Husband and Wife Lose Their Lives to the Persecution of Their Shared Faith 16 Years Apart
(Minghui.org) A widowed man in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, succumbed to two decades of persecution for his faith in Falun Gong and passed away at the age of 56 on January 20, 2021. Mr. Yang Chuanjun’s death was preceded by multiple arrests and two prison sentences for a total of nine years. His wife, also a Falun Gong practitioner, had already died 16 years ago after enduring years of harassment and torture.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 20, 1999.
Mr. Yang, one of the volunteers coordinating a Falun Gong exercise site in Dalian, was listed as a major target when the persecution started. At 4:15 a.m. on July 20, 1999, a group of officers broke into his home and arrested him.
It’s not known what had happened to Mr. Yang after his first arrest. The next time his persecution was reported was when he was held at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in 2000, he lost consciousness for 10 hours due to fatigue from being forced to do intensive labor.
First Prison Sentence
Mr. Yang was arrested again on April 24, 2002, and held at Yaojia Detention Center for several months. The police attempted to send him to the Masanjia Labor Camp again, but the labor camp refused to take him. Although the police released him afterwards, they put him under house arrest and didn't allow him to go to work.
In order to imprison Mr. Yang, the police fabricated evidence against him and alleged that he was organizing an international conference of Falun Gong practitioners in Dalian.
Mr. Yang was soon arrested again. He stood trial at the Ganjingzi District Court on January 21, 2003. He denied any wrongdoing for practicing Falun Gong and revealed that the police had beaten and shocked him with electric batons for three days in order to extract a confession from him. The judge secretly sentenced him to 4 years in Dalian City Prison.
As Mr. Yang went on a hunger strike to resist the persecution, the prison guards locked him up in a small cell, force-fed him, and left the feeding tube in his stomach to increase his suffering.
Second Prison Term
Mr. Yang was arrested one more time on June 19, 2007. He was frequently tortured to the point of fainting and vomiting blood. When he was taken to Dalian Central Hospital, he had very high blood pressure.
The Xigang District Court held two hearings of his case (with the first one on September 14, 2007), but the prosecutor failed to present any evidence. At his third court hearing, which the prosecutor didn’t even attend, the judge directly sentenced Mr. Yang to five years to Dongling Prison in Shenyang. He protested the verdict in court, but the judge quickly left without saying a word.
Wife’s Tragic Death
Mr. Yang’s wife, Ms. Dai Zhijuan, was the senior physician employed by the Dalian City Women and Children's Hospital.
Ms. Dai was arrested when going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in April 2000 and was held at Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. There, she was subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation, forced labor, isolation and monitoring, injection of unknown drugs, and more. She was tortured to the point where she could not take care of herself and released on medical parole.
Ms. Dai was arrested again together with Mr. Yang on April 24, 2002. She was given a second term at the Masanjia Labor Camp for three years. The torture left her devastated both mentally and physically. She was unable to eat and again released on medical parole.
Eight police officers tried to arrest Ms. Dai and her mother on September 1, 2004, but failed. Afterwards, four plainclothes officers stayed at the entrance of her apartment building and monitored her. Ms. Dai was forced to live away from home to avoid the persecution. She passed away on December 21, 2005.