Confirmed Deaths of 31 Teachers From Persecution Between 2018 and 2021

Based on an original report from

Thirty-one teachers in China were persecuted to death between January 2018 and August 2021 for practicing Falun Gong, according to the available information collected by

The practitioners, aged 41 to 85, taught in all education levels, from elementary school to college. Their specializations ranged from pharmacy, technology, history, language, and geography. Some also served as school principals and a number were retired educators. A majority were award-winnng faculty at their schools and beloved by their students.

For reasons as simple as doing the Falun Gong exercises to raising awareness of their persecuted faith, however, the teachers were incarcerated for extended periods and faced unfathomable torture in custody.

Many teachers were also denied proper medical treatment after being severely tortured in custody.

When a father of a middle school teacher visited her, he noted that his once healthy daughter was unable to walk after two years of imprisonment. A month later, she passed away.

A middle school history teacher developed severe heart condition and was on the verge of death countless times over 14 years of incarceration. Unable to work after he was released, he was reduced to picking leftover vegetables from a farmer’s market to survive. He passed away in 2021.  

Among the 31 deceased teachers, 18 of whom were females, 9 died in 2018, 9 in 2019, 10 in 2020, and 3 in 2021. The practitioners hailed from 13 provinces and municipalities, with Heilongjiang registering the most cases (5), followed by Hebei, Jiangsu, and Liaoning (each with 4 cases). Three cases took place in Gansu, two cases in Jilin, Shanxi, and Sichuan each, as well as one case in Chongqing, Fujian, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia each.

Two of the teachers were in their 40s, 13 in their 50s, 2 in their 60s, 6 in their 70s, and 4 in their 80s. Another 4 practitioners’ ages were unknown.

Below is a survey of the death cases.

Deaths in 2018

Award-winning Teacher Dies While Serving 7 Years for Her Faith

Ms. Sun Min

Ms. Sun Min, an award-winning middle school teacher in Anshan City, Liaoning Province, lost her job after the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. She was incarcerated four times, for a total of two years and four months, between 2000 and 2012. She was last arrested on June 28, 2016, she was sentenced to 7 years in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, where she was subjected to various forms of abuse and torture.

After Sun’s imprisonment, it was not until until February 7, 2018 that her father was not allowed to visit her. When her father finally saw her in the visitation room, he noted that his daughter, a once healthy woman, had to be carried out. She had lost the ability to walk as a result of torture.

A month later on March 8, her father was notified by the prison that his daughter has been transferred to Liaoning Province Prison Management Bureau General Hospital. He arrived at the hospital at 12:50 p.m. that day, shocked to find his daughter’s dead body.

Teacher Dies at 55 After Nearly Two Decades of Persecution

Dr. Zou Xiangyang, a professor at the Changchun Institute of Technology in Jilin Province, died on November 29, 2018 after nearly two decades of being persecuted for his faith.

Dr. Zou Xiangyang

Heartbroken by the death of their beloved teacher, Zou’s students wrote an account to honor his legacy and expose the inhumane persecution he was subject to.

Zou was persecuted so severely that he had reached the brink of death several times. He was arrested five times and incarcerated twice in forced labor camps. While he was detained, he was tortured and threatened numerous times.

While teaching on March 4, 2002, Zou was arrested by several officers from Changchun Police Department. He was tied to a metal chair and beaten and shocked with electric batons for an entire day. The next day he was taken to Tebei Detention Center, where he was held for one month before being transferred to the Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp to serve a three-year term.

In the labor camp, Zou was subject to numerous methods of torture, including being forced to sit on a small chair for long hours to the point his buttocks bled. Despite having developed scabies all over his body, he was still forced to do unpaid labor. This included farming, construction work, and producing packaging materials.

Zou was also subject to mental torture. He was forced to watch videos and read materials that slandered his faith, as well as and write monthly “thought reports.” If his thought reports did not conform to the prison’s requirements, he was deprived of sleep and forced to sit on the cold cement floor.

Deaths in 2019

Former High School Teacher Dies at 53 After Suffering Seven Years of Abuse in Prison

Mr. She Chengbang, was a well-respected high school language teacher at Hanyin County Middle School in Ankang City, Shaanxi Province. His stellar job performance and favorable reviews from students earned him the title of “Teacher of the Year.”

For going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in 2000, he was given three years in a forced labor camp. There guards tortured him in attempts to coerce him to renounce his belief. For persisting in his faith, they once kicked him hard in the chest and punched him in the kidney.

Another time, they cuffed his hands behind his back and hung him up to heating pipes by the handcuffs, with his toes barely touching the ground. The torture lasted 27 days. He suffered severe injuries and mental trauma as a result.

Mr. She was arrested again in 2009 and sentenced to seven years in Weinan Prison. Like in the labor camp, Mr. She continued to be physically abused in prison.

Mr. She’s health deteriorated when he was released in April 2016 and he was unable to move after falling out of his bed one night in 2017. Eventually, he become bedridden and unable to eat. He passed away in March 2019, at the age of 53.

Elementary Teacher Tortured in Prison and Drugged by Guards

Ms. Huang Guiying was a teacher at the Baiyun Elementary School in Dalian City, Liaoning Province. She was given one year of forced labor in 2010 and was sentenced to a four-year prison term in 2014.

While detained, Huang was subjected to various forms of abuse and humiliation.

One summer, she was once forbidden from brushing her teeth or taking a shower for 55 consecutive days. In the bitter winter, she was also forced to sleep on a wood plank and had cold water poured on her body.

Other forms of persecution Huang was subject to included standing for 16 hours a day, denial from purchasing or borrowing toilet paper, and being given so little food that her hunger compelled her to scavenge through trash for food.

When Huang was released in September 2017, she had been fired from her job and her husband was also laid off. Her requests to have her job reinstated was repeatedly rejected.

Later in April 2018, Huang suffered mental disorientation. She became emaciated after losing her appetite, and her belly and legs became extremely swollen. Her conditions worsened in May 2019. She had slurred speech and was in and out of a coma. She died on May 5, 2019. At the time, her daughter was four months pregnant.

Deaths in 2020

Retired School Principal Dies in Prison Only Weeks before Her Term Expired

Ms. Li Guirong died in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in mid-January 2020 at age 78, only weeks before the end of her five-year term for refusing to give up her faith in Falun Gong.

Li was a retired elementary school principal in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. She was arrested on October 17, 2006, for talking to people about Falun Gong, and sentenced to a seven-year term seven months later.

She was sentenced to another fiver years after being arrested on February 7, 2015 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials.

While Li was in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, the guards ordered inmates to beat and kick her, and stomp on her hands. Her face bled, her hands were swollen, and she was covered in dark bruises. Much of her hair was pulled out. The guards sometimes forced Li to squat on the concrete floor for days on end, not allowing her to eat, use the restroom, or sleep. To make the torture worse, they forced her to take off her shoes and poured cold water on her feet while she squatted. Her legs hurt unbearably. She was unable to stand or sit afterward, and had to crawl to get anywhere.

Deaths in 2021

Health Destroyed after Three Prison Terms, Former History Teacher Dies in Despair

Mr. Lu Songming was a history teacher at a middle school in Xiangtan City, Hunan Province. Because he refused to give up his faith, he was fired by the middle school and sentenced three times, for a total of 14 years.

While serving time, he was subjected to various tortures, including being hung up by his handcuffed wrists, beaten, shocked with electric batons, and forced to do long hours of intensive labor. The torture and abuse completely destroyed his health. He developed a severe heart condition and was on the verge of death a dozen times.

Mr. Lu Songmin before and after the persecution. Lu had only six teeth left when he was released.

Mr. Lu returned home in 2018 after serving a third prison term for practicing Falun Gong. He had almost died several times due to torture while in custody. Having lost the ability to work due to a severe heart condition, he relied on picking leftover vegetables in the farmers’ market to get by. He was easily exhausted after carrying heavy items and had to lie down frequently to rest.

After struggling with poor health for three years, the 53-year-old man passed away on the evening of March 28, 2021.

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