Ms. Yang Shujun, 57, an engineer from Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province, was recently arrested for practicing Falun Gong. This was her third arrest for upholding her convictions. The police have held her since December 7, 2015 and she is scheduled to face trial on April 12 at the Fularji District Court.
Arrested and Tortured for Putting up Banners
Ms. Yang’s first arrest occurred when the persecution started in 1999. She was kept at the Shuanghe Labor Camp for one year.
She was arrested again in November 2004, when she and other practitioners put up more than 100 banner in Qiqihar with the messages, “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Placing banners in public places has been an effective method for practitioners to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) negative propaganda about Falun Gong, as all other avenues of expression have been closed under the harsh suppression. Li Ruixin and other police officer carried out a large scale sweep and arrested more than 20 practitioners involved with putting up the banners, including Ms. Yang. They were tortured over prolonged, brutal interrogation sessions, some so severely that they became disabled.
Ms. Yang was subjected to intense abuse for 7 consecutive days. The guards burned her with cigarettes, covered her head with a plastic bag to suffocate her, beat her, hung her up by handcuffs, and injected her with unknown drugs.
She suffered a mental breakdown as a result of the torture and was transferred to the First Detention Center in Qiqihar City. The abuse continued in the new location, including beatings and punitive force-feeding. Ms. Yang’s health deteriorated, and at just 47 years of age, her hair had turned completely gray. Those who had known her as a healthy, energetic 40-year-old lady could hardly recognize her.
Sentenced to Twelve Years
Ms. Yang was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment in April 2006, along with 15 other practitioners.
When she protested the illegal detention and mistreatment, the prison authorities had her force-fed with unknown drugs. The drugs caused Ms. Yang to suffer mental illness. She shouted, experienced memory loss, and became unable to take care of herself.
Despite her precarious mental health, the prison officials continued to persecute Ms. Yang. In June 2006 they sent her to the Harbin Women’s Prison, notorious for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. The guards ordered inmates to beat and swear at Ms. Yang. They also deprived her of sleep and put her in solitary confinement.
Ms. Yang has no siblings and her husband divorced her in 2003 because she refused to give up her belief in Falun Gong. When fellow practitioners tried to visit her in prison, their request was denied. She was not released until May 2014.
Meditation Met Brutality
Growing up in the countryside of Tailai County, Ms. Yang was admitted to the Harbin Medical University after graduating from high school. She later enrolled in Qiqihar University with a major in Silicate Minerals. After joining the Heilongjiang Glass Factory as an engineer, she soon became a technical expert.
Ms. Yang began practicing Falun Gong in 1998 and became healthier and more energetic. Even when the persecution began in 1999, she was always eager to speak about her positive experience with Falun Gong to dispel the CCP’s lies and slander.
Before the December 2015 arrest, Ms. Yang went to the Xingfu Police Station and talked to the officers about Falun Gong. She told them how much she had benefited from the practice, but they refused to listen. One of the officers, Tian Yugeng, videotaped Ms. Yang and used it as “evidence of a crime.”
Several practitioners have also contacted Jin Shu, Presiding Judge of the Qiqihar Intermediate Court, urging her to abandon the CCP’s persecution policy.
Besides her role in the Qiqihar Intermediate Court, Jin is a member of a task force targeting Falun Gong. Led by Guo Xiaofeng, head of local 610 Office, this nine-person group supervise all Falun Gong-related cases in Qiqihar City.
Xingfu Police Station: +86-452—6718100
Guo Xiaofeng, head of Qiqihar 610 Office: +86-13314654777