Under Guise of Pandemic Safety, Persecution of Falun Gong Escalated in Brutality

Based on an original report from Minghui.org

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020, many countries have implemented social distancing and other safety measures to keep their citizens safe. The Chinese Communist Party, however, has used the virus as a guise to intensify their crackdown and torture of Falun Gong practitioners.

Particularly, prisons in Liaoning Province have taken the opportunity to impose total closure, causing the vast number of Falun Gong practitioners detained there to lose contact with the outside world. For more than a year, family visitation and phone calls have been banned.

Many practitioners have also been forced to do intensive labor without pay, mostly to make protective gear to meet the surging demand in the pandemic. The prison guards usually kept the machines running 24 hours a day and inmates and Falun Gong practitioners were assigned different shifts to work on the machines.

Brutal Torture and Deaths

Beyond denied visitations and forced labor, practitioners have been subject to numerous torture methods by guards including electric shocks, beatings, starvation, freezing, denied restroom use, deprivation of sleep and brainwashing. Other tortures include hanging up by the wrists for long hours and handcuffing from behind the back.

In the first half of 2020 alone, ten practitioners from Liaoning Province died from the above-mentioned tortures. They were persecuted beyond endurance and denied immediate medical attention.

Of the ten practitioners, six practitioners died in prison and four died not long after being released. 

Below are a few highlighted cases:

Ms. Li Guirong, Retired School Principal, 78, Dies in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison

Ms. Li Guirong, a retired elementary school principal in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, died in the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison in mid-January 2020, only weeks before the end of her five-year term for practicing Falun Gong. She was 78. 

While Li was in Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, the guards ordered inmates to beat and kick her and stomp on her hands. Her face bled, her hands were swollen, and she was covered in bruises. Much of her hair was pulled out. The guards sometimes forced her to squat on the concrete floor for days on end, not allowing her to eat, use the restroom, or sleep. To intensify the torture, they forced her to take off her shoes and poured cold water on her feet while she squatted. Her legs hurt unbearably. She was unable to stand or sit afterward and had to crawl to get anywhere.

Aircraft Engineer in Critical Condition Denied Medical Parole, Dies in Prison

Mr. Hu Lin, a Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident, died on February 16, 2020, while serving two years for practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Hu Lin

Hu was arrested on May 23, 2019, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. He started a hunger strike to protest the persecution after he was sent to the Faku County Detention Center. He was tied to a bed in a spread-eagle position and force-fed. The guards left the feeding tube in his stomach in order to increase his suffering.

Despite being emaciated, having no sensation in his legs, and suffering organ failure, the prison authorities denied him medical parole because he shouted, “Falun Dafa is good” after he was taken to Kangjiashan Prison. The prison guards said they would not release him “even if he died.” On the evening of February 14, 2020, the prison called Hu’s older brother and told him Hu had been sent to the hospital for emergency treatment. Hu died two days later.

Ms. Wu Xiufang Persecuted into a Vegetative State, Dies at Age 64

Ms. Wu Xiufang, from Fuxin City, was arrested on August 18, 2015, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong and its persecution by the Chinese communist regime. She was sentenced to three years in prison. At the end of June 2016, she was sent to the Liaoning Women’s Prison. While in prison she was tortured to the point where she lost the ability to talk and move her eyes. She was also emaciated and could not take care of herself.

When Wu was brought home on August 18, 2018, she was skeletal and in vegetative state. On February 8, 2020, she passed away.

Medical Doctor Mr. Zhao Chenglin Dies at 58

Dr. Zhao Chenglin, a military doctor in Benxi City, was sentenced to nine years in prison for practicing Falun Gong in 2002. When he was detained at Wafangdian Prison in Liaoning Province, prison guards instructed inmates to beat Zhao so badly that he vomited blood and could not walk. The prison authorities repeatedly denied his family’s requests to visit him, saying that he was not cooperating with prison management.  Zhao was arrested again on March 26, 2014 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. 

While serving time at Kangjiashan Prison, the guards often dragged him to the water room and had cold water poured on him. As a result of his hunger strike to protest the persecution, they force-fed him and broke several of his teeth.  Zhao never recovered after being released in 2018. After struggling for two years with poor health, he passed away on February 15, 2020.

Ms. Li Guojun Dies Six Months after Returning Home from Prison

Ms. Li Guojun, after chemotherapy

Ms. Li Guojun, a Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province resident, passed away on May 5, 2020, six months after she was released on medical parole to treat her cancer. She developed cancer while serving an 11-year term for suing Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. She was 53.

While Li was detained at Chaoyang City Detention Center and later Liaoning Woman’s Prison, she was subjected to various brutal tortures. Her family applied for medical parole on February 8, 2018, after she was hospitalized and operated on, but authorities did not grant her leave until November 2019.

Original Article: https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2021/3/31/191666.html