A 68-year-old Falun Gong practitioner who suffered two decades of torture leading to paralysis was forced to sign a statement to renounce her faith when police raided her home last year. The practitioner died on Jan. 29 after asking her fellow practitioners to let the world know that she was made to sign the statement against her will.
She had also urged for an investigation into the prison practice of injecting Falun Gong practitioners with a red fluid, which she said she believed was a way to poison practitioners.
Liu Xiufang had been arrested eight times since 2000 and subject to brutal torture for practicing Falun Gong—a Buddha-school self improvement method that teaches people to follow truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Liu personally submitted testimony about her persecution at the hands of the CCP to Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that documents the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the CCP, in January 2013. Her testimony matches that of other witnesses as well as the testimony in other Minghui reports over the past years.
In her testimony, Liu said she had received a healthy body from practicing Falun Gong in May 1995. When she was around 40-year-old, she had suffered from rheumatic heart disease, asthma, and urinary incontinence. In 1995 at the age of 42, Liu’s diseases were cured after she practiced Falun Gong.
When the CCP launched its political campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in July 1999, Liu started to petition the government to clear Falun Gong’s name, telling the regime and her fellow Chinese people about what she had experienced from her practice.
However, Liu’s actions to challenge the government’s position on Falun Gong angered the CCP. She was detained by police many times, fined, and tortured in detention centers, labor camps, and prisons.
“There are no words that can describe the pain of being handcuffed on a death bed … my chest felt like it was going to split open,” Liu said of a week’s torture she endured in 2000 in her account published to Minghui.
“Moving hands and feet a little would cause the handcuffs to cut deeper into my wrists or ankles,” Liu continued. The death bed is a torture method used by the CCP in which a person’s four limbs are tied in extremely tight position to four sides of a bed for hours or even days.
She was also arrested twice in 2002, once in 2003, and once in 2005 when she was sent for the second time to perform forced labor for half a year.
In February 2009, Liu was tied to a tiger bench for five days and four nights. After being released from the bench, Liu suffered urinary incontinence.
From September 2009 to February 2012, Liu was detained at Heilongjiang Women Prison, where she was injected with unknown medicine several times.
“The moment the prison doctor injected the red color fluid, I felt like my head would blast open at any time. I screamed and cried from the pain,” Liu wrote. After her release from prison in 2012, Liu’s legs started to swell, and walking became more and more difficult.
Liu called the practitioners she knew who had been detained at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison and figured out if others were suffering the same symptoms.
“Cui Shengyun’s legs have been swollen for over half a year … Qiu Yuxia became paraplegic after she lost muscle function in the lower half of her body,” Liu wrote.
Liu suspected that the prison had poisoned Falun Gong practitioners who were detained there just before releasing them. In her submission to Minghui, she urged for an investigation and asked people to defend justice.
2020 ‘Clear Out’ Campaign
The CCP launched another Falun Gong campaign last year it dubbed the “clear out”—a concerted effort to force any remaining Falun Gong practitioners on the government’s blacklists to renounce their belief.
Liu was on one of these blacklists and became a target of the CCP’s campaign. In 2020, Liu was living with her husband away from her family at an address not listed on Liu’s registration record.
This led police officers and a CCP community official to threaten Liu’s daughter-in-law for her address. They told the daughter-in-law that they would stop her employer paying her salary if she didn’t tell them what they wanted to know.
Police tracked Liu down at her house in early July 2020. At that time, Liu was bed-ridden. She became paralyzed 13 months earlier when she suffering a stroke in June 2019. She and her family told Minghui they believe that the torture she suffered in the previous 20 years caused the stroke.
“They [police] forced her to press her fingerprints as required by the community official on a printed form. They also videotaped her,” Minghui reported on Sept. 12, 2020.
The form that Liu forcibly signed was a prewritten statement for renouncing belief in Falun Gong. However, Liu didn’t want to give up her belief in Falun Gong. She asked a fellow practitioner to publish her story on Minghui to expose the evil rule of the CCP in China, as well as her regret for signing the statement.
Upon news of Liu’s death, her daughter-in-law was in deep sorrow for having given the police her address.
Liu’s husband had became mentally unstable after he was detained and beaten for five days in February 2009 because his wife practiced Falun Gong, According to Minghui, 12 years later, he hasn’t recovered and suffers from dementia.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, was first introduced to the public in China in 1992. The practice spread rapidly by word of mouth to all parts of China. Individuals reported experiencing improvements in health and morality, better relationships with family and co-workers, and less stress. According to Chinese state reports in 1999, 100 million people in China—1 in 13 Chinese—were practicing Falun Gong.
On the evening of April 25, 1999, the then-head of the CCP, Jiang Zemin, lay the groundwork for the genocidal persecution he would launch a few months later with a letter to the Politburo—the party’s highest executive committee.
Jiang expressed concern that Falun Gong was “a kind of national organization with many followers, from Communist Party officials, scholars, soldiers, to workers and peasants.”
He feared that Falun Gong’s traditional moral teachings were a threat to the legitimacy of the CCP’s ideology, which is based on atheism, materialism, and the idea of struggle.
Jiang wrote: “Can the Marxism, materialism, and atheism that our Communist Party members uphold not win the battle with what Falun Gong promotes?”
The letter continued: “This is absolutely ridiculous!”
On July 20, 1999, Jiang brought the whole weight of China’s party-state down on the heads of Falun Gong practitioners. He’s reported to have given the order to “destroy their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and eliminate their bodies.”
Jiang is said to have believed he would eradicate the practice of Falun Gong in three months, and, based on the experience the CCP has had in stamping out other groups, this expectation wasn’t unrealistic.
The CCP has done its worst. Minghui lists the number of confirmed deaths from torture and abuse at 4,363 practitioners. Due to the difficulty of getting information out of China, the actual number of such killings is undoubtedly many times higher.
There also is a very large but unknown number of Falun Gong practitioners killed through the practice of forced, live organ harvesting, which some researchers have warned is a “cold genocide.”
Yet, 22 years after the persecution began, Freedom House estimates that up to 20 million people are still practicing Falun Gong in China, and the official Falun Gong website, FalunDafa.org, shows the practice has spread to 91 countries.