Torture in Chinese Prison, Espionage in Germany

Ms. Liu Jinping (undated photo)

Ms. Liu Jinping (undated photo)

Dear Reader,

Heilongjiang Women’s Prison has long been notorious for its brutal—and at times deadly—treatment of those held there. On April 19, the Bitter Winter website published details from one detainee’s account of what she and other female Falun Gong practitioners are facing in the prison.

In other news:

  • A staffer for a German member of the European Parliament (MEP) was charged for sharing information with the Chinese government, including about Falun Gong

  • The U.S. State Department released its 2023 human rights report with segments on the persecution of Falun Gong

  • UK Officials wrote letters of support on the anniversary of the April 25 appeal

  • Falun Gong practitioners raised awareness and taught the meditation practice in Fiji

Lastly, if you missed our webinar discussing the significance of the April 25 appeal and Falun Gong practitioners’ dissent in China, check out the full recording in this issue’s featured video.


Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center


Bitter Winter: Horror Continues in the Heilongjiang Provincial Women’s Prison

Ms. Liu Jinping, prisoner at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison

What’s new?

Heilongjiang Women’s Prison is notorious for its horrific treatment of female Falun Gong practitioners. An April 19 article in Bitter Winter highlights the testimony of Liu Jinping, a 43-year-old Falun Gong currently detained in the prison and who managed to get her message out about the reality inside.

She reported that other inmates, instigated by prison staff, use torture and sleep deprivation in attempts to “break” Falun Gong practitioners and force them sign a statement denouncing the practice. Liu has been forced to sit on a stool for hours on end until sores formed. When she moved, the inmates would start beating her.

“Each Falun Gong practitioner in the prison is monitored by several inmates around the clock, even when they use the restroom,” said Liu, adding that the permitted times for using the restrooms are tightly controlled. “As a result, many practitioners have soiled their pants. They are also not allowed to get near each other, so there is no sharing of information among them, including the torture they have gone through.”

Why does it matter?

Ms. Liu’s testimony shows that after 25 years, Falun Gong practitioners in China still face unimaginable treatment in detention, including at facilities known for engaging in long-standing abuse. This should prompt more forceful international interventions. Foreign governments should investigate the perpetrators responsible for these abuses, including prison officials such as the deputy warden Shi Genghui and higher level CCP officials, and apply targeted sanctions.

What else do you need to know?

Many female Falun Gong practitioners have lost their lives in this prison, with at least two deaths taking place this year. The prison has even been nicknamed “the cemetery of Falun Gong ladies.” According to inmates formerly detained with Ms. Mou Yongxia, a 75-year old who died in the prison in July 2023, she spent the last few months of her life disoriented and tormented by constant harassment and beatings. In 2019, Ms. Meng Hong, the mother of a California resident, died suddenly while jailed at the prison, only nine months before her scheduled release.

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German MEP’s Staffer Charged with Sharing Information with China, Including on Persecution of Falun Gong

A staffer for a German member of the European Parliament, Jian G., was arrested and charged on April 22 for sharing internal information about negotiations and decisions with a Chinese intelligence service. According to German news outlet Der Spiegel, this included information about a motion for a resolution on the persecution of Falun Gong.

The resolution, which was adopted on January 18, 2024, was prompted by the sentencing of Mr. Ding Yuande, the father of German resident Ding Lebin. Since his parents were detained in May 2023, Ding has been active in engaging European officials to call for the release of his parents. According to a press release form the German Federal Prosecutor General, Jian G. also “spied on Chinese opposition figures in Germany for the [Chinese] intelligence service.” Ding has also reported being followed and harassed by Beijing supporters.

Spying on and interfering with Falun Gong practitioners in Germany is not new. In 2011, a German resident was found guilty of sending information about Falun Gong practitioners in Germany to an official from the 610 Office, the extralegal security agency responsible for carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

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U.S. State Department: 2023 Human Rights Report Highlights Repression of Falun Gong in China

On April 22, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices which, as with previous reports, documented severe human rights violation against Falun Gong practitioners in China. 

The report notes the prevalence of abuses like arbitrary detention and torture in custody with regards to Falun Gong as well as ongoing concerns that practitioners are among detainees whose organs are harvested for transplants. The report also highlighted the cases of several individual Falun Gong practitioners detained in China including Zhou Deyong, Zhang Yibo, and He Binggang, who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in 2023 for their faith and peaceful activism.

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UK Officials Express Support for Falun Gong Practitioners on Anniversary of Historic Appeal

Over a dozen members of parliament and government officials from the United Kingdom, including the office of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, voiced their support for efforts to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. These letters and expressions of support come in the wake of the 25th anniversary of the April 25 appeal, during which 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China peacefully petitioned their government for the right to freely practice their belief. 

Member of parliament Kerry McCarthy, noted for example, “I’m a strong believer in religious freedoms and tolerance, and the scale of punishment and discrimination Falun Gong practitioners face and the number of them who have died is abhorrent!”

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Falun Dafa Practitioners Hold Free Meditation Classes in Fiji

Students in Fiji learn Falun Gong’s sitting meditation.

In March 2024, twenty practitioners from New Zealand traveled to Fiji to introduce Falun Dafa and raise awareness about rights abuses in China. Their eight-day visit saw them teaching meditation classes and raising awareness in cities like Nadi, Lautoka, and Suva, reaching out to schools, churches, government organizations, businesses, and medical institutions.

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Have you read this? In His Own Words: Former Security Officer Explains Why He Escaped from China

This is a rare first-hand account of the persecution of Falun Gong from a former insider. Hao Fengjun had been officer in the 610 Office, which was responsible for persecuting Falun Gong, and sought political asylum in Australia in February 2005 after he fled China. He left his job and country because he no longer wanted to be involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. In this piece, Hao details what it was like working within the CCP’s security apparatus during the first days of the persecution and the brutal treatment of Falun Gong detainees that he witnessed. Encouraged by the book “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” and Chen Yonglin, a consular official in Australia who also defected in 2005, Hao decided to step forward and tell the public about his experience.

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1 hr 35 m

On April 25, the anniversary of the historic appeal in Beijing by over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners, the Falun Dafa Information Center held a webinar commemorating the event, discussing its significance and the state of religious dissent in China today. The webinar featured Sarah Cook, an independent researcher and author of several Freedom House reports including The Battle for China’s Spirit, Wang Weiyu who attended the appeal and who was later detained and tortured for his activism, and Dr. Larry Liu of the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Watch Now