Belated News: Sichuan Man Dies After Years of Harassment, Torture and Detention for His Faith

It was recently confirmed by that Mr. Yang Yuefu, a Wanyuan City, Sichuan Province resident, passed away on May 7, 2017 after suffering years of persecution for upholding his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999. He was 54.

One Month of Detention for Appealing for Falun Gong
Mr. Yang was first arrested on March 2, 2000 for appealing for the right to practise Falun Gong in Beijing. Four officers in Wanyuan travelled to Beijing three days later and escorted him back.

The officers extorted 2,300 yuan from his wife, Ms. Li Zhixiu, for their travel expenses. They took Mr. Yang to Wanyuan City No.1 Detention Centre, where the guards and inmates shocked him with electric batons and beat him.

Mr. Yang was released on bail 27 days later. The police forced his cousin, Ms. Yang Yuexue, to pay a 2,000-yuan bail bond. The police never returned the money, and they also confiscated the receipt of the bail bond while ransacking his home four years later.

Six Months of Detention
Mr. Yang was arrested on June 10, 2004 and held at Wanyuan City Detention Centre again after he was reported for giving Falun Gong informational materials to a neighbour.

The day after his arrest, the police scaled his fence and broke into his home when no one was around (Mr. Yang’s wife was working out of town and his son was at school). They spent the entire afternoon searching his residence and confiscated his Falun Gong books, materials and media players.

When Mr. Yang’s 12-year-old son, Yang Zhou, returned home from school around 5 p.m., the police interrogated him until 10 p.m. and forced him to sign the interrogation record. Only after a neighbour came over and complained about the police’s mistreatment of a minor did they finally leave.

During Mr. Yang's detention, he was denied many basic rights, including sleeping, restroom use, and drinking water. The guards also subjected him to intensive brainwashing, interrogated him overnight, and shocked him with electric batons.

Mr. Yang’s wife went to visit him on October 12, 2004. The detention centre initially rejected her request but later relented to her repeated requests and after extorting 500 yuan from her.

Two Years of Forced Labour
The police gave Mr. Yang a two-year labour camp term on December 17, 2004 after holding him in detention for six months. He was transferred to Xinhua Forced Labour Camp on December 22. His family never received any documents for the term.

At the Xinhua Forced Labour Camp, Mr. Yang was monitored by three inmates around the clock, who beat and verbally abused him at will. Sometimes they didn’t allow him to take showers or use the restroom, in attempts to force him to renounce his faith.

The guards also subjected Mr. Yang to many corporal punishments, including squatting or standing all day without moving, as well as constant beatings and electric shocks.

Mr. Yang was also forced to sit on a tiny stool as big as one’s palm and four inches in height, while keeping his hands on his lap and his back straight, his legs closed, and his heels touching the legs of the stool. If he moved a little or couldn’t maintain the position, the guards would beat him or stomp on his feet.

Unable to bear the horrific torture, Mr. Yang was forced to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong against his will. He soon regretted his decision and wrote another statement to retract his renunciation, only to be forced to stand facing the wall for long hours and held in solitary confinement.

Three Months of Brainwashing
Due to the long-term persecution, Mr. Yang’ family suffered tremendous financial difficulty and struggled to make ends meet.

In order to make a living, he planned to go to the neighbouring Shaanxi Province to find a job. A neighbour who had been ordered by the police to monitor him found out and reported him, and Mr. Yang was arrested on May 4, 2008 on his way to the train station. He was held in a brainwashing centre in Dazhou City for 135 days.

With the tidal wave of criminal complaints starting in 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Mr. Yang also filed his complaint in 2017. He detailed the torture he had suffered in police custody and local officials’ constant harassment and home-ransacking.

The police harassed him again upon finding out that he had filed the legal complaint. His health quickly declined afterwards, and he passed away on May 7, 2017.

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