Minghui.org, a website that documents the persecution of Falun Gong, reported Dec. 5 that Ms. Kang Aifen of Heilongjiang Province perished at the hands of Chinese authorities after over two decades of incessant harassment and abuse for her faith in the spiritual discipline.
Three days before her passing, Ms. Kang was unable to stand or walk on her own. She had lost vision in both eyes and had difficulty breathing. Due to the fact that she had been placed under house arrest on Aug. 17 and after repeated threats from police — her health took a nosedive — culminating in her untimely passing on Nov. 18.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese traditional spiritual discipline practiced by tens of millions of people in China and around the world since its introduction to the public in 1992. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began a massive campaign to eradicate the popular faith in July 1999, incarcerating millions of people over the following decades. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have since died from torture and abuse, with the number still on the rise.
Ms. Kang was born on Feb. 17, 1958 in Jiamusi, a city in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang. Throughout her childhood, she suffered from severe polio and later on struggled with uremia, incontinence, and tuberculosis. According to Minghui, she regained her health after taking up Falun Gong in April 1996.
Given pig feed while in jail
After the persecution began in 1999, Ms. Kang was arrested and imprisoned a total of seven times. One time, she was sentenced to a labor camp and was held in a brainwashing center for nearly two months.
The living conditions in the detention center were so poor that over thirty detainees were forced to share a small room and would only be allowed to sit down at night to sleep. They were also constantly beaten by guards and only given pig feed to eat. Ms. Kang was finally let out after her husband paid 8,000 yuan in exchange for her release.
After a third arrest, Ms. Kang developed a heart condition and high blood pressure, causing her to have difficulty breathing. After she held a hunger strike to protest her arrest, she started vomiting blood at the detention center where she was jailed and tortured along with her two sisters.
Subsequently, she was frequently harassed by police who would stalk her home and extort her family. One officer said to Ms. Kang after trashing her home in search of Falun Gong books and distribution materials, “Even if you wear a hat when you go out, we can still recognize you.”
Released shortly before death
She was then taken into custody and force-fed to such a degree that she suffered a heart attack while in detention. As her condition worsened, she was given an intravenous drip and forced to take medication without her consent. The medicine caused Ms. Kang’s condition to deteriorate further. Her arms and legs swelled to the point that she could no longer be given IV drips and she began to lose vision in both her eyes. Police said she was suffering from dangerously high blood pressure.
Fearful of her dying in police custody, she was released on Aug. 17 and placed on house arrest. Upon returning home however, Ms. Kang’s condition kept deteriorating. She was unable to keep food down and would frequently throw up. At her family’s urging, she would only be able to consume half a bowl of porridge at most. On November 15, after one final visit from the local prosecutor ordering her and her husband to sign a “Notice of Litigation Rights of Criminal Suspects,” her health worsened and she became totally blind on Nov. 17. Ms. Kang passed away at 5:40am the next day. She was 63.