Many Falun Gong practitioners lose their lives each year under brutal persecution at the hands of the Chinese communist regime. According to Minghui website reports, at least 76 practitioners died in 2013. Twelve people died in 2012 but their deaths were not exposed until later. Nine deaths from previous years were verified in 2013.
Among the deaths in 2013, eight practitioners were tortured to death by detention centre guards, 10 were tortured to death because they refused to be “transformed” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] in brainwashing centres and forced labour camps, 29 practitioners died in prisons, and 29 practitioners were arrested several times and died of prolonged persecution. One-third of this group included middle-aged practitioners.
Despite what the Chinese authorities would have the world believe, endemic abuse of human rights and freedom of belief continue to this day in China. Falun Gong practitioners continue to be arbitrarily arrested, sentenced to prison and forced labour, and taken to brainwashing centres where they are pressured to renounce their beliefs through brainwashing and torture. Practitioners continue to die as a direct result of persecution. Because the Chinese authorities strictly block information about the persecution of Falun Gong, many death cases remain hidden from public knowledge.
This review summarizes the more recent known death cases of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in 2013 and 2012.
A. Unexplained Deaths in Police Custody
Mr. Deng Huaiying was born in 1970 and graduated from the Beijing Electric Power University with a Master's degree in finance in 1997. He began practising Falun Gong in 1995. After the persecution began, he was imprisoned twice, serving a total of 12 years, for practising his belief.
Mr. Deng was arrested again, in Haidian District, Beijing, on April 27th, 2013, when he was distributing information about the persecution of Falun Gong. He was held at the Haidian Detention Centre. His family and friends were told on May 15th, 2013, that he had died in the detention centre.
While his family was trying to gain information from the police department about Mr. Deng's death, the Haidian Detention Centre secretly cremated Mr. Deng's body, on May 28th, 2013. His family and friends may now never know the details of what happened to Mr. Deng. The fact that his body was secretly cremated without their consent raises serious suspicions regarding the events that led to his death while in custody.
Mr. Yang Zhonggeng, 38, was a Falun Gong practitioner from Ruian City, Zhejiang Province. He was brutally tortured ten years ago by local police officers.
Mr. Yang was arrested again in Zhengzhou City on June 24th, 2013. It is believed that he was tortured to death on June 28th, just four days after the arrest. When Mr. Yang's mother viewed her son's body she was overtaken with grief and lost consciousness. She was so shocked by what she saw that she has been unable to speak to this day.
The Lingbao 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) has attempted to cover up the truth of what happened, even going so far as to claim that Mr. Yang committed suicide.
Ms. Wang Xianyin, 48, was a Falun Gong practitioner from Shilingzi Village of Dazhu Town in Wanyuan City, Sichuan Province. She and her husband were arrested by twelve officers from the Wanyuan City 610 Office, the Domestic Security Division, the Hexi Police Station, the Dazhu Police Station, and the Dazhu Comprehensive Administrative Office on October 25th, 2012. Ms. Wang was brutally beaten that day and afterwards, and her physical condition gradually deteriorated. She died on May 4th, 2013.
The following practitioners also lost their lives while in police custody in 2013: Mr. Yang Minghua from Shunyi District in Beijing; Mr. Liang Jinshu from Luobei County in Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province; Ms. Ma Changyue from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province; Mr. Zhu Changkui from Macheng City, Hubei Province; and Ms. Huang Yuanran, an art teacher from the Changgang Branch of Guangxi Teacher's University.
B. Severe Abuse, Including Forced Drug Administration, in Brainwashing Centres and Labour Camps Result in Death
Mr. Ding Wenbin, 61, a Falun Gong practitioner from Shehong County, Sichuan Province, was arrested by officers from the local Domestic Security Division on April 21st, 2013. He was taken to the Shehong County Detention Centre and held for 15 days, then transferred to the Suining Brainwashing Centre. After being tortured in the brainwashing centre for 30 days, he was suddenly released.
Mr. Ding's health deteriorated very quickly over the ensuing 104 days after his release, and he passed away on the evening of September 16th, 2013. According to a source with inside information, Mr. Ding was drugged and poisoned at the brainwashing centre as part of efforts to force him to renounce his belief.
Ms. Zhang Yan, 46, was a mathematics teacher in Bengbu City, Anhui Province. She was arrested and taken to a brainwashing centre in May 2010. She was brutally abused and subjected to intense brainwashing, but refused to yield. Some time later, her liver disease, which had been cured after she began practising Falun Gong, recurred and she died on April 23rd, 2013.
Ms. Zhang Fuying, 66, was repeatedly arrested for her belief in Falun Gong. She was sentenced to a forced labour term of two years and two months. She was also detained at the Xili Brainwashing Centre three times.
Ms. Zhang was arrested again and taken to the Xili Brainwashing Centre on November 8th, 2012. There she became seriously ill. Her body swelled and her abdomen filled with fluid. She was sent home on December 29th, 2012. She died at 10:00 p.m. on February 18th, 2013.
Mr. Wu Ruixiang, in his fifties, was a practitioner from Nanguan Village of Li County, Hebei Province. He was arrested on April 23rd, 2012, and taken to the Handan Forced Labour Camp.
Guard Gao Fei and others deprived Mr. Wu of sleep and ordered inmates to monitor him around the clock. Mr. Wu was forced to stand for long periods of time, sit on a small stool, and attend brainwashing sessions. He was verbally abused and threatened. The guards did not allow him to take showers, change his clothes, or have family visits.
Mr. Wu was given forced injections of unknown drugs. His health continued to deteriorate over a ten-day period and he was released on September 5th, 2012. He could not recover and died on January 18th, 2013.
Ms. Xu Decun, 52, was a practitioner from Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province. She was extremely weak after being released from a forced labour camp in 2012. She showed the symptoms of being poisoned. She was sent to the Zaozhuang City Hospital on September 1st, 2013, in critical condition. She was sent to the intensive care unit at 5:00 a.m. on September 6th, and the doctor announced right away that she was brain dead.
Mr. Li Riqing, 56, a crane operator from the Xiangtan Steel Corporation, was persecuted for eight years. He was taken to the Xiangtan Psychiatric Hospital three times and was eventually tortured to death.
Medical staff at the hospital were ordered to forcibly administer antipsychotic drugs to Mr. Li, who had no symptoms or history of mental illness. He was shocked with electric batons, handcuffed, and beaten. He suffered from inhuman mental and physical abuse until he died.
C. Deaths in Prison, or Shortly after Release
It has been verified that at least 29 Falun Gong practitioners lost their lives in prisons in 2013. They endured various brutal tortures including beatings, drug injections, solitary confinement, and forced-feedings.
Mr. Guo Xiaowen, a practitioner from Shangwang Village of Wangqiao Town in Xiangyuan County, Shanxi Province, was arrested in August 2012. He was later sentenced to a three-year prison term and taken to the Jinzhong Prison (also known as the Shanxi No. 1 Prison) around March 6th, 2013. He was brutally beaten, subjected to solitary confinement, force-fed, and tortured. Within days of being imprisoned, he died at the age of 40, on March 12th, 2013.
When Mr. Guo's family was viewing his body, they saw two red marks on his head. Just as they were about to undo his clothes to check further, the guards stopped them and forced them to leave. They were only given a few minutes with his body.
Mr. Guo left behind a wife, parents in their seventies, and a ten-year-old son. The family is overwhelmed with grief and is troubled by the questions and great injustice surrounding his death.
Mr. Zhao Bin was born on May 20th, 1955. He lived on East Beigong Street, in the Kuiwen District of Weifang City, Shandong Province. He was arrested by officers from the Jiangsu Road Police Station on April 27th, 2012, while doing business in Shanghai.
Mr. Zhao was tried at the Changning District Court, along with Mr. Pang Guangwen, on July 11th, 2013. Mr. Zhao and Mr. Pang pled not-guilty to partaking in any illegal activity. However, the trial was a sham and Mr. Zhao was sentenced to a four-year prison term and Mr. Pang to a five-year term.
Mr. Zhao was taken to the Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai on September 3rd, 2013. Torture methods at Tilanqiao Prison, to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith, included long-term sleep deprivation, and beatings with multiple electronic batons. The prison guards also ordered other inmates to brutally beat practitioners. As a result torture and abuse, Mr. Zhao died on October 19th, 2013, at the age of 58.
Ms. Liu Qingmei was a practitioner from Daxiapo Village of Shidui Township, in Anqiu City, Shandong Province. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2003, but the prison refused to admit her because she had high blood pressure.
Ms. Liu was imprisoned in the Shandong Province Women's Prison in 2008. There, the guards stripped her naked and frequently tortured her.
Ms. Liu became mentally traumatized due to torture and eventually became unable to walk. She developed high blood pressure and suffered from kidney disease. Ms. Liu passed away at age 54, in the Anqiu City Hospital on September 3rd, 2013.
Ms. He Chengyu, also 54, was a practitioner from Heshi Town, Da County, Sichuan Province. Officers from the Da County Domestic Security Division and the Heshi Town Police Station arrested her on May 6th, 2012.
While detained at the Dazhou Detention Centre, Ms. He was brutally force-fed by guards and inmates. She was later secretly sentenced to a five-year prison term and subjected to more severe torture at the Yangmahe Prison. The guards sent her to the prison hospital after she was brutally beaten. Ms. He died in November 2013.
A number of practitioners still held in prisons are in critical condition due to severe mistreatment. However, the prisons will not release them for medical treatment until they are on the verge of death. As a result, practitioners often die shortly after being released from prison.
Ms. Wang Wuhui was a practitioner from Pingjiang County of Yueyang City, Hunan Province. Ms. Wang was arrested and her home ransacked several times. She was sentenced twice and held for seven years in the Hunan Women’s Prison. As a result of continual abuse, including torture, her body swelled, she had lasting high fevers, and coughed up blood. She couldn't eat, stand, or walk. Ms. Wang was eventually diagnosed with late-stage kidney failure.
The prison released Ms. Wang on medical parole in November 2010, when she was was already in critical condition. Her family took her to the hospital, but all of her internal organs were failing. She passed away on December 24th, 2012, at the age of 62.
Ms. Wang Chunling was a worker from the Huaiyang County Textile Factory in Zhoukou City, Henan Province. She was sentenced to a ten-year prison term on July 8th, 2004, and sent to the Xinxiang Women's Prison in Henan Province. The prison released her on medical parole in June 2011.
Ms. Wang was carried home in a nearly vegetative state. She could not hear, had muscle atrophy in her right arm, and could not use her right hand because of constant spasms. Her right leg was paralyzed, and she could only move her head slightly. She was terrified upon hearing any mention of the prison. She passed away at 3:40 a.m. on May 3rd, 2013, at the age of 52.
Mr. Qu Shanlin, 67, was a retired worker from Fengcheng City, Liaoning Province. Mr. Qu was sentenced to a three-year prison term in December 2010. He was subject to several cruel tortures in the Dongling Prison. As a result, his health sharply deteriorated and he was eventually diagnosed with stomach cancer. Nearly two-thirds of his stomach had to be surgically removed.
To shirk responsibility, the prison authorities finally granted him medical parole in late 2011. At that time, he was already extremely emaciated and weak. Mr. Qu passed away on May 16th, 2012.
Mr. Ma Tianjun was a teacher from Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province. The Nanming District Court in Guiyang City sentenced him and his wife, Ms. Li Yi, to eleven years in prison. Mr. Ma was taken to Duyun Prison and his wife was sent to Yangai Prison.
In Duyun Prison, Mr. Ma was handcuffed with his arms behind his back, and the handcuffs were attached to the window bars. This torture continued for 25 days. He was also force-fed water containing chilli powder, shocked with electric batons, and whipped with a belt. In the winter, he was not allowed to have a blanket. He was also tied to two beds with his arms stretched out for nearly 40 days. The prison granted him medical parole when he was dying. After his release, Mr. Ma did not recover, and passed away on July 3rd, 2013, at the age of 54.
D. Years of Relentless Persecution Take Tragic Toll
Many Falun Gong practitioners have been repeatedly arrested by the Chinese authorities over the past 14-plus years, and their lives have been devastated in forced labour camps and prisons. A number of them have died as a result of the relentless trauma of ongoing persecution.
Ms. Guo Boqin, born in 1966, was a Falun Gong practitioner from Chenzhou City, Hunan Province. She had been arrested and detained more than ten times since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999. She was sentenced twice and spent a total of almost six years in prison. While in prison and detention, Ms. Guo was subjected to cruel torture methods, including being handcuffed for long periods of time, confinement to a small cell, forced-feedings, beatings, strenuous forced labour, long-term sun exposure, and long-term starvation.
When she was released from the Changsha Women's Prison, Ms. Guo was emaciated and unable to walk. Her hair had turned grey, and she suffered from recurring illnesses, including uterus and rectal prolapse and fluid in the peritoneal cavity.
More than ten police officers from the Chenzhou City Domestic Security Department broke into and ransacked Ms. Guo's home on October 27th, 2012, and arrested her once again. Her health declined rapidly and she passed away on April 18th, 2013, at the age of 47.
Ms. Guo's 71-year-old mother witnessed the violent arrest of her daughter. Her mother was so traumatized that she went into convulsions. She had symptoms of a stroke, and became bedridden. Ms. Guo Boqin's death was a heavy blow to this older woman, who was already ill, and she too passed away on June 5th, 2013, a little over a month after her daughter's death.
Ms. Song Meilan, 69, was a retired worker from the Panjiang Chemical Factory in Guizhou Province. She was arrested four times, because she believed in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the principles of Falun Gong. She was taken to the Guizhou Women’s Forced Labour Camp in September 2002. Just three months later, Ms. Song was dying, with severe abdominal swelling. She was released after her family was extorted of 8,000 yuan1 in cash.
Ms. Song was again arrested in March 2003 and taken to Lannigou Brainwashing Centre. She was subjected to extreme mistreatment for two months at the brainwashing centre, and was again in critical condition when she was released.
Ms. Song was arrested again in April 2005 and detained for seven days. She was arrested a final time in August 2012 and detained for two days, for distributing Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs [Shen Yun performance, a New York-based world-class traditional Chinese cultural show]. After enduring long-term persecution she died on September 13th, 2012.
Mr. Ma Dongquan, his wife, Ms. Jin Runfang, and their son, Mr. Ma Guobiao are Falun Gong practitioners from Shanghai. The local police arrested them at their home on February 22nd, 2008, while more than a dozen practitioners were there watching New Tang Dynasty Television's New Year's Performance [New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV), a TV company that broadcasts programmes exposing the persecution of Falun Gong].
Mr. Ma was detained for eight months, during which time he developed a serious illness. He was later sentenced to three years in prison and put on probation for four years. His son was sentenced to a six-year prison term, and his wife to four years. Both his son and wife are still incarcerated.
While on medical probation at home, Mr. Ma Dongquan was monitored by local officials from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, the 610 Office, and the residential office. He was so closely monitored that friends and family could not help him. He was taken to the Qingpu Brainwashing Center on August 4th, 2009.
During the opening ceremony of the World Expo in 2010, Mr. Ma was ordered to stay in the local residential office.
Mr. Ma was in a car crash in the spring of 2011, and taken to a hospital for surgery. Officers then took him to an unknown location. In 2013, he became bedridden as a result of relentless stress he endured while being persecuted. He died on December 13th, 2013.
Ms. Yan Zongfang, from Cangxi County in Guangyuan City, Sichuan Province, started practising Falun Gong in 1997, after which all of her diseases disappeared. Ms. Yan had been incarcerated for almost 11 of the 14-plus years that the CCP has been persecuting Falun Gong.
Over the years, Ms. Yan endured countless rounds of mental and physical torture, unbearable pain, and forced drug injections. She was living under a “forced labour sentence outside of the labour camp,” a sentence imposed by the local 610 Office at the time of her death. She died on June 5th, 2013, at the age of 65.
E. One-third of Those Who Died Were the Backbone of their Communities and Families
Among the more than 70 deaths in 2013, nearly 30 practitioners were in their forties or fifties, accounting for more than one third. They included successful professionals, including officials, doctors, teachers, and corporate executives. Their deaths have left a hole in society and have brought great sorrow to their families.
These practitioners include:
Mr. Deng Huaiying, 41, who graduated from the Beijing Electric Power University with a Master's degree in finance in 1997. He died after being tortured in Haidian Detention Centre, on May 15th, 2013.
Mr. Yang Zhonggeng, 38, from Ruian City, Zhejiang Province was beaten to death on June 28th, 2013.
Mr. Guo Xiaowen, 40, from Shangwang Village of Wangqiao Town in Xiangyuan County, Shanxi Province, died after abuse and torture on March 12th, 2013.
Mr. Wu Ruixiang, in his fifties, from Nanguan Village in Li County, Hebei Province, died on January 18th, 2013.
Ms. Xu Decun, 52, from Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province, died on September 6th, 2013.
Ms. Zhang Yan, 46, a mathematics teacher from Bengbu City, Anhui Province, was tortured and died on April 23rd, 2013.
Mr. Zheng Hongchang, from Dezhou, died at the age of 37.
Other practitioners who have lost their lives due to the persecution over the past one to two years:
Ms. Zheng Guiyou, 48, from Huidong County in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, was persecuted to death in the Guangdong Women’s Prison around December 30th, 2012.
Mr. Cao Jingyu, 40, lived in Qiaokou District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province. He was imprisoned for seven years for his belief in Falun Gong. Mr. Cao was injured in prison. Upon his release, agents from the local 610 Office continued to harass him at home, and his health deteriorated. He died on September 22nd, 2013.
Ms. Wang Xiuqing, 44, a Falun Gong practitioner from Heilongjiang Province, was arrested and detained many times, sentenced to forced labour twice, and routinely threatened and harassed for maintaining her spiritual belief. She was arrested again in early July 2013 by officers from the Qiqihar Railway Police Department and Amur Railway Police Station. She passed away on July 18th, 2013.
Ms. Dong Yanlian, 50, a Falun Gong practitioner from Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, was persecuted several times. She passed away on August 1st, 2013.
Mr. Yuan Hongwei, 45, was a practitioner from Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. He was forced to undergo craniotomy surgery while detained in the Xinmi Prison in Zhengzhou. Mr. Yuan was paralyzed when he was released from prison in 2011. He passed away on January 23rd, 2013.
Mr. Fang Zhengping, 57, from Xichang City, Sichuan Province, died after torture in Yunnan No. 1 Prison.
Ms. Wu Shuyan, 47, from Dadong District, Shenyang City, was persecuted in Liaoning Women's Prison. She had abdominal swelling and passed away on June 2nd, 2013.
Mr. Li Jinpeng, 47, from Beijing, endured torture while being detained in prison. He passed away on August 15th, 2013, just six months after being released.
Mr. Meng Qingfu, 57, from Tangshan City, was the former deputy secretary of Kaiping Town Office. He was tortured in the Jidong Prison and the Baoding Prison. He passed away on March 22nd, 2013.
Mr. Li Min, 52, was a former employee of the Hulan District Finance Bureau in Harbin City. He passed away on May 26th, 2009, in Daqing Prison.
Ms. Guo Boqin, 47, from Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, passed away on April 18th, 2013.
Mr. Dang Aimin, 50, was a former employee of the Zhaogezhuang Mining Company in Guye District, Tangshang City, Hebei Province. He was repeatedly detained and tortured in forced labour camps, brainwashing centres, and detention centres. He passed away on October 18th, 2012.
Ms. Liu Rongxiang, 46, from Daqing City, was arrested, detained, and subjected to forced labour terms many times over the past 12 years. She was severely traumatized, both mentally and physically, and passed away on May 10th, 2013.
Ms. Wu Shuyan, 47, from Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, was subjected to solitary confinement in the Liaoning Women's Prison for three years. She was also forced to do hard labour 12 hours per day. By February 11th, 2013, she had extensive fluid accumulation in her abdomen and she could not lie down or sleep. She passed away on June 2nd, 2013.
Ms. Xiu Jinqiu, 52, from Donggang City, Liaoning Province, was arrested and tortured by the secretary of Linjiang Community and officers from Zhenxing District on September 5th, 2013. She was released that same day. Ms. Xiu, along with her husband and daughter, were arrested again on September 9th. Her health deteriorated due to the intense persecution and she passed away on November 28th, 2013.
Mr. Yang Zhenlu, 57, from Wanquan County, Hebei Province, died on June 7th, 2013, as a result of persecution.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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