Mr. Yang Zhi from Dancheng County, Henan Province, died on January 4th, 2016, two years after his release from an 11-year imprisonment. He was 61.
Just seven months before his passing, Mr. Yang filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, holding the former Chinese dictator responsible for his repeated arrests and lengthy imprisonment.
Years of persecution and abuse had wreaked havoc on Mr. Yang's health. His hands couldn't stop shaking, and he suffered from chronic stomach pain. He was slow to react and had memory problems. He died shortly after returning home from a hospital treatment this early January.
Below is Mr. Yang's personal account of his suffering as detailed in his complaint.
A Changed Life Shattered by Persecution
I used to be a hot tempered man and quarrelled with my wife all the time. Things changed, however, when I began the practice of Falun Gong in 1996. I became calmer and learned to get along with my wife. I also shared household chores with her, which never happened in the past.
My happy life didn't last long though – Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong three years into my practice. Since then, I have been repeatedly arrested, and my family implicated.
The local police chief often led his subordinates to ransack our home in the middle of the night, terrifying my wife and my then-young children. Both of my sons were once kept in a detention centre for about a year; they were only 15 and 13 at the time.
As a result of my sons' detention, they had to drop out of school. Now grown up, they had trouble finding spouses, as potential girlfriends were scared away by the persecution. Relatives have also distanced themselves from us for fear of implication.
First Arrest Followed by One Year of Detention
I was arrested for the first time in December 1999, when I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. I was held at Xuanwu District Detention Centre for one week before being moved back to Dancheng County Centre.
I wasn't released until about a year later, but I had to to report to Wutai Town Police Station every day.
Stripped to Underwear and Exposed to Extreme Cold
I went to Beijing again in December 2000 to appeal for Falun Gong, and was arrested as soon as I arrived at Tiananmen Square. The police beat me so badly that my mouth bled and my ribs were broken.
After I was taken to a police station, I was stripped to my underwear and cuffed to a tree in the courtyard. It was minus 17 Celsius degrees, and I was left exposed to the cold for five days without being given any food or water.
I went on a hunger strike to protest the detention after I was taken back to Dancheng County Detention Centre. The guards released me 18 days later when I was on the verge of death. By then, I had lost almost half of my body weight.
Two Years of Forced Labour
The local police still harassed me at home every day upon my release. Around the Chinese New Year holiday in 2001, they arrested me again and gave me two years of forced labour at Xuchang Labour Camp.
Sentenced to 11 Years
I didn't dare to return home upon my release from the labour camp, so I went from place to place to avoid further arrest. I was captured again on December 24th, 2003 and sent to Luyi Detention Centre, where I was held for one and a half years.
The authorities sentenced me to 11 years in June 2005 and transferred me to Xinmi Prison, where I was tortured.
For several days in a row, the guards forced me to remain still in a fixed position (standing, sitting or squatting) for 24 days a day, during which time I wasn't allowed to sleep or eat.
I later gave in and wrote statements to renounce my faith. Life didn't get any easier as promised. I was followed everywhere by assigned monitors, and I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone. I lived in fear.
The guards also forced me and other practitioners to do long hours of work without pay.
I still have chills every time I recall my prison ordeal. One division head claimed that he didn't care if a couple of Falun Gong practitioners died. A guard threatened more than 200 practitioners at a meeting, “I'll make you suffer more and more each day!” A team captain bragged, “If I kill you off, no one will even know how you died.”
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