Only a few months before her daughter's wedding, a woman from Wen'an County, Hebei Province, fell to her death as she tried to escape police by climbing down from the balcony of her third-floor apartment. She was 55.
The police targeted Ms. Yang Xiaohui for refusing to renounce her faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Eight officers knocked on Ms. Yang's door around 11:00 p.m. on April 8, 2019. When she refused to let them in, they used tools to pry open the door.
Ms. Yang’s husband and daughter, who were present during the home invasion, were terrified and didn’t know what to do.
As the police were about to break in, Ms. Yang rushed to the balcony and tried to escape from there. She tumbled to the ground. Unresponsive, she was sent to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead around 2:00 a.m.
The police closely monitored and videotaped Ms. Yang’s family during the emergency rescue attempts.
Li Zhongjie, the head of the Domestic Security Division, denied any responsibility for Ms. Yang's death and said that they were only following orders from above.
Ms. Yang's family was outraged when the police didn't allow them to make arrangements for her funeral, who claimed that they had to obtain approval from the higher-up before cremating and burying her.
Repeatedly Targeted for Her Faith
Since the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Yang was repeatedly targeted for not renouncing her faith. Her repeated arrests, harassment and home-ransacking left her family living in fear for the past two decades, resulting in her husband's poor health.
Ms. Yang was sent to brainwashing sessions twice between November 2003 and June 2004. She was kicked in the back and slapped in the face. The brainwashing centre staff tied her to a bed and force-fed her, severely injuring her oesophagus. They also injected her with unknown drugs that made her unable to fall sleep and subsequently, hard to wake up.
Ms. Yang's latest ordeal dated back to January 2, 2017, when she and eight other Falun Gong practitioners (two men and six women) travelled to the farmers' market in Daliu Town, Wen'an County to distribute calendars with information about Falun Gong. They were reported to the police and arrested nine days later. The police ransacked the practitioners' homes and took away their Falun Gong-related materials.
The seven female practitioners were released on bail the next day after the police found they had high blood pressure. The two male practitioners were held in detention for another month and were released on bail on February 23.
Since then, the police frequently harassed the practitioners through phone calls or knocking on their doors. They also required the practitioners to report to them at the police station every three months. When the practitioners refused to comply, they were put on a Wanted List.
Ms. Zheng Lili, one of the practitioners, was later arrested while using her flagged ID and then sentenced to 1.5 years in prison in December 2018. Ms. He Yan was arrested at her home in November 2018. Mr. Liu Yongmei, a teacher, was forced to quit his job and is now living away from home in order to avoid arrest. His parents, in their late 70s and needing care, are left unattended.
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