45 Killed and 261 Jailed Falun Gong Practitioners Reported in April and May
In April and May, Falun Gong practitioners in China documented 261 cases of believers sentenced to prison and 45 deaths, and relayed them to the overseas Minghui website, which reviewed, verified, and published the accounts. The youngest adherent sentenced was 35 years old and the longest was handed down a nine year sentence.
The sentenced practitioners are from 23 of China’s 31 provinces, centrally controlled municipalities and autonomous regions. Liaoning topped the list with 34 cases, followed by Heilongjiang (31), Shandong (28), and Hebei (23). Among the 45 deaths reported during this period, 28 occurred in 2023.
The judicial system appears to be accelerating the number of sentences being meted out to Falun Gong practitioners. During the same period in 2022, 99 cases of Falun Gong practitioners being sentenced were documented, meaning the total in April-May 2023 was more than double that amount. Even compared to February and March 2023, there has been a slight uptick of 15 percent, while the pace of deaths has remained constant.
Between January and May 2023, at least 919 practitioners were placed in unjust detention and 290 were sentenced to prison terms of up to ten years following sham trials, highlighting again the regime’s focus on punishing and silencing the group, even compared to other ethnic Han targets such as journalists, lawyers, and netizens.
Six-year-old Girl Orphaned
Among those killed in the persecution was Mr. Wang Yudong, who died in April 2023. Last July, his wife, Ms. Zhu Xiumin, also passed away following years of abuse in custody. Their six-year-old daughter is now parentless.
Their daughter’s suffering began before she was even born. Ms. Zhu did not know she was pregnant while she was detained and held a five-month-long hunger strike to protest her arbitrary detention, during which she was repeatedly tortured. Miraculously, their daughter survived.
Six days after their daughter was born in 2017, Mr. Wang was sentenced to three years in prison. Ms. Zhu struggled to care for their daughter alone while subject to repeated police harassment and suffering from poor health from her detention.
When Mr. Wang was finally released in 2020, the police continued to target his family. The police’s pressure on his wife grew, forcing her to flea.
While on the run, Ms. Zhu’s health continued to decline and she passed away in July 2022. Suffering from the physical and mental trauma he endured over the years, Mr. Wang’s health likewise declined, and he passed away in his sleep on April 9, 2023. Both he and Ms. Zhu were 51 at the times of their deaths.
Ms. Liu Xinying’s husband became a high paraplegic after being tortured in a labor camp for practicing Falun Gong. He remained bedridden for the next 13 years and died on February 19, 2014, at the age of 45. Ms. Liu was arrested one month later and sentenced to 5.5 years, for her shared faith in Falun Gong.
When Ms. Liu finally returned home, she still couldn’t live a peaceful life, as the police continued to monitor and harass her. Years of hard work caring for her husband while raising their daughter, as well as the mounting mental pressure from the persecution, took a toll on Ms. Liu’s health. The Dalian City, Liaoning Province, resident passed away on April 22, 2023. She was 54.
Nurse Dies Following 5.5-year Prison Sentence
Ms. Liu Xinying was arrested in 2014, one month after the death of her husband who became paraplegic from torture during a labor camp sentence. Ms. Liu was later sentenced to five and a half years and likewise suffered abuse in detention, ultimately leading to her decline in health and subsequent death on April 22, 2023 at the age of 54.
Based on reports form Minghui.org:
25 Falun Gong Practitioner Deaths Due to Persecution Reported in April 2023