(Minghui.org) Thirteen cases of Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death for upholding their faith were reported in January 2024.

The newly confirmed death cases included one case each in 2012, 2016 and 2022, nine cases in 2023 and one case in 2024. Due to the communist regime’s strict information censorship, the persecution can’t always be reported in a timely manner and the real death toll is likely much higher.

The deceased practitioners (including ten female), aged 54 to 83, came from nine provinces and autonomous regions. Liaoning, Shandong, Jilin and Ningxia each reported two cases. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hunan and Inner Mongolia each had one case. 

One practitioner died about three days after she was admitted to prison to serve a 16-month term. Another practitioner died eight months after she was released from serving a three-year term. 

Three practitioners passed away after a brief detention or shortly after they were harassed by the police. Two practitioners were incapacitated when they were released from prison years ago and passed away recently after enduring years of suffering. Others succumbed to the tremendous mental distress and fear from long term harassment and repeated arrests.

Some practitioners were predeceased by their family members who also died in the persecution of Falun Gong, including a woman who died 11 years after her father’s passing, another woman whose husband and nephew died more than a decade ago before her passing in 2023, an elderly couple who died six years apart, and an elderly man who lost his wife and son years ago to the persecution.

Below are all thirteen death cases reported in January 2024. The list of the practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).

Deaths in Custody

56-Year-Old Shandong Woman Dies Only Days after Transfer to Prison to Serve Time

Ms. Xu Haihong, a Qingdao City, Shandong Province, resident, died on December 9, 2023, about three days after she was transferred to the Shandong Province Women’s Prison (located in the capital city of Jinan) to serve a one-year-and-four-month prison term. She was 56.

Ms. Xu was arrested in 2022 after being reported for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong. She went on a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary arrest and was released on bail in critical condition on the 15th day. Her family was forced to pay a fine of 13,000 yuan and warned that her case was not over.

The police pounded on Ms. Xu’s door around September 10, 2023. When she refused to let them in, they smashed the door and the lock. They took her to a detention center and barred her family from visiting her.

Neither the police nor the detention center updated Ms. Xu’s family on her situation. They found out in October 2023 that she had been sentenced to one year and four months. They were never notified of her indictment, trial, or sentencing.

Ms. Xu was transferred to the Shandong Province Women’s Prison around December 6, 2023 and was admitted to the in-house hospital because she was extremely weak due to her long-term hunger strike. She died in the prison hospital on December 9, 2023.

Ms. Xu’s family viewed the surveillance videos taken in the prison hospital and did not see any footage of the guards torturing her. While the prison is known for abusing jailed Falun Gong practitioners, Ms. Xu’s family members believe that the Qingdao authorities “passed the buck” to the Jinan authorities, possibly to shift responsibility for her death and also make it harder for the family to get to Jinan (about 200 miles away) to seek justice for her.

Deaths After Brief Detention or Harassment

Belated News: Woman Dies Eleven Years After Father’s Passing As a Result of Persecution

An ailing resident of Changchun City, Jilin Province, was administered with unknown drugs during a brief detention in 2022 and released in serious condition. Ms. Jiang Bing passed away on March 28, 2023, nine days after she was harassed again by the police. She was 60.

Ms. Jiang’s ordeal stemmed from an arrest on November 11, 2022, while she was distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The arresting officers from the Gongnong Police Station beat and verbally abused her. After holding her overnight at their police station, the police raided her residence the next day and took her back to the police station. 

Ms. Jiang was taken to the Changchun City Second Detention Center on November 13 and was denied admission due to her physical condition. But instead of releasing her, the police held her at a secret hotel. When her physical condition worsened, the police transferred her to the police hospital on November 16. Her feet was shackled to the bed. She was forced to take unknown drugs and received seven bottles of IV drips, while remaining seated instead of lying down. She felt nauseous, had systemic edema and had difficulty walking and breathing afterwards. 

Ms. Jiang was taken back to the police station on November 28, 2022 and released on bail in the evening. By then, her generalized edema had lasted nearly two weeks and she was unable to walk on her own.

The police knocked on Ms. Jiang’s door again on March 19, 2023. She didn’t open the door for them. They stayed in the hallway of her apartment building for half an hour before they finally left. The harassment left Ms. Jiang in deep distress. Her condition quickly deteriorated and she passed away nine days later on March 28, 2023. 

Prior to her latest persecution, Ms. Jiang was arrested in June 2000 and detained for 15 days when she went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. She was arrested two more times, in March and July 2002. After 17 days of detention following her July 2002 arrest, she was given two years of forced labor. She was tortured and forced to work without pay during her term. When she was released in 2004, her husband had deserted their home. Her daughter was forced to drop out of school and did odd jobs to support herself and her younger brother.

Ms. Jiang wasn’t the only one in her family to have been targeted for practicing Falun Gong. Her father, mother, two younger sisters, younger brother and sister-in-law were all repeatedly arrested and detained. Her younger brother also served four labor camp terms. Her sister and sister-in-law each served one labor camp term. Her father passed away in 2012 after suffering years of persecution.

Hebei Woman Dies Days After Police Harassment

Ms. Ni Wenxiu, a resident of Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, passed away in late November 2023, a few days after she was harassed by officers of the Tumu Police Station. She was around 79 years old. Details about the harassment aren’t clear.

In the past two plus decades of persecution, Ms. Ni was arrested and detained multiple times. She was once held in a brainwashing center for over 30 days and tortured for not renouncing Falun Gong. 

In addition to Ms. Ni, her husband Mr. Liu Yushu and three children were also persecuted for their shared faith in Falun Gong. 

Mr. Liu was held at the Zhangjiakou Brainwashing Center for five years, between March 2004 and March 2009. Most of his teeth fell out due to the mental and physical torment. He also struggled with dangerously high blood pressure. 

The couple’s older daughter, Ms. Liu Zhaoxia, a chemical engineer, was given two years of forced labor. She held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was released on the verge of death. Her husband, a military officer, divorced her to avoid being implicated. 

Ms. Liu’s younger sister, Ms. Liu Zhaohong, was sentenced to five years and also divorced by her husband. 

The sisters’ brother, Mr. Liu Zhaohui, a doctor, was arrested in 2000 for appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing. He was once shocked with electric batons for over one hour. The authorities repeatedly harassed him since then and suspended him from work for four months. He was later forced to live away from home to avoid the persecution, only to be arrested again in August 2002 and sentenced to seven years on August 25, 2003.

54-Year-Old Shandong Woman Dies 12 Days After Police Attempt to Arrest Her

Ms. Chen Guohua, a Dongying City, Shandong Province, resident, suffered from quickly declining health since October 2023. She was unable to eat and could only sleep one or two hours each night with the help of painkillers. The police attempted to arrest her on November 29, 2023, but relented after she was diagnosed with late-stage metastatic liver cancer. Her conditions dramatically worsened and she died on December 11, 2023, at the age of 54.

Ms. Chen Guohua

Ms. Chen was a retired worker from Shengli Oilfield. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2015, and began to practice Falun Gong in 2016. She soon gained back the weight she had lost due to the cancer, and had a rosy complexion again. She seized every opportunity to share her story with people and remind them that Falun Gong was nothing like what was depicted in the communist regime’s hate propaganda.

Ms. Chen was seized during a mass arrest on April 23, 2021, after the police tricked her into opening the door by claiming to be from the property management office. She was interrogated for 24 hours straight and ordered to reveal the identities of other practitioners. Because of lack of evidence against her, she was released on a one-year bail after a day of detention. Her ID and passport were withheld by the police, who threatened to get her indicted at any time.

As a relatively new Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Chen felt tremendous pressure, and did not dare to step out of her door much for fear of being arrested again. Even when she did go out, she felt she was being followed by people. In October 2023, she suddenly started feeling pain and discomfort in her body. The police, however, still attempted to arrest her on November 29, 2023, resulting in her death 12 days later.

Deaths Shortly After Prison Release

76-Year-Old Woman Dies Eight Months After Serving Three Years

A 76-year-old woman in Shaerhure Town, Holingol City, Inner Mongolia, died on December 3, 2023, eight months after completing a three-year prison sentence for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Chai Cuirong was arrested on April 7, 2020 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. She was held at the Hure Banner Detention Center and transferred to the Hohhot City Women’s Prison after she was sentenced to three years. The prison guards tortured her and subjected her to intensive brainwashing aimed at forcing her to renounce Falun Gong. Her health quickly declined and she had frequent vaginal bleeding. She was released in April 2023, only to die on December 3 in the same year.

Ms. Chai’s passing capped her decades-long persecution for practicing Falun Gong. Prior to her latest prison sentence, she had been arrested at least ten other times and twice subjected to forced labor. Following her arrest in 2002, her then 61-year-old husband was so devastated that he had a stroke and died shortly afterwards without seeing his wife of 37 years one last time. The couple’s nephew, who lived with them and also practiced Falun Gong, was twice arrested and also implicated every time Ms. Chai was arrested. His uncle’s passing further traumatized him, and he died in 2003.

Tortured in Custody, Dies Years Later

Belated News: Liaoning Woman Dies at 67 After Remaining Bedridden for 10 Years Following a Prison Term

Ms. Sun Suyun, a hairdresser in Haicheng City, Liaoning Province, died on September 26, 2023, after remaining bedridden and incapacitated for a decade. 

Ms. Sun Suyun

Ms. Sun was arrested on August 4, 2010 and later sentenced to three years. She was subjected to various forms of abuse at the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison and became severely ill and incapacitated. She was released ahead of time on March 11, 2013, but fell into critical condition multiple times in the next decade. She was diagnosed with cerebral infarction, myocardial ischemia, diabetes, heart disease, and heart failure. She felt such sharp pain in one side of her body that she dared not move a bit.

Ms. Sun’s husband, also a hairdresser, was traumatized by her imprisonment and suffered declining health as well. As both of them lost the ability to work, they relied on their son’s meager income to get by. The financial struggle further aggravated their health conditions. Ms. Sun eventually succumbed to her illnesses at the age of 67.

69-Year-Old Liaoning Woman Dies Six Years After Being Released from Prison Incapacitated

Ms. Zhong Weiqin had become incapacitated by the time she was released from prison on October 28, 2017. The Benxi City, Liaoning Province, resident never recovered and died on November 22, 2023. She was 69.

Ms. Zhong was arrested on May 5, 2014 and sentenced to three years on November 20, 2014. Due to her high blood pressure and other medical conditions, she was given one-year bail following her sentencing. Before she was fully recovered, the authorities admitted her to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on November 15, 2016. 

Ms. Zhong was assigned to a ward for the elderly and the infirm, and was still forced to do hard labor without pay, which further worsened her health condition. She eventually was unable to walk on her own. By the time she was released ahead of time on October 28, 2017, she had become incapacitated. She passed away six years later.

Deaths After Enduring Long Term Harassment, Detention and Mental Distress

Belated News: Elderly Couple Pass Away Six Years Apart Due to Mental Distress from the Persecution

An elderly couple in Shizuishan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region passed away in 2016 and 2022, respectively, after enduring decades of mental distress from arrests and harassment for their faith in Falun Gong.

After the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, the couple, Mr. Cui Yacheng and Ms. Hou Xiufang, were closely monitored and frequently harassed by the police. Their home was raided in December 2000 and they were taken to the police station for interrogation, followed by five days of detention. Less than twenty days after they were released, the police arrested them again. However, given the strong protest from their family, the police released the couple as the Chinese New Year was coming up.

To avoid the persecution, the couple moved to their hometown in Dalian City, Liaoning Province in April 2001 and stayed there for the next eight years, before moving to Yinchuan City, the capital of Ningxia.

On the evening of September 16, 2014, the police broke into the couple’s home. They videotaped every room and Ms. Hou, as well as recording her voice. The couple moved back to nearby Shizuishan City shortly after.

Mr. Cui filed a criminal complaint in the second half of 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution in 1999. His complaint was intercepted by the police in Shizuishan City. They called his son several times to intimidate him. Mr. Cui was terrified and worried that his son would be implicated in the persecution. He developed a medical condition and passed away in early February 2016. He was 80.

Ms. Hou was arrested on November 30, 2016, after being recorded distributing Falun Gong information in a neighborhood five days before. 

While interrogating Ms. Hou at the police station, the officers forced her to sign the deposition record and her 10-day administrative detention notice. Due to her advanced age of 77, she was exempted from serving the detention and taken back home by her daughter. Both her daughter and son were harassed and intimidated by the police. 

The police broke into Ms. Hou’s home, which she shared with her daughter, again on February 24, 2017. They searched the place and questioned Ms. Hou about where she’d been in the past few days, whether she travelled to Yinchuan, and what she did there. They accused her of “causing trouble,” without stating any specifics. 

Ms. Hou’s home was raided again during a mass arrests of local Falun Gong practitioners on May 10, 2018. The police and residential committee harassed her multiple times and ordered her to renounce Falun Gong during the “Zero-out” campaign in the second half of 2020. She was in deep fear and her health began to decline. She isolated herself and didn’t have much contact with others. She passed away in October 2022. She was 83.

Belated News: 73-Year-Old Cancer-Stricken Woman Dies After Police Harassment

Despite Ms. Tuo Wenxia’s late-stage cancer diagnosis, the police continued to harass the former school teacher in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, and threatened to arrest her again. Her condition kept deteriorating and she died on November 5, 2023, at the age of 73.

Ms. Tuo’s death followed her last two arrests three months apart. She was initially arrested on April 19, 2021 but denied admission to the local detention center after she was found to have fluid accumulation in her lungs during the required physical examination. She was then released on bail. The police took her back into custody on June 10, 2021 before releasing her on bail again after an unknown period of detention.

The police summoned Ms. Tuo in early March 2022 and threatened to indict her. Since mid-March 2022, she began to have systemic pain and constantly felt cold. She was found to have late-stage endometrial cancer, but the doctor couldn’t operate on her as she also had hyperthyroidism, which caused a metabolism disorder and influenced the progression of the endometrial cancer.

When Ms. Tuo’s bail expired on April 20, 2022, the police placed her under residential surveillance and threatened to arrest her again. They ordered her to report to them to sign the residential surveillance paperwork, but she was too weak to even walk out of her house. She also said no when the police demanded to have her ID as she needed it to seek treatments in the hospital.

In the months that followed, Ms. Tuo’s conditions kept worsening and she had fever and pain every day. She was taken to a hospital and the doctors found that her cancer had spread to other organs. She died on November 5, 2023.

Prior to her last two arrests, Ms. Tuo had been arrested five other times and had her home ransacked several times. Her daughter, Ms. Niu Xiaona, 47, was arrested with her on April 19 and ordered to serve 15 years, including a 14-year term previously given in 2004. Despite that she was allowed to serve the prior 14-year sentence outside of prison due to her physical disability, the authority claimed that she failed to provide official documentation proving she had served time and thus ordered her to serve the term again.

Hunan Woman Dies After Two Decades of Persecution

Ms. Yang Yueping, a Hengyang City, Hunan Province, resident, passed away on December 28, 2023 after enduring decades of persecution for practicing Falun Gong. She was around 60.

Ms. Yang and her mother-in-law Ms. Yi Shuqiong went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong in January 2000 and were arrested. They were later transferred back to Hengyang and detained for a month.

Ms. Yang was arrested again in May 2000 and held in a brainwashing center for 15 days. She returned to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in June 2000 and was arrested at the Beijing Train Station. During her detention in Beijing, her local government threatened and extorted her husband, taking away 11 rolls of fabric from her curtain store. Her mother-in-law, then in her 60s, was pushed to the ground. Ms. Yang was released in December 2000 after her family was forced to pay the Nanyue District 610 Office 5,000 yuan.

Yue Donghua, the 610 Office director, raided Ms. Yang’s home and store in 2001, with the excuse that she talked to people about Falun Gong and distributed informational materials. The goods worth over 50,000 yuan were taken from her store in two police raids. 

Ms. Yang was forced to close her store and started a street stall to make a living. Yet the authorities continued to harass her from time to time. 

In August 2003, when Jiang Zemin, the former communist regime head who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong, visited Nanyue District, Ms. Yang was closely monitored by the authorities. Her son wasn’t allowed to continue studying at the Nanyue District First Middle School. She tried to transfer him to a school in the suburb, but he was denied admission, rendering him unable to continue school.

Between 2004 and 2009, Ms. Yang was arrested almost once every year. After another police harassment in July 2009, she was forced to live away from home. Unable to find her, the police turned to her mother-in-law. The distressed woman didn’t dare to stay at home anymore. Unfortunately, just as she was on the way to her daughter’s home, she was hit by a motorcycle and passed away days later.

Two months later in September 2009, Ms. Yang’s aunt, Ms. Yang Julan, also died. The older woman was previously detained multiple times in the detention center and brainwashing centers for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Yang was seized by the police when she went to the hospital to visit her aunt and later given one year of forced labor. She was tortured and forced to watch anti-Falun Gong materials. She also developed diabetes and was emaciated when she was released.

The police continued to harass Ms. Yang after her release. As a result of the mental distress, her health kept declining and she passed away on December 28, 2023.

Having Lost His Wife and Son and Served Ten Years for Raising Awareness about the Persecution, 71-Year-Old Incapacitated Man Dies in Despair

Having lost his wife and son in the persecution of Falun Gong, a 71-year-old man in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, faced constant harassment and was threatened with prison sentence, even when he had already become incapacitated. He passed away on January 10, 2024. 

Mr. Su Anzhou (right), his late wife and son

The death of Mr. Su Anzhou, a former railroad bureau worker, capped his over two decades of suffering. He was arrested in late December 2000 when he went to Beijing with his wife, Ms. Geng Cuifang, to appeal for Falun Gong. He was given one year of forced labor and Ms. Geng was held in the detention center until October 2001.

As soon as Mr. Su left home a around 6 a.m. on June 13, 2002, he was arrested by the police waiting outside. After taking him away, the police went to his home on the sixth floor and knocked on the door. Ms. Geng refused to open the door. As the police wouldn’t leave, she tried to escape from the window through a rope, but fell on the ground when the rope broke. Upon seeing that she was alive, her neighbors tried to send her to the hospital, but the police didn’t let them. Instead, the police took her keys, broke into her home, took away her valuables and left. She was left lying on the ground and exposed to the baking sun. She died hours later in great pain. She was only 48.

Mr. Su was arrested again three months later on September 18, 2002, for tapping into local TV signal to broadcast information about Falun Gong. He was sentenced to ten years and subjected to relentless torture.

During the time he was in prison, his son, Su Wei, still a teenager, lived in displacement. He contracted a lung condition, which later developed into lung cancer. He couldn’t afford the medical treatment and was often starved. He died on August 4, 2006. 

Although Mr. Su survived the torture in prison, he continued to face frequent harassment after he was released on January 26, 2010. He was arrested again on August 23, 2022, but was soon released on house arrest due to his extremely weak health.

Despite the fact that Mr. Su had lost the ability to take care of himself, the local police and the residential committee still harassed him and attempted to force him to sign statements to renounce Falun Gong, threatening to suspend his low-income subsidy if he didn’t comply. After the COVID-19 peak passed, Mr. Su’s sister came from Beijing to care for him in early 2023. Only then did his condition improve a bit.

The police arrested Mr. Su again in late October 2023 and took him to the detention center. As he was already incapacitated, the police released him on house arrest and threatened that he wasn’t allowed to leave home. After struggling with failing health for a few more months, Mr. Su passed away on January 10, 2024, at the age of 71.

Related Report:

Reported in 2023: 209 Falun Gong Practitioners Die in the Persecution of Their Faith