85-Year-Old Man Second to Die After Group Arrest for Their Faith

An 85-year-old retired bank employee in Yongning County, Ningxia Province died on June 2, 2020, nearly nine months after he was targeted in a group arrest for his faith in Falun Gong. Another Falun Gong practitioner arrested on the same day died in custody earlier this year.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Ren Chuntian and his wife, Ms. Chen Shuhui, 80, a retired pharmaceutical company employee, were arrested at home on September 19, 2019. The police ransacked their home and brought them to the local police station for interrogation. A guest of theirs, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong and happened to be visiting the couple when the police arrived, was also arrested and interrogated.

Another eleven local practitioners were arrested the same day. Mr. Xie Nanfang passed away on February 28, 2020 while being held at the Yinchuan City Detention Center. He was 64.

Although Mr. Ren and Ms. Chen were soon released on bail due to their advanced age, the authorities kept harassing them at home or over the phone. Mr. Ren became depressed and lost his appetite. He took a fall in May 2020 and died weeks later.

The couple has been targeted before for their faith. They were both arrested on February 4, 2002. Mr. Ren was given three years of forced labour after two months of detention. Ms. Chen was given two years of forced labour after three days of detention.

In August 2016, the police broke into Mr. Ren’s home and confiscated his computer, Falun Gong books, and a photo of the founder of Falun Gong.

In March 2018, the police returned and attempted to force the couple to renounce their faith. They refused to betray their belief.

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