Reported in August 2023: 21 Falun Gong Deaths Due to Persecution

Annual candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. remembering Falun Gong practitioners who were killed during in the persecution

Annual candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. remembering Falun Gong practitioners who were killed during in the persecution

In August 2023, received 21 reports of Falun Gong practitioners dying due to persecution in China, bringing the total number of deaths reports for 2023 to 156.

The deceased practitioners, aged 50 to 79, were from 12 different regions in China, including three each in Shandong and Inner Mongolia; two each in Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Jilin, and Liaoning; and one each in Beijing, Tianjin, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Chongqing.

The newly report cases brings the total number of deaths reported in 2023 to 156. Since the persecution began in 1999, over 5,000 death cases have been reported to

Ms. Mou Yongxia

Among the cases reported in August was Ms. Mou Yongxia. She was 75 years old when she died on July 13, 2023, at the hands of Chinese prison guards and inmates at Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison who abused and tortured her because she refused to renounce her faith in the spiritual practice Falun Gong.

Heilongjiang Province has long been one of the provinces where the persecution of Falun Gong is most severe. Likewise, prisons under the jurisdiction of the Heilongjiang Prison Administration Bureau, including Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison where Ms. Mou died, are among the cruelest in their abuse of Falun Gong practitioners.

In addition to the abuse inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners by prison guards themselves, guards in these prisons regularly instigate inmates to participate in the torture and harassment of Falun Gong detainees by rewarding inmates for doing so or punishing all inmates when Falun Gong practitioners refuse to renounce their faith.

Several inmates were assigned to monitor Ms. Mou during her sentence. Pang Shoumei, Wang Xin, and Zhao Chao were among several who participated in harassing Ms. Mou and regularly beat the 75-year-old woman.

Since her detainment in September 2019, Heilongjiang authorities refused to inform Ms. Mou’s family of the location of her detention until April 2023. Even after her family was informed of her detention at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, they were prevented from visiting her until she was in hospitalized in June 2023. At that point, she was already unable to recognize people. When her son asked her questions, she could only shake her head feebly. Ms. Mou died on July 13, 2023, at the age of 75.

Reports suggest that the abuse of some individuals in Heilongjiang Women’s Prison was reduced after their family members filed complaints. Though such legal actions pose certain risks themselves, such complaints could possibly prevent further deaths like Ms. Mou’s.