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. Many Falun Gong followers have also been subject to relentless harassment, arrests and arbitrary imprisonment.
In 2021, Minghui.org, a website that documents the persecution of Falun Gong recorded that 132 Falun Gong practitioners died as a result of torture and abuse at the hands of Chinese police. Among them, many were leading professionals in their field – including a retired colonel, government official, researchers, college professors, bank managers, engineers, accountants, lawyers and doctors.
- Another Woman Dies in China After Suffering 20 Years of Persecution for Practicing Falun Gong
- Abused by Chinese Police for More Than 20 Years, Woman Dies 2 Days After a Final Harassment
Professionals tortured to death for upholding spiritual faith
Mr. Lu Guanru, 69, was a former construction finance manager in Heilongjiang Province’s Daqing City. He passed away on April 4, 2021 while serving a seven-year term for practicing Falun Gong. While the Tailai Prison where he was jailed claimed that he died of a stroke, his family suspects he may have been tortured to death while in custody.
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After being arrested on November 9, 2018, Mr. Lu was subject to relentless police interrogations, forced to stand for long hours and wear shackles at the Daqing City Detention Center. When he went on a hunger strike to protest his arrest, the guards force-fed him to such a degree that he began to vomit blood and suffer from heart failure. On the verge of death, Mr. Lu was resuscitated at the hospital several times before finally perishing from the relentless abuse he was subjected to.
Another case that took place in Shandong Province saw the death of Mr. Jiang Guobo, 58, after returning home from serving a five-year term for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Jiang suffered lengthy complications from being injected with toxic drugs while in prison. His family reported that his abdomen was severely bloated and he also had blood in his stool. After struggling with poor health for seven years, he passed away on April 29, 2021.
Mr. Jiang was a member of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee in Weifang City and was arrested 13 times for upholding his faith. He suffered 77 kinds of torture – including electric shocks, the tiger bench, and force feeding while serving two labor camp terms and a five-year prison term. Some of the inmates who were in custody with Mr. Jiang said they’d never seen anyone tortured so cruelly.
Left homeless and penniless
On March 28, 2021, Mr. Lu Songming, 53, passed away after struggling with poor health due to the relentless torture he suffered while in detention. Mr. Lu returned home to Hunan in 2018 after serving a third prison term for refusing to give up his faith in Falun Gong. Unfortunately, by the time he returned home, he was in such poor health that he passed away a few years later.
Having lost the ability to work due to a heart condition, Mr. Lu relied on finding discarded food that was thrown away in nearby farmers markets. He was also easily exhausted after carrying heavy items and had to lie down frequently to rest. When Mr. Lu was released in 2006 after his first prison term, tragedy struck when his wife said she had to divorce him after being coerced by authorities to do so.
During the divorce proceedings, he lost both his house and custody of his son, leaving him homeless and penniless. Mr. Lu had to reportedly take up odd jobs to make ends meet – including repairing shoes on the street and selling peanuts.
Former military officer dies while in detention
On the evening of April 12, 2021 Mr. Gong Piqi’s family received a call from a prison guard notifying them that he had just been taken to the hospital after collapsing while in prison. Moments later, the guard called again and said Mr. Gong had died of a stroke.
Mr. Gong had served as a colonel in the Chinese military.
When Mr. Gong’s family went to the hospital the next morning, the doctor and prison authorities refused to let them see his body. When the family protested, Mr. Gong’s older brother and nephew were given permission to see him but were told they could not take any photos or videos of his deceased body. However, according to Mr. Gong’s brother, his head was injured and swollen and there was blood in his ears. The family suspects he was tortured to death while in prison.
Mr. Gong was seized during a group arrest in October 2017. He was later sentenced to 7.5 years along with a fine of 20,000 yuan (about USD $3100) in 2018.
Accountant dies while serving 11 year sentence
While in a detention center awaiting the results of an appeal, Ms. Mao Kun, an accountant from Sichuan Province was taken to the emergency room on April 9, 2021. Her family was asked to apply for medical parole on her behalf so she could be released but before they had a chance to submit the application, Ms. Mao passed away in the hospital on the evening of April 11. She was 57. Her family suspects she was severely tortured while awaiting her appeal because she was in otherwise good health.
In addition to the harrowing accounts of torture and abuse resulting in death, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners continue to be sentenced to lengthy prison terms everyday. According to Minghui, 1,187 practitioners have been sentenced in 2021 and 16,413 were repeatedly arrested and harassed by authorities in China.