On September 20th of 2002, Zhou Yuling, a female Falun Gong practitioner from Liaoning Province, passed away as a result of persecution by the "610 Office"* in Qinyuan County. More than half-a-year has now passed; as we celebrate this year's World Falun Dafa Day, we want to honor Zhou and all the other practitioners in China who have lost their lives due to the persecution, and to express our deepest respect to those who sacrificed their own lives to uphold the truth.

Ms. Zhou Yuling started practicing Falun Gong at the end of 1996. Since then the formerly tense relationship between Zhou and her mother-in-law improved tremendously. When her mother-in-law was sick, Zhou took care of her and did everything she could to ensure that she was comfortable. Just before Zhou's mother-in-law passed away, she said in tears, "Yuling, I was wrong about you before!"

On July 20, 1999, Ms. Zhou went to the county government to peacefully appeal for a stop to the persecution of Falun Gong. Officers from the Yinemeng township government took her back home. During a summer day in 2001, Zhou planned to bring back some truth-clarifying material from another area when it started to rain heavily. Zhou, however, was determined and was able to successfully bring the truth-clarifying materials back home. On January 13, 2002, Zhou and another practitioner went to Beijing and unfurled a banner on Tiananmen Square. She cried out what had been in her heart over the years, "Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa!" Under Teacher's benevolent care, Zhou returned home safely three days later.

In April 2002, Zhou Yuling participated in the Changlingtun Falun Dafa experience sharing conference. She was kidnapped by the police and illegally detained at the Dashagou Detention Center in Qinyuan County. Zhou protested by going on a hunger strike.

Zhou Yuling refused to eat or drink while she was detained, so she suffered from barbaric force-feeding. On the fourteenth day of the hunger strike, her life was in danger and she was on the brink of death. People from the "610 Office" had no choice but to release her. When Zhou's husband saw her, she was on the brink of death, and her appearance was not recognizable. He cried over her body because he thought she would not live. When Zhou Yuling finally returned home, she was unable to take care of herself. One side of her body was completely paralyzed and she could only eat a little bit of porridge at every meal. But Zhou insisted on listening to the Falun Gong lecture series and practicing the sitting meditation. In less than half-a-month, she was able to leave her bed and walk around. She made a complete recovery in less than a month.

To escape the persecution from the local "610 Office", Zhou and her husband left their hometown, where they had lived for over 40 years. They sold everything that they could, including their house, their three-wheeler, etc. They moved to Hongtoushan Township and sold pancakes for a living.

Zhou Yuling would always tell people the facts about Falun Gong wherever she went. In the early morning of August 30, 2002, police kidnapped her while she was putting up truth-clarifying posters in Hongtoushan. While Zhou was illegally detained, her husband went to the detention center and asked to see her. His request was denied.

On September 20, 2002, Zhou Yuling died under the persecution from the "610 Office" branch located in Qinyuan County. Due to persistent inquires from Zhou's family on the cause of her death, the "610 Office" had He Jinfeng from the county hospital issue a false death certificate in order to cover up their crimes. They only allowed two family members to see the certificate. Zhou's family wasn't even allowed to keep the death certificate, nor were they allowed to make a copy. Because her family wouldn't agree to cremate her body on that same day, the "610 Office" ordered four police cars and over twenty police officers to the cremation facility. Zhou's body was cremated under the intimidation and pressure from the police.

The truth can't be kept hidden forever. The evil deeds of the "610 Office" have been widely spread across Qinyuan County. Two incidents are well known. One is that when Zhou Yuling was taken to the emergency room of the local hospital, she was already dead. A doctor asked, "Why did you starve a person to death?" None of the police officers who were at the scene answered. There was no medical treatment, rescue effort, or postmortem examination. The second incident is that the "610 Office" had asked an inmate to falsely testify that Zhou had died of a heart attack. Even this person refused to follow the persecutors' demands.

*The 610 Office is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political or judicial systems.