(Minghui.org) Ten cases of Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death for upholding their faith were reported in September 2023, bringing the total year-to-date reported death cases to 166.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditative practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. The practice was introduced to the public in 1992, and over the next several years millions of Chinese people embraced its profound teachings and health benefits. The Chinese communist regime feared its popularity and launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong in July 1999, and the persecution is still continuing today.

Among the 10 newly reported deaths, there was one death each in 2019, 2020, and 2022, 6 deaths that happened between May and September 2023, and one death in 2023 with an unknown month. Due to the communist regime’s strict information censorship, the real death toll from the persecution is likely much higher.

Hubei Province and Inner Mongolia each registered two death cases and the remaining six provinces, including Jilin, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shaanxi and Sichuan, each had one case.

The ten deceased practitioners included eight women. The youngest and oldest were 52 and 93 when they died, in addition to two practitioners in their 60s, four in their 70s and two in their 80s.

Most of the practitioners endured long term torture and incarceration before their passing. In particular, an 83-year-old man was repeatedly shocked with electric batons, sprayed with spicy water in the eyes and forced to finish his meals in seconds. A practitioner was injected with unknown drugs while in custody, which caused her to lose her memory and have frequent nightmares. A 93-year-old woman was still harassed by the authorities the day before her death. A man lost his wife and two women lost their husbands to the persecution, before passing away themselves.

Below are all ten death cases reported in September 2023. The list of the practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).

Belated News: 80-Year-Old Woman Dies While Serving Time at Home

Ms. Yu Huiyu, of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, used to work in a state-owned military enterprise. She took up Falun Gong in late 1995 and her many diseases such as high blood pressure, stomach condition and retinal arteriosclerosis soon disappeared.

Because of not giving up Falun Gong when the persecution started in 1999, Ms. Yu was repeatedly arrested and detained. Her persecution also brought enormous pressure to her husband (who didn’t practice Falun Gong). The mental distress took a toll on his health and he passed away in July 2010. Ms. Yu’s own health began to decline around 2017. Despite her condition, the local court still sentenced her to an unknown term and ordered her to serve time at home. She passed away in October 2019, only a few months after she was convicted. She was 80.

Past Arrests

Ms. Yu went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in September 2000 and was arrested at Tian’anmen Square. She was escorted back to Nanjing and held in the Nanjing City Detention Center for a month and then the Qinhuai District Brainwashing Center for an unknown period of time. She was held in the same brainwashing center following another arrest in April 2002.

Ms. Yu accompanied her husband to a clinic to receive IV drips on June 9, 2005, when the police arrested her there and took her to the Nanjing City Brainwashing Center. Her home was ransacked and her Falun Gong books, materials and phone book were confiscated.

Ms. Yu was arrested again while shopping for groceries in May 2010. The police raided her home when no one was around. Many of her Falun Gong related materials were taken away.

Her next arrest was on March 8, 2017, followed by interrogation at the Zhimaying Police Station. As the Nanjing City Detention Center refused to admit her for unknown reasons, the police released her on bail.

The police submitted Ms. Yu’s case to the Qinhuai District Procuratorate on May 16, 2017. She was indicted on June 20, 2017. The Qinhuai District Court held a hearing of her case on June 23 and September 8, 2017. The police attempted to take her into custody on September 20, but had to release her a day later after she was denied admission due to her high blood pressure.

The court held another hearing of her case in late September 2017 and secretly sentenced her around May 2019. Due to her physical condition, she was allowed to serve time at home. She passed away five months later.

52-Year-Old Human Resource Director Dies One Year After Serving 5 Years Outside of Prison

A 52-year-old resident of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, died on October 6, 2020, about one year after serving a 5-year term outside of prison for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Yao Wei, a native of Weihai City, Shandong Province, was the director of the human resource department at a digital solutions company in Shenzhen. She was arrested at her office around noon on June 16, 2014. The police next raided her home and confiscated more than 80 Falun Gong books, a laptop, a printer, and some Falun Gong informational materials on different media (including 103 DVDs).

According to an insider, Ms. Yao was targeted after being reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials at an apartment complex. The police pored over surveillance videos and discovered that she visited the complex multiple times. They then decided to arrest her.

Ms. Yao was kept at the Futian District Detention Center until June 2015 when she was sentenced to five years and ordered to serve time at home. She finished her term in June 2019, only to succumb to the mental pressure of being persecuted and pass away.

Liaoning Woman Disabled after Toxic Substance Injection, Dies After 20 Years of Suffering

Ms. Song Xiangzhen became incapacitated and lost her memory after she was injected with a toxic substance, following her arrest in the summer of 2002 for practicing Falun Gong. She passed away in July 2022 after twenty years of suffering. She was 73.

Ms. Song, of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, was arrested at home in June 2002. Police chief Lyu Wei covered her head and pushed her downstairs, without allowing her to change shoes. One slipper she was wearing fell off as she walked downstairs and the police didn’t allow her to put it back on.

Ms. Song was taken to the Shenyang City Drug Rehabilitation Center two days later. She held a hunger strike to protest. When she fainted due to hunger, the drug rehabilitation center staff members instructed the inmates to inject her with toxic drugs.

Ms. Song was in critical condition in mid-July 2002. The drug rehabilitation center called an ambulance and took her to the Shenyang 739 Hospital. The police informed her family of her situation, but didn’t allow them to see her until their third trip to the hospital.

In just one month of detention, Ms. Song lost half of her weight, from 60 kg (132 lbs) to 30 kg (66 lbs). Her abdomen was bloated and she couldn’t release urine. Her husband recalled that the moment he saw her, he was really worried she may stop breathing at any moment.

While Ms. Song recovered a bit upon returning home, she lost most of her memory and struggled to remember new things. She also lost the ability to take care of herself and she couldn’t even go downstairs. She often had nightmares, shouting, “That bad person is coming again!”

Her husband took good care of her, but years of physical exhaustion and tremendous mental pressure took a toll on his health. He suffered a heart attack and passed away around 2015. After his passing, Ms. Song’s daughter had to quit her job to care for her.

Ms. Song struggled with declining health and passed away in July 2022.

Inner Mongolia Woman Dies After Police Harassment

Ms. Li Ailin, of Hulunbeir City, Inner Mongolia, was arrested in April 2023 after being reported for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. Due to interrogation at the Hailar District Third Police Station and the subsequent home-ransacking, she began to experience tightness in her chest and shortness of breath. Fearing that she might die in custody, the police ordered her son to take her home. She passed away a month later on May 10. She was 66.

Former Elementary School Teacher Dies Months After Being Sentenced

Ms. Xia Juying, a retired teacher of Railroad Elementary School in Xiangyang City, Hubei Province, was reported for distributing Falun Gong materials in 2020 and later arrested by agents of Taiping Police Station. She was detained for 15 days and had her home raided a few times. The local court sentenced her to 3.5 years in March 2022. She was taken to the Hubei Province Women’s Prison in the capital city of Wuhan shortly after. She passed away on July 18, 2023 before her term expired. She was 79.

Having Had Family Factory Seized and Lost His Wife to the Persecution, Elderly Man Dies Ten Days after Police Harassment

A Jilin City, Jilin Province, resident passed away in early August 2023, ten days after being harassed by the police. He was 78.

Mr. Zhao Xudong

Mr. Zhao Xudong was repeatedly harassed between August and September 2022. The police and community workers took photos of his home without his permission and questioned him whether he still practiced Falun Gong. He was arrested on September 27, 2022 and released that evening.

Mr. Zhao was arrested again on May 4, 2023. Despite the fact that he was found to have dangerously high blood pressure, the police still held him in custody and didn’t release him until May 26.

An officer surnamed Qiu of the Hadawan Police Station harassed Mr. Zhao at home on July 31, 2023 and ordered him to go to the police station. Mr. Zhao refused to comply. He passed away ten days later, on the early morning of August 10.

Mr. Zhao wasn’t the only one in his family who had been targeted for practicing Falun Gong. His wife, Ms. Li Yan, passed away on February 5, 2012, after succumbing to the fear and mental distress stemming from the persecution. Their son, Mr. Zhao Guoxing, was incarcerated and tortured for over thirteen years. His sister, Ms. Zhao Guokun, is now facing prison sentence after being indicted on July 18, 2023.

Mr. Zhao’s family factory for producing electronic control instruments was seized by the government. When he reached his retirement age of 60 in 2006, the social security office couldn’t find the record of his previous service at a state-owned enterprise, which prevented him from receiving any retirement benefits.

Mr. Zhao’s family

Widowed by the Persecution of Falun Gong, Inner Mongolia Woman Also Dies After Living in Displacement for Years

Ms. Jia Guiqin, a Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, resident, passed away on August 8, 2023, after living in displacement for years to avoid being arrested for practicing Falun Gong. She was 72.

Since the onset of the persecution in 1999, Ms. Jia and her family had been repeatedly targeted for their shared faith. Her husband was tortured to death in 2005 at the age of 55.

Ms. Jia, her husband Mr. Chen Guoxiang, and their son Mr. Chen Yujin were first arrested on June 24, 2000. She was given one year of forced labor, and her husband and son were each given three years of forced labor. On October 28, 2001, only four months after Ms. Jia was released, her daughter, Ms. Chen Huimin, was also arrested and given two years of forced labor.

Ms. Jia was arrested again in November 2001 and held at a brainwashing center for 64 days. During the time, her home was broken into twice and she lost nearly 10,000 yuan worth of belongings. She was arrested another time in March 2003 and taken to a brainwashing center and held there for two weeks.

Both Ms Jia’s son and husband were transferred to a brainwashing center in April 2003 and held there for two weeks. While her son was later released, her husband was kept in custody and given another three-year labor camp term in January 2004. The guards at Wuyuan Forced Labor Camp repeatedly shocked the soles of his feet with electric batons for over a month. Under the extreme physical pain and mental pressure, he attempted to commit suicide twice.

The long term torture took a heavy toll on his health. He had severe fluid accumulation in his chest and abdominal cavities, pulmonary tuberculosis, and heart failure. Even when he was hospitalized, the police still handcuffed him to the bed frame. Fearing that he might die in the labor camp, the guards released him on February 24, 2005. By then, he was emaciated and had trouble keeping his balance while walking.

Due to continued police harassment, the family went into hiding and moved from place to place. The displacement further took a toll on Mr. Chen’s health. He died months later on December 19, 2005.

Ms. Jia continued to live away from home since. The hardship of life, as well as the fear and mental distress from the persecution, took a toll on her health and eventually claimed her life on August 8, 2023.

Former Assistant Engineer Dies Months After Serving Five Years in Prison

Mr. Wei Yongqing, formerly an assistant engineer at Xihua University in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was in a delirious state when he was released in February 2023 from serving a five-year term for practicing Falun Gong. He did not even know to use the restroom and relieved himself anywhere when nature called. He passed away months later on August 29. He was 83.

Mr. Wei was arrested on February 3, 2017 and sentenced to five years with a 20,000-yuan fine by the Pidu District Court on May 31, 2018. Judge Yang Rong deceived him into giving up appealing the verdict by promising that she wouldn’t enforce the term. But only five days after the ten-day appeal window expired, Yang ordered two bailiffs to take Mr. Wei to the Jiazhou Prison.

As Mr. Wei refused to renounce Falun Gong, he was pepper sprayed, forced to sit under the sun for long periods of time until his buttocks festered, and shocked with electric batons. The guards also forced him to finish his meals in seconds, a torture invented by the guards in Jiazhou Prison.

By the time Mr. Wei was released, he didn’t only struggle with mental trauma and physical conditions, but also faced financial devastation as his pension was suspended. His wife had to rent out their home in the city to make some income, while she and Mr. Wei lived in the countryside, where the village officials closely monitored their daily activities. Mr. Wei took a fall in late August and passed away days later.

Shaanxi Woman Dies While Awaiting Verdict for Practicing Falun Gong

Ms. Du Fengying, an Ankang City, Shaanxi Province, resident, was put under house arrest following her arrest on September 24, 2022. She stood trial on April 23, 2023 and was repeatedly harassed by the police while awaiting a verdict. The mental pressure took a toll on her health and she passed away on September 6, 2023. She was 66.

Ms. Du, her son-in-law Mr. Chen Jun and another Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Cao Ping went out on a road trip on September 24, 2022. The police followed them and arrested them when they stopped for a break. The police searched Mr. Chen’s car and confiscated a few copies of Falun Gong booklets. The three of them were then taken to the police station for interrogation and left to sleep on the bench overnight.

As Ms. Du was found to have dangerously high blood pressure on the next day, she was denied admission by local detention centers and placed on house arrest. Ms. Cao and Mr. Chen were held in Hanbin District Detention Center and Xunyang Detention Center respectively.

The three practitioners stood trial on April 23, 2023. Their lawyers entered not guilty pleas for them, yet the judge frequently interrupted the lawyers and didn’t allow the practitioners to talk.

Due to frequent harassment by the police and community workers, Ms. Du’s condition continued to decline. She died on September 6.

In addition to her last arrest, Ms. Du was arrested another time on November 1, 2014 for distributing Falun Gong materials and detained for 15 days.

93-Year-Old Woman Dies in the Persecution

Ms. Gao Suodi, a Wuhan City, Hubei Province, resident, was repeatedly harassed and had her home raided since the onset of the persecution. She died in 2023. Even the day before her passing, several police officers still went to her home to harass her.

Related reports:

21 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in August 2023

Persecution Deaths of 120 Falun Gong Practitioners Reported in the First Half of 2023

20 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in May 2023

25 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in April 2023

25 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in March 2023

19 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in February 2023

15 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in January 2023