Chinese name: 吴瑞亭Gender: MAge: 81City: YingkouProvince: LiaoningOccupation: Retired employee of Yingkou City Machinery BureauDate of Death: August 29, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: October 11, 2014Most recent place of detention: Jinniushan Police Station

After enduring four years of displacement to avoid serving time for his faith in Falun Gong, Mr. Wu Ruiting finally reunited with his wife in January 2020 after she finished serving four years for their shared faith. The elderly couple lived a destitute life since Mr. Wu was still on the wanted list and both of their pensions had been suspended. He fell ill and passed away on August 29, 2021. He was 81.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

The elderly couple in Yingkou City, Liaoning Province took up Falun Gong in 1995. Mr. Wu, a retired employee of Yingkou City Machinery Bureau, credited the practice for curing his high blood pressure, vasculitis and emphysema.

On October 11, 2014, Mr. Wu and his wife, Ms. Zhu Ruimin, 79, were followed by a plainclothes officer while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. They were reported to the Xishi District Domestic Security Office and arrested by its director Jiang Yuandong and another officer Jiang Mingfu. The police also ransacked their home and took away their computer and other belongings.

The police took the couple to the local detention center, but they were rejected admission due to their poor health. The police later submitted their case to the prosecutor, who then indicted them and moved their case to the Xishi District Court. The judge sentenced both of them to four years on June 3, 2015. The couple appealed with Yingkou City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold their original verdicts. They were ordered to serve time from January 12, 2016 to January 11, 2020.

Ms. Zhu was taken to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on January 12, 2016 and held in the ward for elderly inmates.

Upon hearing that the authorities would take him to the Dalian Prison, Mr. Wu left home on January 13, 2016 and went into hiding. Having been put on the police’s wanted list, he rarely left his temporary housing and struggled to cope with everyday life. He was overcome by his mental distress from the persecution and worrying about his wife.

Mr. Wu reunited with his wife after she was released on January 11, 2020. Ms. Zhu soon learned that her pension had been suspended during her four years of imprisonment and that the benefits were not reinstated even after she was released.

Ms. Zhu went to the education bureau she retired from to seek the return of the suspended benefits totaling more than 200,000 yuan, only to be told that she had been fired as soon as she was sentenced. The officials also refused to provide any paperwork for firing her. “Only if you manage to have the court acquit you, can we reinstate your job. This is the order from above.” they said to her.

In 2021, Mr. Wu’s pension was also suspended. In order to keep hiding from the police, the couple rented a small apartment. Due to their financial constraint, the apartment didn’t even have a shower.

The hardship from living a displaced life and mental pressure from the persecution took a toll on Mr. Wu’s health. He became incapacitated, with difficulty walking and taking care of himself. He passed away on August 29, 2021.