Woman Dies While Serving 3.5 Years for Practising Falun Gong, Family Suspects Foul Play

Ms. Li Guixiang died in late September 2015 while serving three and a half years for practising and spreading information about Falun Gong, a spiritual practice being persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime.

Ms. Li's daughter received a phone call from Longquanyi Prison around 6 p.m. on September 29th, notifying her that her mother was in critical condition. A second call came nine hours later, announcing that Ms. Li had passed away despite emergency rescue. Her family, however, wasn't given the exact time of her death.

Though Ms. Li's husband, daughter, and son-in-law were allowed to see her body, two relatives were turned away for not being her immediate family members. The guards claimed that Ms. Li died of natural causes and pressured the family to agree to a quick cremation of the body.

At the time of writing, Ms. Li's family has not heard anything further from the prison authorities, who hinted at compensation in exchange for the family's cooperation.

Ms. Li's imprisonment followed her arrest on October 6th, 2013. She was sentenced to three and a half years in June 2014 and soon transferred to Longyuanyi Prison. Her family suspected that she might have been tortured during her imprisonment, as she was only in her early 50's and had no prior medical conditions.

Prior to her latest imprisonment, Ms. Li was twice arrested in 2000, spent three years in a labour camp from 2001 to 2004, and sentenced to three years in 2008, all for refusing to give up her belief in Falun Gong.

Each time when Ms. Li was arrested, she was subjected to various forms of abuse. In particular, after she was arrested for the third time in July 2001, she was beaten unconscious. Nanmusi Women's Labour Camp initially declined to admit her due to her severe injuries, but the camp authorities eventually gave in to the police pressure.

The labour camp guards didn't make Ms. Li's life any easier, as they tried every means to inflict harm on her. She was once forced to stand for long periods of time without sleep or use of the toilet. The guards didn't allow her to change her soiled trousers.

The relentless persecution of Ms. Li drove away her husband, who divorced her around 2004. Later, he re-married her after seeing how she still took great care of his bed-ridden mother even after their divorce.

Now that Ms. Li is gone, her family is left to grieve the loss of a loving wife, mother, and daughter-in-law.

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