Chinese Name: 张玉林
Date of Death: 2001-05-11
Date of Most Recent Arrest: 2001-01-15
Most recent place of detention: Banqiao Women's Forced Labor Camp
Ms. Zhang Yulin was arrested for practicing Falun Gong on January 15, 2001, along with more than one hundred other Falun Gong practitioners. She was taken to a rehabilitation center for brainwashing, and she was later sentenced to 18 months of forced labor for not giving up her practice of Falun Gong. She was taken to the Banqiao Women's Forced Labor Camp in early April, 2001. The guards tried several times to force her to write a so-called guarantee statement promising to quit practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang told them, "I can write the guarantee, but you need to write one for me as well." When asked what kind of guarantee she wanted, Ms. Zhang said, "Your guarantee that when I get sick in the future, I have a place to go to get my medical expenses reimbursed." The guards left dejected. As a result, Ms. Zhang was held in the brainwashing center for three months before being taken to the forced labor camp.
Ms. Zhang had sewn some of the Falun Gong teaching materials into her quilt when her home was searched shortly after the persecution began. Her husband took the quilt to her at the labor camp, and she retrieved the teaching materials to read. When the guards found out, they forced her to reveal the source of the materials, but they met with no success. So the labor camp found her husband and the management of his workplace through the local 610 Office, and pressured them for answers. Concerned that her husband might lose his job as a consequence, Ms. Zhang admitted that she had sewed the materials into the quilt.
Her husband was also pressured by the guards to convince her to give up her practice of Falun Gong. Out of stress and anger, her husband slapped her before going back home and getting himself drunk. When he got up the next morning, on May 11, 2009, he was notified by his workplace that Ms. Zhang had died. He went with a representative from his workplace to the forced labor camp and was told that Ms. Zhang had fallen to her death while cleaning the windows. He was allowed only one look at his wife before her body was sent off for cremation. He noticed that her neck, hands, arms and legs were covered with wounds, and doubted that she had fallen to her death, as her cell was on the first floor, near the ground. But he dared not take any legal action.
According to one inmate, after Ms. Zhang's husband left the forced labor camp on May 10, 2009, one of the guards said, "She is tough. We'll give her something tougher tonight to see if she can still be that way." The guards and several inmates tortured Ms. Zhang throughout the night.
On the day that Ms. Zhang died, a doctor who was held in the forced labor camp at the same time was called by the guards. When she came back, she was pale and said, "I was asked to verify whether a person was indeed dead or not. She is dead, but the guards won't allow me diagnose the cause of death. Instead the guards said that she had died of a heart attack after she fell while cleaning the windows." They also threatened her with consequences if she exposed the truth.
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