Ms. Tang Xiaoyan suffered an acute headache after drinking a bottle of water the police gave her following her arrest on August 28, 2015, for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former communist regime's leader who initiated the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Ms. Tang, who was from Guilin City, Guangxi Province, initially thought her headache was induced by the police hitting her head against the wall and forcing her arm up behind her back when they arrested her. She drank more water, trying to calm herself down.
As she was drinking, one officer came over and stopped her, “Don't drink it! Don't drink it!” he said. He then ordered another officer to take the water away.
“You probably won't have many days left.” a third officer said to her.
The police later submitted her case to the procuratorate, which later dismissed her case, citing insufficient evidence. The police then put her under house arrest for 12 months.
Ms. Tang's health deteriorated quickly. She lost her memory, hearing, and vision. She also suffered from constant drowsiness and incontinence.
In March 2017, shortly after the Chinese New Year, Ms. Tang suddenly had loose bowels and lost consciousness. She passed away two days later when all her organs failed. She was 69.
Persecuted for Not Renouncing Her Faith
Ms. Tang was born into a family of intellectuals that was very well known and respected by the locals. Her father was a physicist and vice chancellor of Guangxi Normal University. Her uncle, Tang Xianzhi, was a renowned educator and founder of several colleges in Guangxi Province.
Ms. Tang used to suffer from diabetes, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis, among many other ailments. She had her uterus and ovaries removed to avoid complications, but the surgery resulted in side effects, including hormone issues and a neurological disorder. She practised many different schools of qigong to try to improve her health, but none of them had much of an effect on her.
She later learned about Falun Gong from a relative. Her insomnia, hormone imbalance, and Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) soon disappeared. Her diabetes also improved to such an extent that she no longer needed medication or insulin injections.
After the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, however, Ms. Tang was repeatedly harassed and arrested for not renouncing her faith. Many of her health issues that were once cured through practicing Falun Gong recurred, especially her diabetes. She developed complications while she was detained and was in critical condition several times.
Ms. Tang was first arrested on July 22, 1999, while visiting a fellow practitioner. She was detained for three days, charged with “disrupting public order.”
She was arrested again in May 2001. The police broke into her home and ransacked her residence in front of her father, who was in his 80s.
She was held at the local detention centre for a month and then sent to a forced labour camp for “undermining law enforcement.” But she developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes, while she was still being detained and had to be hospitalized. She was then released on medical parole.
The authorities took her to a brainwashing centre in May 2005. The guards slapped her face when she refused to write statements to renounce her faith. They also deprived her of sleep, denied her water, and placed a very bright bulb in front of her eyes.
Ms. Tang suffered from ketoacidosis and was hospitalized again before the end of the brainwashing session. The doctors issued two “critical condition” notices.
She was arrested for the fourth time in 2010 and sent to a forced labour camp for a year. As a result of improper medical care in the labour camp, she had to be taken to the hospital again for ketoacidosis.
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