Believable figures show that practitioners continue to be mercilessly hunted.
by Massimo Introvigne
It claims that 172 Falun Gong practitioners died in 2022 (or Falun Gong received reports that they died in earlier years: 101 died in 2002 proper) as a result of the persecution, bringing the total to 4,984 (or more, as the Falun Gong organization abroad believes the data it collects from China are incomplete) since the crackdown started in 1999.
Those who died in 2022 include “one 88-year-old woman in Heilongjiang [who] died hours after she was arrested. A 70-year-old man died the day after his arrest. Two practitioners, including an 83-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, died shortly after being given toxic drugs while in custody… A total of 26 practitioners died from torture in custody, including 17 in prisons, eight in detention centers, and one in police station. In addition to the torture deaths, several practitioners passed away after developing serious conditions in custody and being denied medical parole for not renouncing Falun Gong. Others died after decades of incarceration.”
633 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced for their faith in 2022 according to the report. “Among the 43 practitioners [sentenced] in Beijing, 11 of them were handed heavy terms weeks before the Winter Olympics in 2022 for sending photos of the city to overseas media. One of the practitioner, Ms. Xu Na, a well-known artist in Beijing whose husband Mr. Yu Zhou was tortured to death days after his arrest before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was given eight years.”
Also in 2022, 7,331 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested or harassed for their faith, the report says. The number increased just before the Winter Olympics and the 20th Congress of the CCP. “In addition to elderly practitioners, young children weren’t spared from the persecution either. A two-year-old boy was interrogated and a nine-year-old girl witnessed the police raid her home only to be interrogated herself following her grandmother’s arrest.
Following the arbitrary arrests, the practitioners faced sexual assault, torture and involuntary drug administration while in detention, resulting in mental trauma, physical injuries, and/or memory loss. Even after some practitioners had already become incapacitated due to the persecution, the police still harassed them on a regular basis in an attempt to force them to renounce Falun Gong.”
As in the case of The Church of Almighty God’s report, we find these figures believable, and for the same reason. The first source of evidence about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is not Falun Gong. It is not Bitter Winter either. It is the Chinese government-controlled media, which continuously report that Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested and sentenced. While single details of the report cannot be independently confirmed, a study and monitoring of the CCP media themselves indicate that the figures supplied by Falun Gong are most likely true.