CHINA: Falun Gong report: 1,188 practitioners sentenced, 209 killed in 2023
Figures include cases the movement became aware of in 2023. We regard them as believable.
Bitter Winter (17.01.2023) – As it does every year, Falun Gong has released the figures of its practitioners sentenced and persecuted to death in 2023 in China. Some may object that these are figures coming from the spiritual movement itself. Yet, on the basis of the number of trials reported by local media and by anti-xie-jiao websites, we regard the figures about those sentenced as believable.
As for the number of practitioners killed, obviously these cannot be confirmed from Chinese governmental sources. However, “Bitter Winter” has reported itself several cases of extra-judicial killings of Falun Gong practitioners, based on accounts by relatives and friends, and what can be said with certitude is that China continues to persecute dissidents to death in various ways.
Summarizing the Falun Gong reports, in the year 2023, 209 new cases of persecution to death were reported. They include 88 cases that occurred before 2023 but became known to the movement only in that year. Of the 175 practitioners persecuted to death whose age is known, the youngest was 23 and the oldest was 93; 134 were 60 or older. 130 victims were women and 77 men (for 2, the gender was not reported).
Liaoning was the province with more deaths reported in 2023. However, the first province for deaths that occurred during 2023 was Jilin. The figures include both those who died in custody and those who were sent home from jail where they had been tortured or denied medical treatment and died shortly thereafter.
The reports mention a variety of tortures the practitioners had to endure: wearing a straitjacket, being shocked with an electric baton, sprinkled with chili peppers, having their feet burned, being force-fed with mustard oil, or deprived of food and sleep. Several women were sexually assaulted.
In 2023, the movement became aware that another 1,188 Falun Gong practitioners had been sentenced to jail penalties, in addition to those included in reports released in previous years. Again, some were sentenced before 2023 but Falun Gong learned of the decisions only in that year. The average jail penalty was three years, but 161 practitioners were sentenced to five years or more. The youngest practitioner sentenced was 22 and the oldest 89. The courts of Shandong province were the busiest ones in issuing verdicts against Falun Gong practitioners in 2023.
In addition to those killed or sentenced, in 2023 Falun Gong added 6,514 names to its list of practitioners harassed through raids, orders to attend mandatory indoctrination classes, loss of their jobs, and other discriminatory measures.
These figures confirm what is often lamented by CCP bureaucrats, i.e., that notwithstanding periodical proclaims of “victory” in the campaigns aimed at eradicating Falun Gong, the movement remains active in all Chinese provinces. As “Bitter Winter” reported, Falun Gong gained new members during the COVID-19 epidemic by proposing the “Nine True Words Meditation” as a way of boosting the immune system and obtaining some protection from the virus.
Further reading about FORB in China on HRWF website