Persecution of Falun Gong Claims 27 More Victims Between January and March 2021

Based on an original report from

As the persecution of Falun Gong enters its 22nd year, 27 additional deaths of Falun Gong practitioners were reported between January and March 2021. More cases are yet to be confirmed due to the information blockade in China. 

Among the 27 newly confirmed deaths, 11 occurred between June and December 2020. Another nine practitioners died in January 2021, three in February, and four in March.

The 27 practitioners came from 16 provinces and municipalities. While most regions registered one or two death cases, Heilongjiang and Liaoning reported 3 and 5 deaths, respectively. 17 of the practitioners were also women and except for three practitioners whose ages were unknown, the other 24 practitioners were aged 46 to 85.

Two of the practitioners died in prison while serving time for their faith. Another two also passed away while being held in custody, months after they fell into critical condition due to the abuse. Many of the other 23 practitioners succumbed to repeated arrests, non-stop harassment, and long prison terms.

Below is a snapshot of the cases. 

Deaths in Custody

Shandong Man Slips into Coma at Detention Center, Dies After the Police Remove His Life Support

Mr. Yao after the craniotomy

Mr. Yao Xinren, a Longkou City, Shandong Province resident suffered a stroke nearly ten months after his arrest on July 3, 2019. He received a craniotomy early on the morning of April 23 at the Longkou City People’s Hospital. The doctor performed a tracheotomy on him two days later and put him on a ventilator. When Yao’s wife went to the hospital to inquire about his condition, the police blocked the doctor and nurse from providing information about him. They also refused to show surveillance footage of what had happened to Yao at the detention center.

Even though Yao remained in a coma after the operation, the police stayed outside of the intensive care unit to monitor him for the next nine months and prevented people from getting close to him. On February 4, 2021, the police and hospital staff members removed Yao from the intensive care unit and took him to the Dongjiang Senior Center, which lacked equipment required to care for him properly. A week later, he died at around 1:40 a.m. on February 11, leaving behind his wife and child.

Deaths from Long Term Persecution

Mother and Wife Deceased, Younger Brother Imprisoned, Man Forced into Homelessness to Avoid Persecution

Mr. Yuan’s late mother, Ms. Li Caie

For their shared faith in Falun Gong, Mr. Yuan Guangwu lost his mother and wife in less than three months apart, and his younger brother was sentenced to three years in prison. The 54-year-old Liquan County, Shaanxi Province resident, is now being forced to live away from home to avoid persecution.

Yuan Guangwu and his brother were first arrested on May 22, 2000 and sent to the Zaozihe Forced Labor Camp, where the inmates often beat Yuan and tortured him on a regular basis. After his release in July 2002, the police continued to harass him. They placed him under surveillance and ordered him to report to them on a regular basis, leaving him unable to live a normal life. The brothers were arrested again on June 30, 2008, and each given one year at the Zaozihe Forced Labor. After two months of beatings and torture, Yuan was on the verge of death and was then released. Yuan and his brother then lived away from home to avoid further persecution but they were again arrested on July 17, 2014, while working in Xi’an City. Yuan was then taken to the Yanta District Detention Center. During his time there, he was repeatedly tortured in many ways. By the time he was released, he was unable to straighten his arms and his left ear was deaf. 

Mr. Yuan’s wife, Ms. Zhang Cuicui

On February 5, 2015, Yuan fell into critical condition from torture. He was hospitalized for a month and then taken back to the detention center. The police kept him incarcerated for another four months and released him on bail on June 19, 2015, after they failed to collect evidence against him. Then, on September 28, 2019, the police broke into Yuan’s home once again. They handcuffed him, and searched his residence. Both his mother and wife were seriously ill at that time. They were so terrified by the police that they lost consciousness. After resuscitation at the hospital, Yuan’s wife woke up and escaped with him. Their mother Li moved in with the family after being discharged. However, the police kept coming back to harass the family. On November 29, 2020, Li passed away, at age 75. Two months later, on February 3, 2021, Zhang died while still on the run.

After Eight Arrests and Four Incarcerations, Heilongjiang Woman Dies Following Latest Harassment

In the course of the 22 year persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Liu of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province was arrested eight times and also given three labor camp terms and one prison term. While in custody, she was tied up in a spread-eagle position on a bed, forced to sit still on a small stool, and handcuffed behind her back for long hours. Following an arrest in 2009, the police restrained her on a tiger bench for five days and did not let her eat or sleep for three days. As a result, she became incontinent.

Ms. Liu Xiufang

Liu’s husband and son, who do not practice Falun Gong, were also arrested along with her. Liu’s husband became traumatized by the detention and torture he suffered, and as a result he became withdrawn. His memory declined and sometimes forgot what he was doing. Even a few years later, he still has not recovered. Liu suffered from heart failure and high blood pressure as a result of torture in the prison, but the guards refused to release her on medical parole, with the excuse that she did not renounce Falun Gong. Liu struggled with poor health after being released. She suffered a stroke in June 2019 and became bedridden.

As part of the “Zero-out” campaign, the authorities harassed her in July 2020 and forced her to fingerprint a prepared document to renounce Falun Gong. They videotaped her as proof of them completing the task. The harassment further aggravated Liu’s condition and she passed away six months later.

Liaoning Woman Dies Three Years After Enduring Ten Years of Imprisonment and Constant Torture

By the time Ms. Wang Sumei was released on July 21, 2018, from serving a ten-year term for practicing Falun Gong, her hair had turned gray, four of her teeth had fallen out and seven had become loose, and her eyesight had become blurry. Despite her condition, however, police kept coming to harass her and ordered her to write statements renouncing Falun Gong. After struggling with poor health for almost three years, the Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident passed away on March 12, 2021. She was 59.

Wang was arrested on July 21, 2008 and later sentenced to ten years by the Shenbei New District Court. At the Liaoning Women’s Prison, she was forced to work at least 12 hours per day, making sweaters from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. In the evening, she was forced to stand still until 1:00 a.m. before being allowed to go to bed. As Wang stayed firm in her faith, the guards instigated inmates to monitor and torture her.

To restrict her from doing the Falun Gong exercises, the inmates often handcuffed her behind her back even while she was sleeping. Sometimes they also tore up bedsheets and used them to tie her up on her bed. They tied her so tightly that her wrists were injured. Because she shouted “Falun Dafa is good” to protest the persecution, inmates also sealed her mouth with tape.

Resulting from incessant physical and mental abuse, 12 hours of forced labor daily, and poor diet, Wang was diagnosed with low blood sugar. She was then transferred on January 25, 2012 to an elderly and disabled unit but guards continued to force her to do unpaid labor, this time making cotton swabs. During her time in prison, Wang’s family had repeatedly asked to visit her but were turned away by the guards each time.

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