Violence Against Women in China, Art Exhibition in Turkey

Women victimized by the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Women victimized by the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Dear Reader,

With the celebration of International Women’s Day last Friday, we highlight the plight of millions of women who have undergone tremendous suffering in the persecution of Falun Gong.

In other news:

  • A Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins analyzes Beijing’s fear of Shen Yun Performing Arts in The Hill

  • A 79-year-old woman is sentenced to three years for sharing information about Falun Gong

  • Istanbul, Turkey hosts the “Art of Zhen-Shan-Ren” Exhibition

Meanwhile, we continue to monitor the situation of Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong as Article 23 quickly progresses through the pro-Beijing legislature. The legislation has concerning implications for practitioners in the special region who, to date, have not faced a ban or violent persecution like their counterparts in mainland China.


Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center


Police Violence against Female Falun Gong Practitioners 
Women victimized by the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

What’s new?

Time and time again, reports have poured out of China documenting violence against female prisoners of conscience, especially those jailed for practicing or sharing information related to Falun Gong. This week, Bitter Winter reported on the deaths in custody of two female Falun Gong practitioners in Heilongjiang and Gansu provinces; one died at a notorious prison where at least 30 other female Falun Gong practitioners have been killed.

The week before, Weiquanwang reported that Xu Na, a Falun Gong practitioner serving eight years for sending photos of Beijing during Covid-19 lockdowns to overseas media, went missing from Beijing Women’s Prison. These stories are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the abuse women are facing at the hands of China’s security apparatus.

In this piece written by Crystal Chen, she recounts her experiences in a Chinese labor camp and calls for increased attention to the women in China who face repression for what they say, what they believe, or who they are.

Why does it matter?

An underappreciated facet of the persecution of Falun Gong is that a sizable portion of victims are women. Women make up 54 percent of Falun Gong practitioners whose deaths have been documented, and research published in late 2023 on practitioners targeted through surveillance found that over 80 percent of the victims in the sample were women. And while all prisoners of conscious in China are at risk of abuse, women are particularly vulnerable. Many women who have made it out of China have told of the sexual abuse they faced at the hands of prison guards or security officials.

What else do you need to know?

There remain countless mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers in detention today for their faith in Falun Gong or their courageous activism. They include Zhimin Cao, the mother of US resident Grace Chen; Yan Liu, the mother of Canadian resident Lucy Liu; and Meihong Wang, the mother of UK resident Amy Yu. They must not be forgotten.

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The Hill: “The real reason communist China is afraid of Shen Yun”

A new piece by Yuefeng Xu, a PhD student at Johns Hopkins University, in The Hill analyzes the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of Shen Yun, including a systematic campaign to silence the performing arts group. Started by artists persecuted in China for their faith in Falun Gong, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture, something the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has tried to destroy and repurpose for decades. The regime’s campaign to silence and malign Shen Yun was outlined extensively in our latest report, “Diplomatic Disruptions and Disinformation: Beijing’s Global Drive to Stop Shen Yun”.

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79-year-old Woman Secretly Sentenced to Three Years for Talking to People about Falun Gong

Ms. Sun’s relatives found out in mid-February that a Liaoning Province court had sentenced her to three years in prison for talking to people about Falun Gong at a local fair. The elderly woman was detained in July 2020 for seven days and released on bail. But in August 2023, she was taken back into custody for her previous “crime”. 

Ms. Sun’s efforts are part of Falun Gong practitioner’s broader grassroots information-sharing campaign. This awareness-raising generally addresses four key areas: debunking demonizing CCP propaganda about Falun Gong, exposing the rights abuses perpetrated against practitioners, contextualizing the persecution within the Party’s history of atrocities, and encouraging people to quit the CCP, distancing themselves from its crimes.

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Istanbul, Turkey Hosts “Art of Zhen-Shan-Ren” Exhibition
Altun Bulut stands next to paintings at the “Art of Zhen-Shan-Ren” exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey.

“When I looked at the paintings, I saw that the souls were suffering. However, they contained more than just pain, they showed truth,” said Altun Bulut, one of many who attended the Art of Zhen-Shan-Ren Exhibition in Istanbul from February 15 to 24.

The exhibition is a collection of artwork created by Falun Gong practitioners that depicts both the peaceful nature of the practice as well as the brutality of the persecution faced by believers in China, which has been experienced by many of the artists first-hand. 

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HAVE YOU READ THIS? “Silent Summer”

In the late 1990’s Matthew Kutolowski was studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He witnessed Falun Gong flourish and then the first days of the CCP’s brutal crackdown. The parks that drew hundreds to Falun Gong practice sites were emptied almost overnight. In this piece, he recounts this eerie time in detail.

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Avenues of Escape
65 minutes

This award-winning documentary depicts the harrowing story of three women, among them Crystal Chen, whose article is included above, who fled China after enduring abuse in detention. The film masterfully captures the surreal horror of their experiences and their treacherous path to their freedom through Southeast Asia.

Watch Now