82-year-old Woman Dies Weeks after Being Harassed for Her Faith

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An 82-year-old retired college professor passed away on December 5, 2020, after being harassed over the past month-and-a-half for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Sun Ning of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, took up Falun Gong in 1996 and had enjoyed good health for the past two decades. Although in her 80s, she still lived by herself and had no problem going up and down stairs, buying groceries, or cooking. In her spare time, she also managed a small garden.

Around November 16, 2020, a residential committee member called and asked her if she lived by herself or with her family.

Four days later, Liu Yajuan, a residential committee member, knocked on Ms. Sun’s door. She asked to see Ms. Sun’s household registration and asked if she still practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Sun said she did.

Liu returned a day or two later with a female colleague. They asked Ms. Sun how many children she had, how often they visited her, and if they stayed with her. Liu and her coworker took a picture of Ms. Sun before they left.

Ms. Sun later told a friend that the frequent harassment really stressed her. She lost her appetite and couldn’t sleep. She was in very low spirits. She said her heart started to pound whenever someone knocked on the door.

Ms. Sun was even more distressed after getting a notice from Jiamusi University, where she used to work, that the school was planning to suspend all retirement benefits for retired employees who claimed to have a spiritual belief and refused to renounce it.

Beginning on November 24, the police also began to harass Ms. Sun’s former colleagues Ms. Yuan Yuqin, 76; Ms. Wu Fengqin, in her 60s; and Ms. Chen Luchun, 70, all Falun Gong practitioners who lived in the same apartment complex as Ms. Sun.

Ms. Yuan, Ms. Wu, and Ms. Chen were also ordered to sign the statements to renounce Falun Gong. Sometimes the police showed up in their cars at night with the flashers on.

Some of the younger university employees were also harassed, and several of them were barred from the classroom for upholding their faith.

Every time the police came, it put enormous pressure on Ms. Sun and her health quickly declined.

When she went with a friend to a restaurant on December 3, she vomited after eating two dumplings. After that, she couldn’t hold any food down and vomited everything she ate.

Ms. Sun was taken to the hospital for resuscitation early on the morning of December 5. She was pronounced dead three hours later, at around 9 a.m.

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