A former military doctor and 46-year-old music teacher are among those who died in early 2020 from abuse amid the Chinese Communist Party’s on-going persecution campaign against Falun Gong practitioners.
Seventeen cases of Falun Gong practitioners who lost their lives between January and early April 2020 were documented by Minghui.org.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.
Six practitioners died as a result of torture and abuse in custody, while the remaining eleven passed away as a result of intense police harassment, or after being released from detention.
The deaths occurred in seven provinces, including eight in Liaoning, two each in Heilongjiang, Hunan, and Henan, and one each in Jilin, Sichuan, and Guangdong.
The practitioners, of which nine were female, were from all walks of life, and included a music teacher, a former military doctor, a retired school principal, and an aircraft engineer. Three practitioners were in their 40s, ten in their 50s and 60s, and three in their 70s and 80s; the age of one of the deceased is unknown.
As of April 17, 2020, 4,408 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have lost their lives as a direct result of the communist regime’s persecution of their belief. Due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual number is likely much higher.
Below is a snapshot of some of the reported cases.
Three Brothers and Their Father Die from Persecution
A mother in Sanmenxia City, Henan Province was dealt another blow when her youngest son, Mr. Chen Xiaomin, died on March 10, 2020, less than two months after he was released from prison for practicing Falun Gong.
Because of holding firm to their faith after the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong, Mr. Chen Xiaomin and his two brothers were repeatedly arrested, detained and tortured.
At the Henan Province No. 3 Forced Labor Camp, the guards often tied Mr. Chen Xiaomin’s hands behind his back and pulled them up to his neck, with the rope so tight it cut deeply into his flesh. The guards then shocked him with electric batons on his face and body.
When Mr. Chen Xiaomin was released on January 18, 2020, he was in critical condition, emaciated and unable to eat. He was 51 when he died.
Mr. Chen Xiaomin and his second brother, Mr. Chen Shaomin, were arrested on June 6 and 7, 2016, at their workplaces. After being held for a year at Sanmenxia Detention Center then secretly sentenced, they were taken to Xinmi Prison in July 2017, where they were both severely tortured for not renouncing their faith.
Due to brutal torture, his brother Chen Shaomin suffered multiple health issues and had completely lost the ability to take care of himself, and so was released on medical parole in 2018. He passed away on May 14, 2019. His lungs were completely deteriorated at the time of his death.
Mr. Chen’s oldest brother, Mr. Chen Yuemin, died on April 26, 2011. He was tortured and injected with unknown drugs while serving a five-year term in Xinmi Prison for his faith. The torture left him paralyzed and he often had intensive back pain after being released, yet the police continued to harass him until his final days. He was 48 when he died.
Their father passed away in 2001 after he endured tremendous stress while trying to seek the release of his sons, who were arrested in Beijing for appealing for the right to practice Falun Gong.
Former Military Doctor Dies after 14 Years of Imprisonment
Mr. Zhao Chenglin, a retired military doctor in Benxi City, Liaoning Province, passed away on February 15, 2020, after struggling for two years with poor health resulting from 14 years of imprisonment and torture. He was 58 years old.
Because of not giving up his faith, Mr. Zhao was removed from his post in the military and repeatedly arrested and detained over the past two decades. He served one year in a forced labor camp and two prison terms of nine and four years.
The labor camp and prison guards savagely beat Mr. Zhao, causing injuries to his head and internal organs. He lost several teeth during punitive forced-feedings. His head was disfigured, and his buttocks developed infected wounds as a result of abuse.
Using another form of torture, the guards tied up his limbs and suspended him in the air, causing tremendous damage to his wrists and ankles.
The guards once hung Mr. Zhao by the wrists in a dark room for several days, with his feet pulled apart by shackles. He fainted several times from the pain.
After more than a month of torture, Mr. Zhao developed infected sores on his legs and he suffered internal injuries. The guards refused him medical treatment and kept him in solitary confinement.
Music Teacher Dies at Age 46
Ms. Zhang Yan, a music teacher in Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, died on February 11, 2020, at the age of 46.
She was repeatedly arrested for her faith over the past two decades, and served one year of forced labor and five years in prison.
The guards once locked Ms. Zhang inside a cell and forced her to stand with her arms up against the wall for twelve hours a day. Her fingers became deformed as a result of the physical strain. Even so, she was still forced to do intensive labor, including selecting pork hair to make brushes and packaging medicines.
If she didn’t finish her work at the sweatshop during the day, Ms. Zhang was made to stand still until 1:00 a.m. the next day. She also had to copy the prison rules every night and slept only two to four hours each night. She was not allowed to sleep at all if she refused to do so. Not being able to properly rest, Ms. Zhang suffered from chronic dizziness, chest pain, swelling, numbness, deteriorating eyesight, and hypertension.
When Ms. Zhang was released in December 2012, after five years of torture, her fingers were so injured and deformed that she could no longer play the piano or teach music. Agents from the Mianyang 610 Office continued to harass her. She had to live away from home to avoid further persecution.
Years of torture and incarceration, and the fear of being arrested again, took a toll on Ms. Zhang’s mental and physical health. She passed away on February 11, 2020.
The original version of this article was published on Minghui.org: