Chinese Name: 康爱芬Gender: FemaleAge: 63City: JiamusiProvince: HeilongjiangOccupation: N/ADate of Death: November 18, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: June 17, 2021Most Recent Place of Detention: Jiamusi City Detention Center
Ms. Kang Aifen was taken to a local detention center following her latest arrest on June 17, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. She developed a severe heart condition and systemic edema. She was unable to stand or walk on her own. She lost vision in both eyes and had difficulty breathing.
Shortly after the authorities released her and put her under house arrest on August 17, they submitted her case to the procuratorate and sought to imprison her. Her health further declined with the ongoing harassment. She passed away on November 18, 2021.
Just three days before her passing, the prosecutor and police went to her home and ordered her to sign a copy of “Notice of Litigation Rights of Criminal Suspects.”
Taking Up Falun Gong
Ms. Kang, of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, was born on February 17, 1958. She suffered severe polio in her childhood and struggled with uremia, incontinence, and tuberculosis in her adulthood. Shortly after she took up Falun Gong in April 1996, all of her conditions disappeared. She also became more gentle and considerate. Witnessing her changes, her parents and sisters also began to practice Falun Gong.
First Arrest for Appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing
After the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Kang was arrested seven times. She was given one labor camp term and held in a brainwashing center once. She was frequently harassed and her husband had to pay the police thousands of yuan each time in exchange for her release.
Ms. Kang was first arrested in Beijing on February 1, 2000, when she went there to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. The police took her back to Jiamusi and held her at the Jiamusi City Detention Center.
Ms. Kang said the living conditions in the detention center were terrible and she could hear the guards beating other Falun Gong practitioners every day. Over thirty detainees shared a small room, and they could only sit at night to sleep. The food they were given was pig feed.
After detaining Ms. Kang for 50 days, the police threatened to give her a forced labor camp term. In order to get her home, her husband spent over 1,000 yuan to treat the police and also paid them 7,000 yuan in cash.
Second Arrest for Distributing Informational Materials
Ms. Kang was arrested the second time on February 13, 2001, while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The police extorted 3,000 yuan from her family after threatening to detain her again.
Upon realizing that Ms. Kang’s family was doing well financially, the police harassed her often and looked for opportunities to extort money out of her. She was unable to live a normal life and went into displacement to hide from the police.
Tortured After Third Arrest
A team of officers surrounded Ms. Kang’s home in April 2002 and stayed outside for six days. They cut off their water and power supply, leaving Ms. Kang and her husband stranded at home. Fearing being arrested, their children stayed with a relative and didn’t dare to return home.
When the police left, Ms. Kang departed immediately. She and her two sisters found a rental place and stayed together. By following Ms. Kang’s husband, the police found her temporary residence, broke into the place on the evening of May 15, and arrested her and her sisters.
The police tied Ms. Kang and one of her sisters on tiger bench for a day. The police verbally abused them and slandered Falun Gong. They also tried to force Ms. Kang to step on a photo of Falun Gong’s founder, but she refused to comply. All three sisters were taken to the Jiamusi City Detention Center the next day.
Ms. Kang developed a severe heart condition and high blood pressure at the detention center. She held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and vomited blood. The detention center extorted 5,000 yuan out of her husband before releasing her, saying, “It doesn’t hurt us when a Falun Gong [practitioner] dies in our place. How many of them have died here already?! There was one who just died a few days ago.”
One of Ms. Kang’s sisters was given two years of forced labor and tortured during that term. The situation of her other sister wasn’t clear.
Taken to Labor Camp after Fourth Arrest
Ms. Kang was arrested for the fourth time when she was distributing informational materials about Falun Gong on October 28, 2002. She refused to cooperate with the police interrogation and was taken to the Jiamusi City Detention Center at midnight. A month later, she was given a labor camp term and transferred to the Jiamusi City Forced Labor Camp.
Although the labor camp guards refused to admit her due to her health condition, police officer Wang Huamin forced them to accept her. The guards and inmates often forced her to attend brainwashing sessions and ordered her to renounce Falun Gong.
The persecution caused Ms. Kang to develop a severe heart condition and high blood pressure. She kept vomiting and couldn’t keep any food down.
Three weeks later, the guards took her to the hospital for a physical examination before releasing her. Upon returning home, she found out that her husband had been extorted out of another 6,000 yuan in exchange for her release.
Detained in Brainwashing Center after Fifth Arrest
The police and residential committee staff members arrested Ms. Kang again at home in late 2012, following frequent harassment. While she was held at the Yichun Brainwashing Center, her family went to the residential committee every day to demand her release. The authorities took her home ten days later.
Sixth Arrest for Trying to Attend Other Practitioners’ Hearing
Ms. Kang took an early morning train on December 17, 2014, to attend a high-profile hearing of four practitioners in Jiansanjiang. She was arrested while looking for the courthouse and taken back to Jiamusi hours later.
The police kept harassing her afterward. The couplets she had on her door with content about Falun Gong were torn off. Prior to the aforementioned four practitioners’ second hearing on January 8, 2015, the police followed Ms. Kang when she went out. The police also locked her in her home from outside one time.
Ms. Kang filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. After the police found out, they harassed her at 6:15 a.m. on July 31, 2015.
The police harassed her again in September 2017, but she didn’t open the door for them.
In a massive harassment campaign in 2019, Ms. Kang was forced to live away from home to hide from the police. A group of officers broke into her home on July 29 when no one was around and ransacked her place.
Her 50 Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, informational materials about Falun Gong, computers, printers, cellphones, as well as some office supplies, including copy paper, staples, paper cutters, speakers, modem, and router, were all confiscated. The 18,000 yuan in cash she had at home wasn’t spared either. When the police left, they also covered the peephole on the door and broke the lock.
When Ms. Kang’s husband returned home, he was unable to open the door and had to smash the lock. Ms. Kang remained displaced to hide from the police and was later put on the wanted list.
Seventh Arrest That Eventually Led to Her Death
Ms. Kang’s husband returned home from taking their grandson to school at 8 a.m. on June 17, 2021. While he was opening the door, six plainclothes officers who were hiding in the stairway rushed over and barged into his home. They said they were from the Qianjin Police Department and one of the officers was named Zhao Xin.
While two officers held Ms. Kang, the rest of them began to search around. They took away 40 Falun Gong books, all Falun Gong materials, cellphones, and 2,000 yuan in banknotes that had information about Falun Gong printed on them. Due to strict information censorship in China, many Falun Gong practitioners use creative ways to raise awareness about the persecution, including printing short messages on paper currency.
One officer said to Ms. Kang, “Even if you wear a hat when you go out, we can still recognize you.”
Ms. Kang’s husband asked the police why they were arresting her. They replied that it was an order from above, as the Communist Party’s centennial anniversary of its founding was coming up on July 1.
A few residents in Ms. Kang’s neighborhood later told a Minghui correspondent that they saw the plainclothes officers wandering around near Ms. Kang’s home a few days before arresting her.
Ms. Kang struggled as she was taken away and was pushed into the police car. After a brief interrogation at the Qianjin Domestic Security Office, she was taken to the hospital for a physical examination, which showed that she had dangerously high blood pressure. The police dragged her around and caused her to have difficulty walking afterward.
Despite Ms. Kang’s condition, the police forced the Jiamusi City Detention Center to accept her. She fainted on the first evening. The guards thought she was starved and force-fed her. The forced feeding caused her to suffer a heart attack. She lost vision in both eyes as well. As her condition persisted, the guards began to give Ms. Kang injections and IV drips on the fifth day, for seven consecutive days.
The injection only caused Ms. Kang’s condition to deteriorate further. Her arms swelled so badly that the nurse could no longer inject her. Then the guards forced her to take medications. Ms. Kang spit out the pills after the guards left, suspecting that they were toxic. Yet her systemic edema wouldn’t go away and she began to have tremendous difficulty breathing. She was unable to fall asleep at night and could only lean against the pillow on the bed. She suffered persistent high blood pressure and still couldn’t see.
With Ms. Kang on the verge of death, the police released her on house arrest on August 17, 2021.
On October 14, the police submitted her case to the Qianjin District Procuratorate. The Jiamusi City Procuratorate and Jiamusi City Intermediate Court appointed the Xiangyang District Procuratorate to handle her case on October 22.
Upon returning home, Ms. Kang’s condition kept deteriorating. She couldn’t keep any food down and often threw up. She tried to take in more food, but could only eat half a bowl of porridge at most. Her swollen legs made it difficult for her to change clothes.
The police and residential committee staff members harassed her every week, sometimes coming in a group of ten, causing tremendous mental distress to Ms. Kang.
Three police officers took Ms. Kang to the Xiangyang District Court on October 28, without telling her what the trip was for. Upon her arrival, court staff members had a disagreement with the police and the two sides had a loud argument. The police had to take Ms. Kang home.
On November 8, another three officers from the Xiangyang District Procuratorate harassed Ms. Kang and delivered to her the indictment signed by prosecutor Zhang Hongwei on October 28.
One police officer and a community worker went to Ms. Kang’s home on November 10. They brought a doctor with them and tried to persuade Ms. Kang to go to the hospital for treatment.
On November 15, the prosecutor and police came together to harass Ms. Kang and ordered her to sign a “Notice of Litigation Rights of Criminal Suspects.” After Ms. Kang refused to comply, the police ordered her husband to sign it for her. He didn’t do it either.
The nonstop harassment took a toll on Ms. Kang’s health. Her eyes, which had just begun to regain some vision, became blind again on November 17. She passed away at 5:40 a.m. the next day. She was 63.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Liu (刘), director of Domestic Security Office: +86-13846154777Zhang Hongliang (张红亮), police officer: +86-13115355575Zhao Xin (赵鑫), police officer: +86-13603694645
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