and was later given one year of forced labor, his wife and son were detained for two months and the daughter for four months.
The older Mr. Nan was beaten almost daily and also starved in the detention center. He lost consciousness after an inmate forcefully rammed into his abdomen. Since then, he has passed blood in his stool and sometimes vomited blood. His lower abdomen and legs started to swell. The detention center guards didn’t provide him with any treatment.
Mr. Nan was given one year of forced labor in May 2000, after six months of detention. The Huangshi Forced Labor Camp initially rejected him because of his poor condition. He was kept in the detention center for one more month, before being sent back to the labor camp. The labor camp guards didn’t arrange for him to do the labor given his physical condition.
On September 24, 2000, Mr. Nan was transferred to the Shayang Forced Labor Camp along with other Falun Gong practitioners. They were subjected to brainwashing aimed to force them to give up their faith. During the entire period in the labor camp, Mr. Nan had been passing blood in his stool, and his body from the abdomen down remained swollen.
Mr. Nan continued to have blood in his stool and vomited blood after he was released. He told his family that his liver was damaged due to the beating and it was incurable.
Despite his condition, the police still constantly harassed him and tried to force him to write a statement, promising never to practice Falun Gong again.
While Mr. Nan refused to comply, the mental pressure nevertheless took a heavy toll on his health. On January 24, 2001, about one month after he was released, he died after spitting up a massive amount of blood, thirteen days before his older daughter’s wedding.
After Mr. Nan’s death, the local police spread a rumor that he died because he refused to take medicine, in order to cover up the persecution and further smear Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhou Dongmei
While still grieving the death of her husband, Ms. Zhou faced another tragedy. Her son was arrested again in April 2003 for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong. He was detained in Xishui No.1 Detention Center for 18 months. The guards didn’t allow Ms. Zhou to visit him until he was tortured into critical condition.
Ms. Zhou and her older daughter frequented the local authorities in order to rescue her son, only to be given the run-around and cursed.
When Ms. Zhou Dongmei visited Huang Haijun, the deputy police director, to demand her son’s release in October 2004, Huang stared at her and choked her with his hands. He yelled at her and pushed her out of his office.
With no place to seek justice, Ms. Zhou and her daughter went to the street and held a board detailing the persecution her family had suffered. People were shocked to learn about their plight. When she passed in front of the police department, several officers rushed out and smashed her board.
The next morning, on October 12, 2004, Ms. Zhou and her older daughter again took to the streets with a board saying: “My husband died from persecution for practicing Falun Gong. My younger daughter was sentenced to six years in prison, also for practicing Falun Gong. My son has developed serious illnesses after being detained for 18 months, and he is still not released. I demand that the government release my son.”
They went street by street, crying for justice. When they walked in front of the county government building, two police cars stopped in front of them. Seven officers took away Ms. Zhou’s board, forced the mother and daughter into one car and quickly left.
Ms. Zhou was then sent to a brainwashing center in Wuhan City. After returning home from the brainwashing center, she kept coughing and was later confirmed to have contracted tuberculosis.
In the next few years, the police kept returning to harass Ms. Zhou. She died in deep agony on June 21, 2010.
Mr. Nan Xiaoqing
Mr. Nan Xiaoqing was a college student at the Southwest Sichuan Petroleum Institute. He went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was arrested on October 17, 1999. When he was escorted back to the school two days later, the Southwest Petroleum Institute accused him of skipping classes for 23 days and expelled him.
He was arrested again on December 25, 1999, for doing the exercises in the public square with his family and detained for more than two months.
In May 2000, the Xinhua News Agency reported that the younger Mr. Nan had given up practicing Falun Gong after being “re-educated.” After that, the Southwest Petroleum Institute readmitted him. In June 2000, the Sichuan Daily printed a fake story in Mr. Nan’s name about his being “reformed,” which deceived many who were unclear about the facts of Falun Gong.
On April 19, 2003, Mr. Nan was arrested on a train. He was interrogated in Qichun Police Department overnight. The police hung him up and cuffed his hands on the frame of the door. His feet barely touched the ground. They repeatedly tortured him in this way, which caused him to suffocate and suffer extreme pain. They also cuffed his hands behind his back to torture him.
The next day, he was sent to a secret hotel-turned detention center and subjected to more than ten days of interrogation. During this period, he wasn’t allowed to sleep for seven consecutive days. His hands were often handcuffed behind his back with one hand over the shoulder and the other hand up against his lower back. A drink bottle was inserted between his hands and his back. He sweated all over because of the pain. Ten days later, he was sent to the Xishui No.1 Detention Center.
Mr. Nan became very weak after suffering the extremely harsh environment in the detention center for more than one year. He was skinny and could hardly keep food down. His vision blurred. He was so weak that he could barely stand or walk.
With his serious condition, the guards sent him to the No.1 Huanggang City Hospital for an examination on September 6, 2004. He was diagnosed with hypertension, heart disease, kidney failure, and hardening of the cerebral arteries. He only weighed around 70 lbs.
The Xishui County Court later secretly sentenced him to eight years in Fanjiatai Prison, where he suffered further brainwashing and other torture. Two inmates were assigned to monitor him all the time. He was not allowed to talk to others and often beaten and scolded. Despite his weak physical condition, the guards still forced him to do unpaid labor.
On April 18, 2011, the day he was scheduled to be released, his younger sister Ms. Nan Tianju and her husband came around 8:00 a.m. to pick him up. They were told that he would be released around 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. They waited at the gate of the prison, only to see Mr. Nan being taken away by agents from the Xishui County 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong.
Ms. Nan later confirmed that her brother was sent to a brainwashing center in Wuhan City that day. He was held for another 40 days before finally being released. By the time he returned home, his mother had already passed away for almost a year.
Ms. Nan Xifeng and Ms. Nan Tianju
Shortly after Ms. Nan Xifeng, the family’s youngest daughter served a one and half years of forced labor, she was arrested again on October 9, 2001, for exposing the persecution. She was sentenced to six years in prison in Sichuan Province, where she worked as a healthcare professional.
The family’s oldest daughter, Ms. Nan Tianju, on the other hand, was arrested and detained three times for more than six months, because of appealing for Falun Gong and doing the exercises in public.
The older Ms. Nan moved to Wuhan after she got married, yet the police never stopped targeting her. On June 29, 2016, police broke into her home. Both she and her husband (non-practitioner) were taken to Hengdian Police Station for interrogation. They were held there for more than an hour.
On August 11, 2019, she was arrested again for talking to people about Falun Gong and has been detained at Erzhigou Detention Center of Wuhan City since.