Name: Xu SuqinChinese Name: 徐素琴Gender: FemaleAge: UnknownCity: TangshanProvince: HebeiOccupation: N/ADate of Death: Mid-November 2022Date of Most Recent Arrest: N/AMost Recent Place of Detention: N/A

Name: Gao ZhencaiChinese Name: 高振才Gender: MaleAge: 71City: TangshanProvince: HebeiOccupation: Retired mine workerDate of Death: February 26, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 3, 2019Most Recent Place of Detention: Jidong Prison

When Mr. Gao Zhencai was released on January 2, 2023, after serving a 3.5-year term for his faith in Falun Gong, he was emaciated, nearly blind and incapacitated. His wife, Ms. Xu Suqin, was not home to greet him as she had passed away a month earlier, due to the mental distress from the persecution.

Mr. Gao died in less than two months on February 26. He was 71.

Family’s Ordeal

Ms. Xu and Mr. Gao were residents of Tangshan City, Hebei Province. Ms. Xu used to suffer from severe psoriasis. She tried various treatments, but to no avail. In 2009, she began to practice Falun Gong and soon recovered. Mr. Gao was impressed by Falun Gong’s health benefits. He also took up the practice in October 2013, when he struggled with severe back pain, which didn’t see any improvement after one month of hospitalization. In addition to regaining his health, he also changed from a hot-tempered person to someone who was considerate and eager to help.

Mr. Gao was arrested at home on July 3, 2019 and detained at the Tangshan City No. 1 Detention Center. He was tried by the Lubei District Court on November 11, 2020 and sentenced to 3.5 years in the Jidong Prison.

Following Mr. Gao’s arrest, Ms. Xu frequented the police station to clarify the facts about Falun Gong and seek his release. The police promised to release him in a month if he cooperated with them and provided them with the information they wanted. But instead of seeing him released, Ms. Xu received his arrest warrant.

The couple’s daughter also went to the police station to seek justice for her father. The police threatened to arrest her and her mother. She was held at the police station and interrogated for a day.

After that, the police and residential committee staff members constantly harassed Ms. Xu and ordered her to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong. When she refused to comply, the police attempted to force her daughter, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, to sign it on her behalf.

In addition to the harassment, the authorities also instigated Ms. Xu’s neighbors to monitor her. Sometimes they followed her when she went out. When her friends came to visit her and bring food to her, her neighbors would come to her home and threatened that her friends weren’t allowed to come anymore.

Due to the mental distress, Ms. Xu began to suffer persistent fever and systemic edema. She gradually lost the ability to care for herself and passed away in mid-November 2022.