After Seven Years of Torture for Her Faith, Woman Dies Months Before Daughter’s Fifth Birthday

Ms. Zhu Xiumin died in July 2022 from mental and physical distress at the age of 51 after enduring repeated persecution for her faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhu was arrested five times and endured 7 years of torture at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Ms. Zhu and her husband, Mr. Wang Yudong, were both arrested on March 21, 2017.

Ms. Zhu went on a five-month hunger strike in protest of the arbitrary detention. As she became extremely weak and suffered severe constipation, she was taken to a hospital for a checkup. She was shocked to learn that she was pregnant. She was released two days later.

Her baby girl was born on December 8, 2017. Six days later, her husband was sentenced to three years. Ms. Zhu struggled to care for her baby all by herself while dodging police harassment. She finally reunited with her husband when he was released in March 2020. But the family didn’t spend much time together, as Ms. Zhu succumbed to mental and physical distress and passed away in July 2022, five months before her daughter’s fifth birthday. She was 51.

Prior to Ms. Zhu’s last arrest in 2017, she had been arrested 4 more times and endured barbaric torture during a seven-year prison sentence.

Mistreatment During Most Recent Detention

Ms. Zhu and her husband, Mr. Wang Yudong, went to Qiqihar City on March 21, 2017, to visit her parents-in-law. While visiting another practitioner Ms. Liu Mingying, they were seized by the police, not knowing that the police had been there to arrest Ms. Liu.

The police forced Ms. Zhu to take them to their home for a search. The police broke in with a master key but didn’t find anything related to Falun Gong. The next evening, the police took Ms. Zhu and her husband to separate rooms for interrogation. She heard the police beating and verbally abusing her husband. One officer slapped Ms. Zhu in the face, hit her forehead, and stomped on her leg. Seeing that she remained unmoved, they went back to the other room to beat her husband.

The police kept the couple in metal chairs overnight and held them for another day. On the third day, the police interrogated them again before taking them to the detention center.

Ms. Zhu began a hunger strike to protest her detention on March 27, 2017. The guards handcuffed and shackled her in a position that prevented her from sitting or lying down. Inmates were forced to monitor Ms. Zhu and were prevented from sleeping. In retaliation, they would often beat and verbally abuse her. They removed her bedding and forcing her to sleep on the bare board. Ms. Zhu became emaciated and weak.

The guards later added psychiatric drugs into the food they force-fed Ms. Zhu, which made her eyes and face swollen, her tongue numb, and left her extremely thirsty.

After Ms. Zhu was transferred to another cell, the guards forced her to sit on a bare bedboard and hit her against the wall. She had pain all over her body and often felt dizzy. She became weaker and fell twice while using the restroom.

Due to the long-term hunger strike, Ms. Zhu suffered severe constipation and was then taken to a hospital. During the physical examination, she was shocked to learn that she was pregnant. It was a miracle that her unborn baby survived the five-month ordeal. Due to her pregnancy, she was released two days later.

Upon returning home, Ms. Zhu suffered from severe anemia, swelling, and pain all over her body resulting from long-term malnutrition. Despite the unimaginable physical, mental, and financial struggles, she frequented different government agencies to seek justice for her husband.

In a prenatal checkup, her baby was found to have a nuchal cord, which prompted Ms. Zhu to have a C-section on December 8, 2017. Six days later, her husband was sentenced to three years. This was his second time he had been sentenced for his faith, as he served a ten-year prison term from 2001 to 2011.

Without any income and constantly fearing police harassment, Ms. Zhu struggled to care for the baby herself. Her days only got better when Mr. Wang was released in March 2020. But the distress from the past two decades of persecution had already taken a toll on her health. She eventually passed away in July 2022, five months before her daughter’s fifth birthday.

Seven Years of Detention and Torture

Ms. Zhu took started practicing Falun Gong in 1998 and credited it for changing her from a hot-tempered person to someone who was peaceful and considerate. Ms. Zhu was arrested a five times and held in Chinese prisons for a total of seven and a half years for her faith in Falun Gong.

After the onset of the persecution, Ms. Zhu went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong twice in early 2000 and was arrested and held in detention each time for doing so. Refusing to sign a statement renouncing her faith, police held her for over 5 months.

She later worked with other practitioners to tap into TV signals to play videos refuting the communist regime’s demonizing propaganda against Falun Gong. For doing so, police chained her to a chair, removed her shoes and whipped her feet with a pole. One officer then soaked a cloth in mustard seed oil and covered her mouth and nose with it before putting a plastic bag over her head.

Ms. Zhu was transferred to the Mudanjiang City No.2 Detention Center on May 10 and then to the Mudanjiang City No.1 Detention Center in June after her arrest was approved. She was sentenced to seven years by the Yangming District Court in October 2002.

Ms. Zhu was first held at the training ward after she was taken to the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison in January 2003. There, she was forced to get up at 4 a.m. to attend daily brainwashing sessions, including reciting prison rules, watching propaganda videos against Falun Gong, and singing songs to praise the Chinese Communist Party. As she refused to cooperate, she was forced to stand in the evening and not allowed to go to bed until 2 a.m.

Ms. Zhu was assigned to the fifth ward a month later. She was forced to work in the prison’s clothing workshop, usually from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., without pay. If she and others couldn’t finish the daily quota, the guards would force them to work until 12 a.m. or even later.

Guards forbade her from buying daily necessities and meeting with or calling her family. When her family traveled hundreds of miles to visit her, the guards told them that Ms. Zhu refused to meet with them. They were downhearted and didn’t come back again.

Ms. Zhu and other practitioners detained with her were regularly beaten and tortured. Guards would force the practitioners to stand outside in winter, when temperatures reached as low as -20°F, for hours on end. They would then bring them in to beat them and shock them with electric batons. Other inmates were also instigated to beat and torture Ms. Zhu.

When Ms. Zhu was released on May 9, 2009, she said she didn’t expect herself to have been able to survive the seven-year-long hellish torture.

Based on an original report by