Name: Yao Caiwei (姚彩薇)
Gender: Female
Age: 58
Address: Shuangcheng City, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Small business owner
Date of Death: May 18, 2010
Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 19, 2002
Most Recent Place of Detention: Jilin City Detention Center (万家劳教所)
City: Shuangcheng
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Electric shock, sleep deprivation, forced labor, brainwashing, beatings, torture, force-feedings, extortion, physical restraint, home ransacked, interrogation, detention, denial of restroom use

( Ms. Yao Caiwei's husband, Mr. Zhang Tao, was tortured to death in custody at the end of 2002 (see Her 22 year-old daughter Ms. Zhang Jianhui was detained, her face beaten until she was disfigured, and then sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. Ms. Yao appeared to be a paraplegic. Her limbs were numb, she could not speak clearly, she had blurry vision, and she had difficulty taking care of herself. She died on May 18, 2010.

Ms. Yao Caiwei

On May 19, 2010, Ms. Yao's family arrived at Heilongjiang Province Women's Prison and asked that her daughter, Ms. Zhang Jianhui, be allowed to see her mother for the last time, but Office Manager Tao turned down their request. On May 21, 2010, her family once again asked that Ms. Yao's daughter be permitted to join the funeral, but prison officials gave orders to not even allow them through the gate.

Mr. Zhang Tao

Ms. Zhang Jianhui, still detained

The main person responsible is Zhang Guofu, the deputy director of Shuangcheng City Police Department, and also Mr. Zhang Tao's cousin (their fathers are brothers). Zhang Guofu's mind has been twisted by Communist Party (CCP) brainwashing, and he does not recognize his cousin as a relative in order to be promoted. He arrested his own cousin, Mr. Zhang Tao, and his cousin's wife, younger sister, and daughter.

Ms. Yao and her husband retired early from the Shuangcheng City Cement Factory. After they began to practice Falun Gong in January 1996, their sicknesses disappeared. They sold mountain area products for a living and lived in a small but tidy house.

After the persecution began in 1999, Ms. Yao, her husband, and her daughter went to Beijing to appeal multiple times, and Zhang Guofu focused on them as targets for mistreatment. He instructed officers from the Zhanqian Police Station to watch their house and tried to arrested their then 19-year-old daughter.

Ms. Yao was arrested and detained twice. The first time was on January 19, 2000, after she came back from appealing in Beijing. She was detained in the Shuangcheng City Second Detention Center until May 23, 2000. She went to Beijing to appeal for the second time on July 1, 2000, and was detained in the Shuangcheng City Detention center from July 4 until September 29, 2000.

Ms. Yao's husband, Mr. Zhang Tao, was detained three times. The first time was on August 5, 1999, after he came back from appealing in Beijing. He was detained in the Shuangcheng City Second Detention Center for 18 days, until September 2, 1999. Officers from the Zhanqian Police Station arrested Mr. Zhang at his home at the beginning of November 1999, placed him in custody for 54 hours in the station, then detained him in the Second Detention Center until the end of November 1999. The second time he went to Beijing to appeal was on the 2000 Chinese New Year (February 5, 2000). He was detained on February 8, 2000, in the Second Detention Center until he was transferred to Yimianpo Forced Labor Camp in Shangzhi City on May 30, 2000, and served a nine-month term.

Ms. Yao's daughter, Ms. Zhang Jianhui, went to Beijing to appeal on January 18, 2000. She was arrested and detained in the Second Detention Center from January 22 until March 28, 2000. She was directly taken to the Zhanqian Community Brainwashing Center and imprisoned there for seven days.

Right after the 2001 Chinese New Year, CCTV fabricated the Tiananmen Self-Immolation. In order to clarify the truth to those that had been deceived, Ms. Yao's family distributed fliers that explained the actual events. At around 10 p.m. on February 23, 2001, the local police arrested Ms. Yao and her daughter and detained Ms. Yao in the Second Detention Center and her daughter in the brainwashing center.

By October 2001, Ms. Yao's family could not remain in their house peacefully any longer. They had to sell their house for less than its value and go live out of town.

On November 10, 2001, Mr. Zhang had just gotten off the bus in Harbin City when he was arrested by several plainclothes police. He was in custody in the Harbin City Police Department and tortured on an iron chair for 12 entire days, causing his buttocks to fester and his limbs to swell. He was unable to stand up after being released. The police did not extract any information from him, but they detained him in Yaziquan Prison for four months, until March 2002, then sentenced him to three years of forced labor to be served in Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp in Harbin City.

Mr. Zhang was so brutally tortured in Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp that he could not walk or sleep, and he experienced extreme internal pain. The Harbin City Second Hospital checked his gallbladder, kidneys, and pancreas and found that all had been injured. He retained fluid in his abdomen that prevented him from urinating normally. After only 15 days, the camp allowed him to be bailed out by his older brother for medical treatment in Shuangcheng City.

But only nine days after being released on April 19, 2002, seven to eight Shuangcheng City 610 Office agents stormed into the couple's newly rented house, ransacked the place, and dragged the couple into a police vehicle without letting them dress warmly. The police put them in custody in the Shuangcheng City Police Department, tortured them, and put Mr. Zhang on the iron chair for 24 hours.

The police detained Mr. Zhang for 24 days in the Second Detention Center, starting on April 20, 2002. They brutally beat him on May 13, 2002, then took him back to the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp. The guards locked him in a small cell (2) for going on a hunger strike at the end of July 2002. On July 30, 2002, the camp administrators called Mr. Zhang's brother and told him that Mr. Zhang Tao had died of "heart disease." Ms. Yao and their daughter were in custody, and her son was nowhere to be found. Mr. Zhang's brother and sister-in-law went to dress him on August 2, 2002, and saw that his neck was swollen very badly and covered with purple bruises. One arm was obviously fractured.

After being arrested on April 19, 2002, Ms. Yao was sentenced to three years of forced labor. The camp wouldn't accept her her due to her poor physical condition but took her to a brainwashing center held in the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp. Warden Wang told her that her husband had died. She asked to see her husband's body, but Changlinzi Camp had cremated him in the Huangshanzuizi Crematory without letting her see him.

Their daughter, Ms. Zhang Jianhui, was also arrested on April 19, 2002 ,and detained. The guards beat her brutally, disfiguring her face, and there were injuries all over her body. She was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment and has been detained in the Harbin City Women's Prison since January 2003.

Ms. Yao's husband had been tortured to death in custody, her daughter was serving a long sentence, and her son, a non-practitioner, was nowhere to be found. Ms. Yao collapsed. After being released, her life was very hard. She cried all day, unable to speak clearly, her vision blurred, her arms and legs useless. She was simply unable to take care of herself.

In the winter of 2008, her family helped her visit her daughter in prison. The mother and daughter cried either side of the glass, unable to say a word. Even the other visiting families were heartbroken when they learned their tragic story. Her family helped her see the prison director, but their request for Ms. Zhang Jianhui's release to take care of her mother was coldly denied.

After returning home, Ms. Yao's condition worsened, and she often just stared into space. If anyone mentioned her husband or daughter, she would appear to cry, but no tears flowed from her dried out eyes. She had a convulsion on May 18, 2010, and died. Her family cremated her on May 22 and buried her ashes with her husband, according to tradition.


(1) Small cell - The detainee is locked up in a very small cell individually. The guards handcuff practitioners behind their backs in a fixed position, so that they can neither move nor lie down. The small cell is very damp and no sunshine comes in. There is a bucket in the cell instead of a toilet. Only half of a regular meal is served to those in a small cell during the daytime. During the night, the rats take over. The stench in the small cell is so bad that it is difficult to breathe.

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