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Belated News: Incapacitated for a Decade Due to Torture, Liaoning Woman Dies Months after Her Pension Is Suspended

March 28, 2024 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Liaoning Province, China


Name: Huo XiuqinChinese Name: 霍秀芹Gender: FemaleAge: 63City: FuxinProvince: LiaoningOccupation: N/ADate of Death: February 3, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 2, 2008Most Recent Place of Detention: Liaoning Province Women’s Prison

Although a Fuxin City, Liaoning Province, resident survived brutal torture while she was incarcerated for practicing Falun Gong, she remained bedridden for the next 12 years and relied on her husband and mother to care for her. The destitute family was dealt a hard blow when the authorities suddenly suspended Ms. Huo Xiuqin’s pension in late 2022. The 63-year-old woman’s health deteriorated and she passed away months later.

Ms. Huo was arrested on September 2, 2008, by police officers Gao Nan and Zhu Hongyan in a public plaza for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was held at the Xindi Detention Center and later sentenced to three years by the Haizhou District Court. Although the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison initially refused to admit her due to her high blood pressure, the guards took her in after Wang Zhonghong, the director of the Xindi Detention Center, bribed them.

In the prison, Ms. Huo was beaten, verbally abused, exposed to freezing temperatures, and denied restroom use. In July 2009, her systolic blood pressure was as high as 250 mmHg, when a normal reading is no more than 120 mmHg. She needed help to walk. Despite her condition, the prison refused to release her for medical treatment. When her family demanded to see her, the guards ordered them to slander Falun Gong before they approved the request. It’s not clear whether her family was allowed to visit her.

In the winter of 2009, because Ms. Huo refused to do the forced labor, the guards carried her to the hallway and opened the window to let the freezing cold wind blow on her. Her feet became severely frostbitten, and large blisters formed. The low temperature also made her chest feel tight and she had difficulty breathing. The guards also refused to allow her to use the restroom and she was forced to wet her pants. Her commissary account was also frozen by the guards, and she was unable to buy daily necessities. She couldn’t even buy a bag of instant noodles during the 2010 Chinese New Year. Anyone who shared their food with her was reprimanded.

Ms. Huo was taken to the hospital on November 1, 2010, because she could no longer move her legs and arms. In addition to her persistent and dangerously high blood pressure, she was also found to have had a stroke and a severe heart condition. The prison authorities refused to release her, but ordered her family to pay for her medical treatment. After her family gave them 500 yuan, she was admitted to the hospital the next day for the initial treatment.

The prison arranged four guards, who refused to reveal their names, to watch Ms. Huo and her family, who stayed in the hospital to care for her. Her family was not allowed to ask her about the torture she was subjected to in prison. No one else was allowed to get close to her.

After spending only one day in the hospital, Ms. Huo was taken back to the prison by more than ten guards on the afternoon of November 3. Her condition did not improve after the brief treatment. When her family went to the prison to reason with the guards, they covered their badges and were very rude. They still refused to allow her family to visit her.

The prison finally released Ms. Huo on medical parole in May 2011 when she became completely incapacitated. This was four months before her three-year sentence would have ended.

Ms. Huo’s husband quit his job to care for her. With his and her elderly mother’s meticulous care, she survived. The family lived on Ms. Huo’s 2,300-yuan monthly pension and barely made ends meet. It dealt the family a hard blow when the Fuxin Social Security Bureau suddenly suspended Ms. Huo’s pension in October 2022, with the excuse that she wasn’t qualified for the payment because of her prison sentence ten years before.

Afterwards, Ms. Huo’s condition declined quickly. She passed away months later on February 3, 2023.

Related Report:

Ms. Huo Xiuqin Persecuted in Liaoning Women’s Prison