Remembering Ms.Yang Ruiyu, My Fellow Practitioner Who Was Tortured to Death in China

My name is Li Yishi and I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I am currently living with my son in Australia while waiting for the approval of my refugee status.

From 1994 to 1999, I practised the Falun Gong exercises at the practice site in the Cultural Palace of Taijiang District, Fuzhou City. For about five years I practised, studied the teachings, and spread the practice together with Ms. Yang Ruiyu, the practitioner whose story of being tortured to death at Fuzhou City Police Station was reported on the Clearwisdom website. I would like to share my memories of Ms. Yang Ruiyu.

In the summer of 1994, when I started to learn Falun Gong, Ms. Yang Ruiyu was already a teaching assistant. Later, she became the coordinator of the seven Taijiang District practice sites. Sometimes she went to other practice sites to do the exercises, but most of the time she stayed at the site that I usually went to.

We met to study the teachings three times a week at my place, Yang Ruiyu's home, or another practitioner's place. In December 1994, Ms Yang Ruiyu, Wang Suzhen (from the same practice site), another practitioner and I travelled to Guangzhou to attend the last nine-day lecture given by Teacher Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa.

In late April 1999, the Fuzhou Falun Dafa Association held a meeting of over 10,000 practitioners in Zuohai Park of Gulou District about the "April 25"1 event. Led by Ms. Yang Ruiyu, seven of us from our site participated.

Our practice site was beside the No. 1 Auditorium under the Management Department of the Cultural Palace. Right before July 20th, 1999, when the persecution of Falun Gong began, Taijiang District Police Station manipulated staff from the Park Management Office and followers of other qigong schools to harass us by claiming that our practice was "illegal." We had been doing our exercises for over five years and no one had ever accused us of being "illegal." We didn't want to leave our site, so we tried to explain the facts to them. Ms. Yang Ruiyu tried to tell them what Dafa was with patience, and at the same time tried to reassure the rest of the practitioners at our site. As we did not want to get into an argument, we moved to a quieter corner of the park to continue our group practice.

Disappointed by the failure of their efforts to stop us from practising, four policemen led by Group Head Ma from the Armed Police forced eight practitioners, including Yang Ruiyu and me, from the practice site into a police car one day in late July 1999. They drove us to a remote area near Fuzhou University in the countryside and left us there. Before they left without us, Group Head Ma said to us that this time it was merely a warning, and they would not let us go so easily next time if we continue to practise. From that day on, we lost our practice environment. The walk back home was over 10 kilometres, and Ms. Yang Ruiyu walked with us and took care of us, including the elderly and weak.

However, after July 20th, 1999, the situation worsened. Policemen and people from Street Committees harassed Dafa practitioners at home and distributed notices again and again to force practitioners to turn in their Dafa audio tapes and books, and every practitioner was required to write a guarantee statement guaranteeing that he/she would not practise any more.

I am an elderly man who suffered from several serious diseases and who had lived through and experienced most of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) political movements. In order to avoid being persecuted, I left my home in Fuzhou City and led a homeless life for about a year before I finally arrived at my son's place in Australia.

The CCP typically goes after what it perceives to be the leader of a group it wants to persecute and make an example out of him or her. Because Ms. Yang Ruiyu was the coordinator of seven practice sites and led practitioners to Teacher's lectures, travelled to 13 districts or counties (the furthest was more than 50 kilometres from the city) with fellow practitioners to spread the practice, and led practitioners to attend the gathering supporting the appeal on April 25th in Beijing, the CCP went after her and persecuted her severely.

After Ms. Yang Ruiyu died as a result of the persecution, the Fuzhou Police Station would not allow any memorial services for her and ordered her body to be incinerated the same day she passed away. Her husband and daughter were not allowed to get close enough to see her. It was reported that there was a fist-sized hole in her body. An old classmate of mine was at Ms. Yang Ruiyu's workplace. At the incineration place, he saw two marks on Yang Ruiyu's side that were still trickling blood. She may very well have had her organs taken from her, perhaps even while she was still alive.

Ms. Yang Ruiyu was an employee of the Housing Management Bureau of Taijiang District, Fuzhou City, and she lived in the dormitory of the Sports Department on Chating Street, Jiangtai District. I was very sad upon hearing the news of her death caused by the persecution. The above are my memories of Ms. Yang Ruiyu.

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1. "April 25": This refers to the "sensitive" anniversary of April 25, 1999, on which date ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully gathered outside the Zhongnanhai compound (China’s central government building) and successfully appealed for the release of forty-five practitioners who had been illegally arrested in Tianjin City.

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