Name: Liu XinyingChinese Name: 刘新颖Gender: FemaleAge: 54City: DalianProvince: LiaoningOccupation: NurseDate of Death: April 22, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 21, 2014Most Recent Place of Detention: Liaoning Province Women’s Prison

Ms. Liu Xinying’s husband became a high paraplegic after being tortured in a labor camp for practicing Falun Gong. He remained bedridden for the next 13 years and died on February 19, 2014, at the age of 45. Ms. Liu was arrested one month later and sentenced to 5.5 years, for her shared faith in Falun Gong.

When Ms. Liu finally returned home, she still couldn’t live a peaceful life, as the police continued to monitor and harass her. Years of hard work caring for her husband while raising their daughter, as well as the mounting mental pressure from the persecution, took a toll on Ms. Liu’s health. The Dalian City, Liaoning Province, resident passed away on April 22, 2023. She was 54.

The late Ms. Liu Xinying and her husband Mr. Qu Hui

Husband’s Passing

Ms. Liu used to be a nurse at Dalian Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital. Her husband, Mr. Qu Hui, was a seaport cargo clerk. Ms. Liu and Mr. Qu took up Falun Gong in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

Shortly after the persecution started in July 1999, the couple planned a trip to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. Before they could leave, they were arrested at the Dalian Airport and taken to the Dalian City Detention Center. With the couple’s detention, their ten-month-old baby girl was forcibly weaned.

The couple managed to make it to Beijing in January 2000 to appeal for Falun Gong, only to be arrested at Tiananmen Square. Mr. Qu was beaten by the police in Beijing. After being taken back to Dalian, he was fined 9,700 yuan and fired from his workplace. He was given one year of forced labor and Ms. Liu three years.

As Mr. Qu refused to renounce Falun Gong, the guards at Dalian Forced Labor Camp kept torturing him. He once fainted from the beating on March 19, 2001. When he came to, he heard the labor camp doctor Han Qiong say to the guards, “He’s fine. You can continue to beat him.”

Guard Qiao Wei, said to others while beating Mr. Qu, “I haven’t felt so high (from beating someone) for many years.”

As a result of the torture, Mr. Qu sustained a fractured cervical vertebra and paraplegia. The wounds on his genitals—from electric shocks—became infected. He also had swelling and a high fever.

The labor camp refused to admit that they beat him but accused him of injuring himself. His family wasn’t allowed to visit him, yet the labor camp still attempted to force them to pay for his medical cost.

Due to a lack of proper care, Mr. Qu became extremely weak. His heart rate was up to 160 beats per minute. His lung function was failing and he had difficulty breathing. His kidney function also failed and a catheterization tube was inserted. In the meantime, he had severe diarrhea and was depending on infusions to survive. His body was covered with bedsores, with the largest one on his buttocks being nearly 10 centimeters wide. His vertebrae was exposed and exuded a foul smell. Only then was he released.

With the strong protest of Mr. Qu’s family, the authorities released Ms. Liu so she could care for him. Although his physical condition stabilized with her meticulous care, the constant police harassment still left the couple living in fear. When Ms. Liu took their daughter out for a walk, she was often terrified to find herself being followed by the police.

When Ms. Liu went back to the labor camp on February 19, 2004, to fetch her case document, the family member of another detainee asked her about Falun Gong and she told the person that Falun Gong is a great practice. Because of that, guard Yuan Lingyue arrested her, accusing her of “interrupting social order.” Ms. Liu was taken to the police station, beaten and interrogated, and was finally released in the late afternoon, Mr. Qu had been starved for a day, lying in sweat and urine. Their daughter, on the other hand, was still waiting to be picked up from the kindergarten.

Ms. Liu was arrested again on July 6, 2012, together with 70 other practitioners, as the police suspected them of installing satellite dishes for the locals to receive uncensored TV programs from overseas media.

After enduring unimaginable suffering for 13 years, Mr. Qu passed away on February 19, 2014, at the age of 45. During his funeral on February 21, plainclothes officers videotaped the attendees.

Ms. Liu recalled, “I had hoped that my family could become whole again, and I knew that my child should have a father. Regardless of what others said and regardless of Hui’s situation, I hoped that he could again live well, and I was willing to give anything for that to happen.

“Because Hui had been poisoned with drugs while imprisoned, he was not able to take any medication. I took care of him around the clock and didn’t sleep much. I read Falun Gong books to him every day. Each time he was on the verge of death, his condition would suddenly take a turn for the better. Even the hospital staff who visited us at home were amazed.

“I manually removed his stool for the past 13 years, and we used a plastic bag to catch his urine. He could not feed himself, sit up, or turn over. He would not have survived without the help of others. I became strong and tolerant amidst all these hardships with the guidance of Falun Gong.”

Ms. Liu’s 5.5-year Prison Sentence

On March 21, 2014, just one month after Mr. Qu’s passing, Ms. Liu was arrested by the police waiting downstairs when she went out. The police accused her of providing rides to human rights lawyers a year earlier when they traveled from Beijing to Dalian to defend local practitioners.

As the local detention center refused to admit Ms. Liu due to her poor health, the police released her on house arrest. She was taken back into custody at a military hospital on September 22, 2014, and made to stand trial at the Zhongshan District Court one week later. Her father and daughter weren’t allowed to attend the session. As she was too weak to walk by herself, she was carried by the police from the hospital and dragged into the courtroom, while being handcuffed and shackled.

Despite Ms. Liu’s condition, the judge kept her in custody and sentenced her to 5.5 years. She appealed the verdict, but the Dalian City Intermediate Court ruled to uphold her original verdict.

When her elderly father questioned the police why they were persecuting her to such an extent, the police director responded, “It’s not that we wanted to target her, but it’s an order from above to arrest her, because she hired lawyers to defend other practitioners and wrote articles to expose the persecution of Qu Hui and other practitioners. The higher-up has been keeping a close eye on her. We don’t have any say here.”

When Ms. Liu was taken to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on March 24, 2015, she was directly assigned to the prison hospital. Two days later, her father was notified to visit her. He and his granddaughter traveled overnight to the prison. The guards granted them a 30-minute meeting, on the condition that they not talk about Falun Gong.

The three of them burst into tears upon seeing each other. Ms. Liu was pale and thin. Her blood pressure was dangerously high. She asked her father to take good care of himself and her daughter to focus on her study and be a good person.

After the meeting, Ms. Liu’s father questioned the guards why they still admitted her, when her health condition was so poor. The guards said they had detainees whose blood pressure was even higher than hers. The father applied to have Ms. Liu released on medical parole, but the prison didn’t approve it. She was incarcerated until her term ended in March 2020.

The Continued Harassment Before Her Passing

The police continued to harass Ms. Liu after she returned home. As she remained firm in Falun Gong, the police turned to her father, leaving the elderly man under tremendous pressure. The police often asked her whether she planned to move abroad. Even when she indicated that she wouldn’t do so, the police still monitored her daily life. They always followed her when she traveled out of town to visit her daughter.

The mental pressure took a toll on Ms. Liu’s health. She passed away on April 22, 2023. Even one month before her passing, the local police called her and demanded to talk to her.


Below is a letter Ms. Liu wrote to her daughter on September 20, 2015, while she was incarcerated.


My most darling baby girl! Thank you for joining our family like an angel, thank you for accompanying us all these years, and thank you for all the joy you have brought us! You are the hope of Mom and Dad, and our family’s legacy. On your 17th birthday, I’m sending you best wishes from afar. I hope that your life will be filled with happiness and sunshine. I wish you safety during the time I’m away. I hope that, after this period of separation, both of us will shine with a pure glow of being reborn like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

There are so many things I want to tell you that I don’t know where to start. I wonder how your life has been this past year when I’ve not been around. Who cooks for you when you are hungry? Who buys you clothes when you are cold? And who do you talk to when you are upset? Looking back at all the moments we spent together in the past, despite all the difficulties and hardships, we always had a great time.

For 13 years, you witnessed the tremendous sufferings of your dad after he became disabled from torture. You were young and had many questions. You once asked me, “Other kids’ daddies can stand. Why does my daddy have to stay in bed?” Your question made me determined to seek justice for your dad because I don’t want your innocent mind to be overshadowed by the darkness of our society.

Mom has always thought that education is very important. I wish that after you grow up, you can be a good person—good to other people and good for society.

You cannot change who you are as a person because of your dad’s suffering. Because after a person is born, he is given responsibilities to shoulder. This is not something that can be changed or denied.

Think about our family. Your dad was paralyzed and bedridden. His hands and feet were wasted. He couldn’t sit or move by himself. He couldn’t drink or eat by himself. I had to collect his urine in a plastic bag. Because I had to be with him and take care of him all the time, I couldn’t go out and work. With no income, we had to rely on our family or friends. While we couldn’t create any material value for society, our family can bring hope and love to people. When people support or express their sympathy and understanding for us, they are spreading love and kindness.

For a society or a nation to prosper, an abundance of materials or wealth is not enough. It needs a solid foundation of people’s morality and kindness. In that regard, we are still playing a positive role and contributing to society.

It is a traditional value that families are the bedrock of society. The stability of each family ensures the stability of society. But now, our family has fallen apart. The day your dad died, the family that I had spent so much time and effort to bring together fell apart.

In other people’s eyes, they might think that your dad was useless or even a burden. But in my eyes, he was the treasure of our family. Our family isn’t complete without him. Your dad was an essential part of my life. And this part of me left with your dad’s passing. Thank you for being with me and consoling me during that period, especially when your dad died and I was crying so hard holding his hands. “Don’t cry, Mom. You’ve done your best,” you said to me.

Only seven months after your dad left us, I was arrested again and sentenced to five and a half years in prison, leaving you at home alone. With Dad in heaven and me in prison, you wander about and struggle to survive. Our family is really broken now.

My heart bleeds whenever I think of this. I can no longer protect you, touch you, or hug you. At first, I felt helpless and powerless. My heart was so overwhelmed that my mind and health collapsed.

I barely hung on to life by a thread, a thread of hope, faith, and a sense of responsibility. I didn’t want you to become an orphan or your grandfather to lose his daughter after losing his companion. I couldn’t let my family and friends who love me so much lose me. I didn’t want to become the next tragedy myself or allow the perpetrators to commit one more sin of persecuting me to death. With strong faith, I survived.

Xinxin, my dear child, we’ve lived together and been dependent on each other for so many years. You’ve always been proud of me, and I’m also proud of you. I know how the forced separation hurts you. This is not something you should have endured at your age. But don’t hate those who hurt me. In fact, they are the ones we should feel sorry for. They are hurting themselves with ignorance. In the near future, they will be brought to justice. Mom wishes that you always have a crystal-clear, untainted heart. I hope you can always discern good from bad and not be influenced by self-interest or power. I hope no matter what happens, you can face everything with a bright and positive attitude.

Now you are in your last year in high school, and you will take the college entrance exam next year. I hope you can take it seriously and study hard. Your grandfather told me that you insisted on staying at home and living by yourself. I was in tears when I heard that. I worry whether it’s safe for you to live by yourself.

This summer when you came to visit me, I felt very happy to see you, calm and composed. You said to me, “Mom, everything you’ve taught me is helping me to do well everything in front of me now. Don’t worry about me.” When I heard that, I truly felt you’d grown up.

This letter is a special birthday gift from me. I hope you receive it before the Autumn Festival. I feel it won’t be too long before our reunion. At that time, I will buy you a birthday cake and your favorite gift. Be well and wait for me to come home.

Thank everyone who has helped you while I’m away. May happiness and good luck be with these goodhearted people always!

Love you, MomSeptember 20, 2015

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