Yang Yi was an engineer at Wengfu Phosphorus Mine. On November 16, 2001, Yang was tortured to death by guards while being held in a detention center.

Yang Yi, male, 38 years old, was originally from Hunan Province. He graduated from the Changsha Nonferrous Metal Engineering Institute and worked in Wengfu Phosphorus Mine as an engineer. He started to practice Falun Gong in 1996.

After the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, Yang Yi went to clarify the truth of Falun Gong along with other practitioners by distributing literature to people around Fuquan City. On December 26, 2000, Yang Yi and a practitioner with the last name of Zheng were arrested while distributing truth-clarifying literature in Fuquan City. Consequently Yang Yi's wife, a practitioner with the last name of Zhou, was also sent to detention center. As a result, their child who was still in school and Zhou's elderly mother had to fend for themselves. They experienced many difficulties in their daily lives without anybody to take care of them.

In the detention center, because Yang Yi refused to reveal more information about other practitioners, he was brutally beaten by the guards. His right shin was broken from being kicked repeatedly by the guards. At the beginning of this year, when Yang's mother-in-law went to visit him in the hospital, she discovered that his right leg was covered with injuries obviously sustained from kicking. However, the police claimed that Yang broke his leg when he fell down by himself. After the local police detained Yang Yi and his wife for 10 months, Yang Yi was sentenced to seven years in forced labor camp on October 24, 2001. Yang's wife Zhou was sentenced to one year in forced labor camp with one year of probation. After paying 3,000 Yuan (the average monthly income of an urban worker is about 500 Yuan) bail, Zhou was released on November 12.

In October of this year, when Yang's family members went to visit him, they discovered that he was very weak and had lost a lot of hair, so they requested permission for him to receive medical care outside of the detention center. However, the detention center officials refused. On November 15, when officials saw that Yang Yi was dying, they finally allowed him to be sent to a hospital. When Yang came out of the detention center, he was extremely skinny and frail. He vomited everything that he tried ingest, including water. On the next day, November 16, 2001, Yang Yi passed away. When he died, his hands had abscesses, and yet he was still handcuffed. For one year, Yang Yi's wife was not able to see him, and when she finally saw him, Yang had already passed away.