At Least 27 Falun Gong Adherents Died of Persecution in First Half of 2020

By Li Jingsi
Li Jingsi
Li Jingsi
June 15, 2020Updated: June 15, 2020

Zhang Zhiwen, a native of Henan Province, was kidnapped by the police and detained in the Xuchang City Detention Center. Zhang, in her 60s, died three days later.

Hu Lin, an engineer in Shenyang city, was tortured to death in Kangjiashan prison.

Zhou Xiuzhen of Tangshan city was kidnapped and sent to prison. She died of illness caused by the persecution.

These are some of the Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of being persecuted by Chinese authorities.

Also known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditative discipline with moral teachings based on the core principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It was banned in July 1999 on orders of then-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin.

According to human rights researchers, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have since been rounded up and thrown into detention centers, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers, where they are routinely tortured and subject to other abuse. Falun Gong adherents are also the main source of organs in China’s state-sanctioned, for-profit transplant industry, an independent people’s tribunal concluded.

According to data collected by, which compiles information and statistics on the Chinese regime’s Falun Gong persecution campaign, at least 27 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death between January and May this year. Ten of them died during detention at a local police station or prison.

Due to the CCP virus pandemic, China’s prisons were locked down and family visits were not allowed. But people continue to be imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

Falun Gong Practitioner From Henan Dies at Detention Center

At around 9 a.m. on May 13, Luo Dongjun and Wang Xiaowei from the domestic security division of Yuzhou city, along with other police officers from Nancheng police station, kidnapped two female Falun Gong adherents, Zhang Zhiwen and Qiao Shuhong. Zhang was sent to the detention center of Xuchang city, Henan Province.

The next day, Zhang’s family inquired about her whereabouts and sent her clothing and medicines for her diabetes. The detention center refused, saying that there were all kinds of medicines available in the center. The family members repeatedly reminded the detention center that she had to take her medicine every day.

On the morning of May 17, Zhang’s family called the detention center to ask about her situation. Wang Xiaowei told them that she passed away.

Family Experiences Tragedy

Gao Yan, 49, lived in Beijing. She had benefited from practicing Falun Gong both mentally and physically since she took up the practice in 1998.

Because of the persecution campaign of the Chinese regime, she and her husband Yang Yuliang have been homeless for 10 years. Later, she was sentenced to two years imprisonment at a labor camp. During her incarceration, Yang suffered from multiple organ dysfunction, and Gao suffered from hypertension, irregular menstruation, and endocrine disorders.

After they were both released in 2013, Gao had never regained her health. But local police continued to harass the couple, often visiting their home.

In the early morning hours of April 17, Gao suffered a sudden cerebral hemorrhage. She died at around 8 p.m. on April 22.

Epoch Times Photo
Undated photo of Gao Yan. (Courtesy of

Prior to this, her father-in-law had passed away on April 7. On April 27, when the family was making funeral arrangements, several police officers who claimed to be from the Shunyi branch broke into and ransacked the house. They forcibly took away Yang Yuliang and their daughter, Yang Dandan.

They were transferred to Mulin police station and then to Shunyi detention center with the reasoning that they needed to take a nucleic acid test for the CCP virus. The test cost more than 1,000 yuan ($141.21). Afterwards, a family member was notified to pick them up.

The family’s neighbors complained about the inhumane treatment that Yang and his daughter received from the police.

Woman Dies From Persecution for Exposing Husband’s Brutal Treatment in Prison

Bian Lichao and his wife Zhou Xiuzhen live in Tangshan city, Hebei Province. Bian was a teacher at the 10th Middle School of Kailuan, Tangshan city. He had suffered from primary heart disease and high blood pressure. But his health improved after practicing Falun Gong in 1997.

Bian was kidnapped from his home on Feb. 25, 2012 for practicing Falun Gong. His personal belongings and hundreds of thousands of yuan were confiscated. He was sentenced to 12 years in Baoding prison.

At the beginning of 2013, Bian was secretly transferred to Shijiazhuang prison. He was tortured by being forced to sit on a tiny bench for a long period of time. His heart disease recurred. The doctor warned that he may die suddenly at any time.

In an effort to rescue Bian, his wife Zhou and their daughter repeatedly exposed the torture tactics of the Tangshan authorities.

On March 12, 2014, the daughter and another Falun Gong practitioner, Chen Yinghua, were both kidnapped when they went to visit Bian in prison. Zhou was also abducted from home the next day.

In April 2015, Bian was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, and Chen was sentenced to four years. In May of the same year, Zhou Xiuzhen was sentenced to four years. Chen and Zhou were taken to the women’s prison in Hebei Province.

Zhou was tortured in prison severely. She suffered damage to her liver and the onset of ascites. She had to be taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

After Zhou was released from prison, the police continued to harass her, and as a result, her health deteriorated. Zhou died on April 19 of this year.

Epoch Times Photo
Undated photo of Zhou Xiuzhen. (Courtesy of

Aviation Engineer Persecuted to Death

Hu Lin, 47, was an aeronautical engineer and a Falun Gong practitioner who lived in Shenyang city, Liaoning Province. He was kidnapped by the police on May 23, 2019 for distributing pamphlets containing information about Falun Gong. He was sentenced to two years in prison. On Feb. 16, 2020, he was tortured to death in Kanjiashan prison, Shenyang city.

Prior to that, Hu had been kidnapped, detained, and sent to labor camp many times. Each time he was detained for his faith, he was severely beaten. He also suffered torture such as being handcuffed from the back, made to wear a restraint belt, shocked with electric batons, deprived of sleep, and ordered to do forced labor.

The police used electric batons to shock Hu’s knees, fingertips, toes, and genitals for prolonged periods, and they hurt his eyes with garlic and cigarette smoke, according to accounts collected by