During the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong over the past several years, the practitioners in Hongjiang, Hunan Province, have suffered a great deal for being steadfast in their belief in Falun Gong. As of now, five of them have died as a result of the persecution.
1. Ms. Zhao Lihua, in her 50s, was a teacher at the Hongjiang No. 3 Middle School. She started practising Falun Gong in 1998 and her health showed great improvement. Her students also improved significantly after she began the practice. From 2000 on, Ms. Zhao was unlawfully detained at detention centres several times for her belief in Falun Gong. She was under strict watch by the police after she was arrested in Beijing and sent back to her local police in 2001. She had several thousand yuan1 extorted from her for her release, however, she lost her freedom to return home. One of the police officers involved in the persecution, Zhou Wei, was a former student. This hurt her deeply. In the same year, her home was searched and her Dafa books were taken by the police, which caused her to go into a deep depression. She passed away after being on a hunger strike.
2. Ms. Yu Yongsu, in her 50s, was a retiree of the Hongjiang Paper Factory. She started to practise Falun Gong in early 1998, and her diseases disappeared. In 2002, the local 610 Office2 staff came to her home to force her to turn in her Dafa books. When she refused, the 610 Office staff started to search her home. Her son was so frightened that he gave them her books. Ms. Yu was under great pressure after her books were taken away, which caused the recurrence of her diseases. She died three days after the incident.
3. Mr. Lu, an elderly man in his 70s, lived in Hongjiang, which was his hometown and where he went to live after he had retired in Taiwan. After he began practising Falun Gong in late 1997, he did not need to use a walking cane which he had been using for years, and his hair started to regain its dark colour. His health was as good as a youth's. When the persecution began in 1999, he was too scared to continue practising after seeing many practitioners around him being arrested. His old diseases recurred and he passed away in 2001.
4. Mr. Yu Xueyong, in his 60s, was a retiree of the Hongjiang Paper Factory. He learned Falun Gong in 1998 and regained his health. He was able to do heavy labour again and felt that Dafa was good from the bottom of his heart. He had feared the CCP for a long time, especially since the persecution started. He was forced to give up his Dafa books under pressure from his workplace, and he died of a stroke in early 2001.
5. Ms. Zhou Juying, 49, suffered from severe liver and stomach problems, but regained her health after practising Dafa. When the persecution began, the local authorities tried to force her to lie that it was the hospital that had cured her, but she refused. Police officer Zhou Wei hung her up on the stairs for a whole night, which caused her to almost lose consciousness. The police released her out of fear that she might die, but they often harassed her and threatened her afterwards. Ms. Zhou passed away on September 19th, 2006.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
2. "The 610 office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2006/11/24/143141.html
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