Key Developments and Prisoner Cases 2022–2023

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In this report published in July 2023, the Falun Dafa Information Center presents key developments in the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong on the anniversary of the 24th year of its launch. Inside China, the community of Falun Gong practitioners continue to face digital surveillance, unjust detention and sentences, and death due to persecution. Outside of China, the CCP exerts its influence to carry out transnational repression against Falun Gong adherents.

The report offers recommendations for government policymakers worldwide, international civil society, and scholars on how to condemn, deter, and prevent rights violations against Falun Gong believers inside and outside China.

The study’s key findings include:

  • Ongoing persecution: Nearly a quarter century after its launch, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong believers remains one of the largest and most severe human rights crises in China today.

  • Sensitive dates: The CCP continues to intensify its surveillance and detention of Falun Gong practitioners surrounding sensitive dates. Recently, these included the October 2022 Party Congress, annual political meetings in March 2023, and one of Xi Jinping’s visits to Shaanxi in May 2023.

  • Large-scale imprisonment: Since January 2022, over 900 Falun Gong believers have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 10 years following sham trials, many of them for sharing information on censored topics, including COVID-19. These detainees join an estimated tens of thousands—or even more—other Falun Gong practitioners being held in police stations, extralegal detention facilities, and prisons.

  • High-tech surveillance: Digital surveillance tools play a significant role in monitoring Falun Gong believers across China, leading to their detention, with at least one Chinese technology firm developing an alarm feature for police to specifically target Falun Gong practitioners.

  • Deaths from persecution: At least 182 Falun Gong practitioners are known to have died in 2022 and early 2023 due to the CCP’s violent repression, including a 30-year-old radio host in Sichuan and the mother of a U.S. resident in Inner Mongolia. In a tragic milestone, in June 2023, the total number of Falun Gong believers documented to have died due to persecution surpassed 5,000. Many more are believed to have been killed due to forced organ transplants, a crime reaffirmed by new academic research and countered by recent legislative efforts around the world.

  • Transnational repression: The CCP’s pursuit of Falun Gong practitioners extends far beyond China’s borders. As democratic governments have focused attention on countering Beijing’s transnational repression since January 2022, they have engaged in more arrests, prosecutions, and undercover investigations of those perpetrating these violations in an effort to better protect the Falun Gong community.

  • Turning the tide: Despite the CCP’s massive investment in crushing the practice, Falun Gong survives—and even thrives—in China and globally, bringing health, hope, and peace of mind to tens of millions of people. In China, rights lawyers courageously represent Falun Gong clients, colleagues display kindness, and even some police are sympathetic. Around the world, ordinary citizens and government leaders condemn the persecution and have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials. Yet more is needed to save lives, to end the CCP’s brutality, and to free Falun Gong.

Contact the Center’s researchers to schedule a private briefing at [email protected].