Mr. Chen Shaomin from Sanmenxia City, Henan Province, died on May 14, 2019, less than a year after he was released from prison on medical parole. According to the coroner, both of his lungs were completely decayed.
Mr. Chen became the third person in his family to lose his life as a result of the persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Mr. Chen and his two brothers had been repeatedly arrested for refusing to renounce their faith in Falun Gong since the persecution began in July 1999. Their father endured tremendous stress while trying to seek their release and passed away in 2001. Mr. Chen's older brother died in 2011, two years after being injected with unknown drugs while serving time for his faith.
While mourning the death of her middle son, his mother, in her 70s, is worried about her youngest son Xiaomin, who was arrested at the same time as Shaomin and is still imprisoned for not renouncing his faith in Falun Gong.
Family Broken Amidst the Persecution
Shortly after the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, Mr. Chen Shaomin and his younger brother, Mr. Chen Xiaomin, went to Beijing to appeal for justice for their faith and were arrested as a result.
While the two brothers were held in arbitrary detention, their elderly father worked tirelessly to seek their release, only to be threatened and given the runaround by the authorities. He died two years later, in 2001.
Mr. Chen’s older brother, Mr. Chen Yuemin, was sentenced to prison twice for his faith in Falun Gong. He was tortured and injected with toxic drugs. He was very weak and suffered severe back pain after being released from prison. He died on April 26, 2011, at the age of 48.
Mr. Chen Yuemin’s wife, Ms. Li Faying, also a Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested and sentenced to four years in 2014 for handing out information about Falun Gong. While she was serving time in Xinxiang Women’s Prison, their only daughter had to support herself by doing part-time jobs.
In June 2016, Mr. Chen Shaomin and Mr. Chen Xiaomin were arrested again for their faith. The police ransacked their homes and confiscated their computers, printer, and cash.
The two were sentenced in July 2017 and taken to Xinmi Prison (the lengths of their terms remain to be investigated). According to one Falun Gong practitioner who served time in the same prison, the brothers were severely tortured there for not renouncing their faith.
By the time Mr. Chen Shaomin was released on medical parole in 2018, the once-healthy man in his prime had multiple health issues and had completely lost the ability to take care of himself.
Sent to Forced Labour Camps Twice
Prior to his latest prison term, Mr. Chen Shaomin was sent to forced labour camps twice for practising Falun Gong.
In Wugulu Labor Camp in Luoyang City, Henan Province (time frame unknown), he was closely monitored by four inmates. They once stripped off his clothes and beat him with a thick bamboo board after they found him talking to another Falun Gong practitioner. His buttocks were swollen and bruised.
Before he was sent to the second forced labour camp, Mr. Chen was held in the Luoning County Detention Center. The guard there forced him to walk back and forth with his hands and feet shackled.
Mr. Chen was taken to Henan Province No. 3 Forced Labour Camp in September 2004. There, guards and inmates often beat him with truncheons and leather belts. Sometimes they slapped him in the face with their boots.
Guard Nie Yong once forced his penis into Mr. Chen’s mouth and threatened to urinate into his mouth if he didn’t give up his faith.
In addition to the beatings, the guards often cuffed his hands behind his back or tied him up. They also verbally abused him, shocked him with electric batons, and injected him with unknown drugs. His left foot was severely injured and oozed pus. His left ear also had pus because of the toxic effects of the drugs. He was emaciated and often dizzy as a result of the torture.
|Torture re-enactment: Tied up|
Mr. Chen was due to be released in November 2005, but the authorities held him for another year because he refused to give up Falun Gong.
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