Name: Xing WenzhenChinese Name: 邢文珍Gender: FemaleAge: 79City: Xi’anProvince: ShaanxiOccupation: College professorDate of Death: October 7, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 8, 2004Most Recent Place of Detention: A brainwashing center

A woman in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, passed away on October 7, 2021, after suffering two decades of arrests and harassment for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was 79.

Ms. Xing Wenzhen was a professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University. Before taking up Falun Gong, she struggled with many ailments, including high blood pressure, inflammation of the kidney, and the aftereffects of a concussion. Beginning in her 20s, she suffered several shocks and both of her hip joints had large areas of inflammation.

After learning Falun Gong on July 15, 1996, all of her health issues went away. She became a volunteer assistant at the practice site at her university and taught the Falun Gong exercises to newcomers.

The persecution that started three years later destroyed her peaceful life. For upholding her faith, she was arrested six times and held in a forced labor camp and brainwashing center. Even after she was released, she was subjected to long-term harassment and surveillance. The isolation from society took a toll on her health, which eventually claimed her life.

Forced Labor Camp and Fired by the University

In November 1999, four months after the onset of the persecution, Ms. Xing was barred from giving lectures. She went to Beijing on December 27, 1999, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong and was arrested.

After being taken back to Xi’an in early January 2000, Ms. Xing was first held in the Shapo Detention Center for 15 days and then for 16 days by the university.

For distributing the article “Why I Started to Practice Falun Dafa” written by practitioner Shao Xiaodong, Ms. Xing was arrested again on September 6, 2000, by the university’s security personnel and held at the Shapo Detention Center for two months.

She was given two years in the Shaanxi Province Women’s Forced Labor Camp on November 6, 2000, by the Shaanxi Province 610 Office, an extra-legal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong. The authorities extended her term by a month because she refused to renounce Falun Gong.

While she was serving time, the school withheld her salary for a year and forced her to retire two years before she reached the retirement age of 60.

A person surnamed Lin who worked at the university used to practice Falun Gong but later gave it up. Lin worked with the government to monitor the practitioners on campus and report on their activities, including Ms. Xing. Lin also worked with the brainwashing centers and tried to persuade the practitioners to renounce Falun Gong.

Held in Brainwashing Center

Guo Jian, a security guard at Ms. Xing’s university, called her husband on April 8, 2004, and said the local 610 Office had a talk with her to “help” her “dig out” Falun Gong from her mind. They threatened to take her to a brainwashing center if she didn’t comply. Ms. Xing said that it was illegal for them to host brainwashing centers and that it was her constitutional right to practice her faith. Despite her efforts to clarify the facts, she was arrested and taken to a brainwashing session located in a guest house.

Ms. Xing’s husband hired a lawyer for her and wrote a letter of appeal seeking her release. After 102 days of detention, she was released from the brainwashing center, yet the police still ordered her to “transform” at home by herself.

The brainwashing centers were, in fact, “black jails,” where practitioners were tortured and subjected to prolonged isolation. Some were mentally crushed after being locked up in a dark room without any sunlight for weeks or months. Some began to have difficulty organizing their thoughts or speech. Some suffered from severe memory loss or were haunted by hallucinations. Yet others suffered a total breakdown or mental disorder.

Prolonged Surveillance and Isolation

On October 18, 2004, university security personnel called Ms. Xing’s husband and convinced him under false pretenses to come to their office. Later, the police went to her home and, claiming they were to update her about her husband, deceived Ms. Xing into opening the door. They ransacked it without a search warrant.

During the Beijing Olympics in July 2008, the police stayed outside of Ms. Xing’s home to monitor her. A surveillance camera was also installed outside of her apartment building.

After her husband later passed away, she lived a simple life by herself. The police still harassed her from time to time.

With the development of surveillance cameras and artificial intelligence, more surveillance cameras were installed around her home. The police threatened her, saying that, although they weren’t arresting her, they would go after any practitioners who had contact with her.

For the safety of other practitioners, Ms. Xing stopped contacting them and rarely ventured outside of her home.

When the police harassed her again in September 2021, she was already very weak. The harassment further aggravated her condition. She became incapacitated, fell into a coma, and became incontinent in early October. She passed away on October 7.