Name: Zong MingChinese Name: 宗明Gender: FemaleAge: 59City: WuhanProvince: HubeiOccupation: N/ADate of Death: January 1, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 18, 2022Most Recent Place of Detention: Etouwan Brainwashing Center

Ms. Zong Ming was emaciated and had difficulty talking when she was released after eight months of brainwashing center detention for her faith in Falun Gong. She passed away on January 1, 2023, six days after she was taken back home by her family.

Since the Chinese communist regime started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, the 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to oversee the persecution, has set up brainwashing centers across the country to target Falun Gong practitioners. Under the guise of a “Legal Education Center” or “Care Center,” the brainwashing centers function as black jails, where Falun Gong practitioners could be held without term limits and are subjected to all kinds of physical torture, mental manipulation, and involuntary drug administration.

In Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei, the authorities have set up ten new brainwashing centers since 2021 as a part of the “Zero-out” campaign, which targets all practitioners on the government’s blacklist in order to force them to renounce Falun Gong.

Seven practitioners, including Ms. Zong, Ms. Tang Yuenan, Ms. Li Ming, Ms. Ding, Ms. Lin, Ms. Shao, and Ms. Yu were arrested on April 18, 2022, near a supermarket. Most of them are in their 60s and 70s and Ms. Shao is in her 80s.

According to a witness, one practitioner was knocked to the ground and then arrested by four officers. Others were reportedly arrested after being reported for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in a nearby neighborhood. All of them were taken to the Etouwan Brainwashing Center the next day.

When the brainwashing center staff members ordered Ms. Zong’s family to pick her up on December 26, 2022, she was already on the verge of death. She was merely skin and bones. Her hair had turned gray, and she had difficulty talking. Her family took her to the hospital on the first day of 2023, but the doctor refused to treat her. She died in the hospital hours later.

This is at least the second time that Ms. Zong has been detained in this brainwashing center. She was previously sentenced to four years by the Qiaokou District Court in the Hubei Province Women’s Prison in 2003. The prison guards handcuffed her behind her back and hung her up to a door frame. They wouldn’t remove the handcuff even when she had meals or used the restroom. She was also deprived of sleep. The torture lasted 15 days and she endured such torture three times. Her legs festered as a result and oozed pus.

One inmate named Zhang Baoxiang once caught ants and put them into Ms. Zong’s clothes. Meanwhile, they poured cold water on her. At times, the guards pumped toxic gas into her room, causing her to have hallucinations and suffer severe memory loss.

Ms. Zong once held a hunger strike for eight days to protest the persecution. The guards force-fed her, beat, and verbally abused her. One inmate attempted to force-feed her with pig slop but was stopped by another inmate.

Torture reenactment: Being hung up

Related reports:

Wuhan City: At Least Ten Arrested in One Month and Eight Still Detained in Brainwashing Centers

Wuhan Authorities Build New Brainwashing Centers in Bid to Eradicate Falun Gong