(Minghui.org) A total of 21 cases of Falun Gong practitioners who died as a result of upholding their faith during the persecution were confirmed in August 2023.

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 crackdown on the practice in July 1999, claiming to eradicate the practice in three months.

Among the 21 confirmed deaths, one practitioner passed away in 2007, 2 died in 2021, 6 in 2022, and 12 in 2023. Fifteen (71%) of the 21 practitioners were female. The ages of the 17 practitioners whose ages at their time of death were known, were between 30 and 79, with 6 in their 60s and 9 in their 70s.

The deceased practitioners hailed from twelve provinces and municipalities. Shandong and Inner Mongolia each reported three cases. Liaoning, Hunan, Hebei, Jilin, and Heilongjiang each had two cases. And the remaining five regions, including Jiangxi and Fujian, and three municipalities, Tianjin, Chongqing, and Beijing, each had one case.

Two of the practitioners died in custody. A 75-year-old retired teacher died on July 13, 2023, while serving a six-year term at the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison. The guards arbitrarily cremated her body before notifying her family. Another man died in March 2021 in Wangling Prison in Hunan Province, less than three years after he was imprisoned.

Two practitioners never recovered from their injuries sustained while incarcerated, and died shortly after their prison release. One of them was an acupuncturist in Shandong Province who died on March 28, 2023 at the age of 58. She developed heart conditions after being tortured in three forced labor camps and fed with unknown drugs while in custody. Another woman, from Tianjin, died on June 28, 2023, less than two months after serving a 5.5-year prison term.

Some of the practitioners were constantly harassed and terrorized. They were subjected to tremendous mental pressure, fear, and agony. Some of them left their homes and moved from place to place to avoid persecution. Others suffered financially, as they could not find work easily or their pensions were suspended.

A woman in Liaoning Province died in 2023 at age 63 after she had been destitute for years. A woman in Jiangxi Province died in 2023 at the age of 50 because she could not afford hospital treatment. A woman in Jilin Province was sentenced to nine months even when she was already in serious condition. The police continued to harass her while she was serving time at home. The mental pressure caused her condition to quickly deteriorate. She died in August 2022.

Below are select death cases reported in August of 2023. The full list of the 21 deceased practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).

Deaths in Custody

Hunan Man Dies in 2021 While Serving 8 Years in Prison for His Faith

Mr. Liu Chaoyang was a resident of Changde City, Hunan Province. He was arrested on May 12, 2015 and sentenced to eight years in June 2018. He was admitted to the tenth ward in Wangling Prison, located in Zhuzhou City in the same province, on October 23. Within less than three years he died, while still in prison, after enduring torture in March 2021.

After the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, Mr. Liu was often arrested and incarcerated for refusing to give up his practice. According to a practitioner who was once held at the same detention center as Mr. Liu around May 2001, the guards tied up Mr. Liu on a bench and ordered him to read or watch propaganda that slandered Falun Gong. He refused to comply and closed his eyes in protest. The guards then pried open his eyes. They also didn’t allow him to sleep. He was later given an unknown term of forced labor.

The Changde police arrested multiple practitioners in late June or early July 2005, including Mr. Liu, after monitoring them for a long time. He was later sentenced to prison, though the exact term is unknown. He was admitted to the Jinshi Prison in October 2005. He was savagely beaten by Zhang Cenhua (center director) and a few guards while being held at the Dispatch Center within the prison. His clothes were ripped and his face became swollen as a result of the beatings.

Following another arrest in August 2015, Mr. Liu was interrogated at the Baiheshan Detention Center. The police beat him savagely, causing his lower body to bleed. He was released around October 2015.

75-Year-Old Retired Teacher Dies in Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison

A 75-year-old retired teacher was tortured to death on July 13, 2023 inside the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison. The guards arbitrarily cremated Ms. Mou Yongxia’s body before notifying her family.

Ms. Mou Yongxia

Ms. Mou was arrested in September 2019 and sentenced to six years by the Ranghulu District Court in May 2020. Guards at the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison instigated the inmates to beat and verbally abuse her. Years of tortures took a toll on her health and she could barely move.

After Ms. Mou suffered fecal incontinence in August 2022, an inmate beat her and poured cold water on her. She also subsequently suffered a mental disorder, yet the guards and other inmates continued to beat her.

A prisoner complained that Ms. Mou walked too slowly, and pushed her from behind in late December 2022. She fell to the ground and had bruises on her face. That night she developed frequent urination and had to get up over ten times each subsequent night. The inmates assigned to watch her often verbally abused her and beat her because of this.

Ms. Mou often woke up in the middle of night screaming because of the ongoing abuse. It was so loud that inmates in other cells could hear her. She was disoriented and could not even recognize other Falun Gong practitioners who were staying in the same cell with her.

Her son demanded that the prison authorities release her on medical parole, but his requests were repeatedly rejected.

Sustained Severe Injuries and Died After Prison Release

Acupuncturist Tortured Until Mentally Broken Down and Physically Distorted, Dies at 58 Years Old

A licensed acupuncturist who worked at Shandong Province Hospital died on March 28, 2023 at age 58, after years of persecution.

Ms. Miao Peihua

Ms. Miao Peihua graduated from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1986. She previously suffered for years from uterine fibrosis, lumbar disc herniation, and frozen shoulder. A month after she learned Falun Gong in 1996, all of her illnesses vanished, and she could not be happier.

Ms. Miao went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong in early 2000 and was arrested. She refused to reveal her name and was given 1.5 years at the Tangshan Woman Forced Labor Camp in Hebei Province. The guards tied her to a death bed torture device and injected her with unknown drugs. After she was transferred to the Baoding City Women’s Forced Labor Camp, also in Hebei, the guards instigated other inmates to beat her, pry her mouth open, and force-feed her.

Ms. Miao was arrested again in March 2007 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. She was given the second labor camp term of one year.

Only one year after being released, she was arrested again on March 31, 2009 and given a third labor camp term of 21 months at the Shandong Province No. 1 Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The guards put her in an isolated room and relentlessly beat her. They smashed her against the walls, kicked her chest, and caused her to vomit blood. They also wrapped her with three bed sheets and didn’t unwrap her until a day later. She developed a heart condition after the torture.

When her term ended in January 2011, instead of releasing her, the 610 Office agents took her to a brainwashing center for three months. During that time she was force-fed with over ten different psychiatric pills three times a day, and shocked with electric batons twice a day. Gradually she had a hard time uttering words and was constantly confused and drowsy. She trembled all over, and her face became distorted. The medical staff laughed at her and offered no help.

Her last arrest was on June 9, 2015 for talking to people about Falun Gong. After she was released from Shandong Province Women’s Prison in 2019 after four years of incarceration, the local police and officials continued to harass her at home. The mental pressure eventually claimed her life.

Tianjin Woman Dies One Month After Finishing 5.5-Year Prison Term for Her Faith in Falun Gong

Ms. Lyu Houfen of Tianjin was seized by four officers on December 28, 2017, as soon as she stepped out of her apartment building. More than a dozen other officers raided her home and confiscated many valuables.

The Nankai District Court held a hearing of Ms. Lyu’s case on January 23, 2019 and later sentenced her to 5.5 years in prison. In Tianjin Women’s Prison, she was brutally tortured and developed tuberculosis. She was emaciated by the time she finished serving her time on June 28, 2023.

Ms. Lyu’s health kept declining after she returned home, and she needed support when walking. Her lungs and stomach suffered damage from the tortures she sustained while in the prison, and she had trouble digesting even a few sips of porridge. She died on August 9, 2023, less than two months after being released, at the age of 66.

Health Deterioration and Death After Enduring Years of Harassment and Financial Persecution

Director of County Industrial Development Bureau Dies After Years of Destitution and Living in Fear

Mr. Zhuo Guibin lived in Yi County, Baoding City, Hebei Province, and was previously the director of Yi County Industrial Development Bureau. His home was many times raided after the persecution started, and he was arrested multiple times. He was given two forced labor terms, totaling six years, and sentenced to three years in prison with four years of probation.

To avoid further persecution he lived away from home and became destitute several times. After years of living in terror and being constantly harassed, his mental and physical health fell apart. He passed away on April 25, 2022 at the age of 75.

Mr. Zhuo Guibin

Jilin Women’s Health Deteriorates and Passes Away Being Constantly Harassed by Authorities

Ms. Qu Guiqing of Fusong County, Jilin Province was at home on January 11, 2022 when a police officer came in and accused her of talking to people about Falun Gong a month prior. The police arrested her, and put her in Baishan City Lockup for 12 days.

The police and several local officials went to Ms. Qu’s home in March 2022 in an attempt to take her to an out-of-town hospital for a health exam. At the time Ms. Qu was already hospitalized because of her poor health. Her family demanded that she have the health exam in the nearby hospital. But a women from the local justice bureau denied it, and said, “The results from the local health exam does not count. She will have to go to Baishan City (about 70 miles) for a health exam unless she’s a vegetable.”

Ms. Qu was forced to stand trial on April 29, 2022 and sentenced to nine months to be served outside of prison because of her poor health. The authorities continued to harass her at home. She was hospitalized again in early July and discharged on July 14. In just two days eight people went to her home and ordered her to sign a statement to renounce her faith. She never recovered from her illness, and died a month later on August 10, 2022.

Tax Service Employee in Shandong Province Dies Less Than A Year After Release from Detention

A former employee of the Shandong Provincial Tax Service, who lived in Yantai City, Shandong Province, was many times arrested and incarcerated for his faith in Falun Gong. Mr. Ren Qingbai was arrested on August 5, 2022 on his way to work and put in a detention center. Officers from the Mouping District Domestic Security Office, including the captain, Diao Shengji, later ransacked his home. He was released on bail for a year, during which time he was only given 70 percent of his salary.

Due to the tortures he sustained in the detention center, Mr. Ren became emaciated and suffered chest pain and other discomfort after his release. Due to continued police harassment, his health declined. He died on July 24, 2023 at the age of 57, which dealt his 90-year-old father a hard blow.

77-Year-Old Former Government Official Loses His Life to the Relentless Persecution of Falun Gong

A 77-year-old man in Qidong County, Hunan Province died on July 27, 2023, after enduring years of persecution for upholding his faith in Falun Gong.

In the past 24 years of persecution Mr. Liu Jishun was twice sentenced for a total of 6.5 years, and once given one year of forced labor. He suffered brutal torture during each detention and was on the verge of death multiple times. He was also fired from his job in 2001 and not allowed to apply for a pension when he reached the retirement age of 60 in 2006. He suffered over one million yuan of financial loss. With no income and facing constant harassment from the authorities, his health kept declining and he eventually lost his life to the relentless persecution.

Mr. Liu was sentenced to three years in prison in 2001, right before he was fired from his job. He was brutally tortured by prison guards and inmates. They punched and kicked him, had him stand facing the wall for long periods of time, and even forced him to eat pig feed and dog food. He had become unrecognizable by the time of his release in 2004. His body was swollen and he could not stand steadily. At one point he was found to have a systolic blood pressure reading of 240 mmHg (the normal range is no more than 120 mmHg), and he nearly died.

Mr. Liu appealed to the county government, the grain bureau, and the social security office many times regarding his lost pay during imprisonment, and his pension income. No one ever responded to him. He struggled to make ends meet in his final years. Mr. Liu’s health continued to decline and he eventually passed away on July 27, 2023.

50-Year-Old Jiangxi Woman Dies After Enduring Years of Persecution for Her Faith

A 50-year-old woman in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province died on August 3, 2023, after enduring years of persecution for her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Hu Huomei was twice given forced labor and twice sentenced to prison, spending a total of seven and a half years in incarceration. After her release she lived in poverty as she could not find work due to harassment from police and community officials.

Ms. Hu Huomei

Ms. Hu was arrested on April 10, 2018, while reading Falun Gong teachings at another practitioner’s home. The Xihu District Court sentenced her to one and a half years with a 5,000-yuan fine without holding a hearing or notifying her family. Ms. Hu served time at the Nanchang City First Detention Center. She was often left sleeping on the concrete floor and not given enough food. She was released in October 2019.

The police and the neighborhood committee kept harassing her at home in her final years, especially around sensitive days such as key political meetings and Falun Gong related anniversaries. They also forcibly photographed her at home many times, to serve as proof that they had made her stay home and not go out to raise awareness of the persecution.

Years of persecution have impoverished Ms. Hu’s family. Having witnessed his mother’s arrests and persecution over the years, her son, in his 20s, developed depression and cannot work normally. His sister, who is attending college, struggled to pay for tuition.

Pressure from the authorities and the hardship of life took a toll on Ms. Hu’s health, which had been declining since the onset of the persecution. Her vision gradually became blurry, and she became emaciated. She felt fatigued all the time. She couldn’t walk steadily and often fell. She was totally bedridden in her final months.

Ms. Hu fell into critical condition on July 21, 2023 and was rushed to the hospital. Her family had to get her discharged on August 3, when they ran out of funds to cover her medical expenses. She died five minutes after she was taken home. She weighed only a bit over 90 pounds.

63-Year-Old Liaoning Woman Dies Destitute After Years of Persecution for Her Faith

Ms. Zou Xiuju, a native of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, died at the age of 63 on August 10, 2023, while living in destitution to avoid being arrested for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Zou was predeceased by her older brother, Mr. Zou Wenzhi, who died at age 54 on October 16, 2000, after being beaten non-stop from 8 a.m to about 4 p.m. that day by security guards at his workplace, Alkali Manufacturing Plant of the Dahua Corporation. They targeted him because he refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Mr. Zou Wenzhi

Ms. Zou’s home was raided four times in the persecution and she was given two forced labor terms and held in other facilities on different occasions. She was brutally tortured each time she was detained.

When Ms. Zou was held in the Dalian City Forced Labor Camp, the guards put her in a large metal cage in solitary confinement, and tortured her. They handcuffed her hands behind her back, and forced her to stand still for long hours. At Dalian City Detention Center, the guards handcuffed her hands behind her back and tied the handcuffs to her leg shackles, forcing her body into a kneeling position around the clock. During her two years in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, the guards once tied her to a death bed, pried her mouth open with a pair of pliers, and force-fed her after she went on a hunger strike.

When she was not in custody, the local police and community workers shadowed her and harassed her at home any time they wanted, including in the middle of the night. The police once said to her, “You’ll be the first one we go after whenever there’s a quota to arrest Falun Gong practitioners.”

Ms. Zou was forced to live away from home in recent years, only to die in destitution.

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

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

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