Targeted in a High-Profile Case for Her Faith, Hebei Woman Dies in Agony at 55
(Minghui.org) A Zhengding County, Hebei Province resident died on June 4, 2020, due to the persecution of her faith in Falun Gong. She was 55.
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.
Ms. Zhang Jianzhi’s ordeal started when a local Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Li Lankui, was arrested in June 2012, before China’s then vice-chairman Xi Jinping invited then Iowa governor Terry Branstad to visit Daizhai Village in Zhengding to discuss potential trade and investment opportunities.
Seven hundred locals signed a petition demanding Mr. Li’s release, only to see local villagers harassed en masse by authorities as a result. Sixteen Falun Gong practitioners, including Ms. Zhang, and their family members were arrested. One of the practitioners, Ms. Yang Yinqiao, tragically fell to her death during the arrest.
Ms. Zhang was arrested and had her home ransacked on August 7, 2012. In a secret detention facility, the police bound her to an interrogation chair, covered her head with a black hood, and cuffed her hands behind her back. The officers beat her all over with a stick, slapped her in the face, and shocked her with electric batons. They threatened her with the safety of her parents and children in attempts to pressure her to provide information about the organizers of the petition drive.
Ms. Zhang’s health deteriorated as a result of the torture. When she was taken to a forced labor camp on August 29, she failed the physical examination and was released. Fearing being implicated in the persecution, Ms. Zhang’s family strongly opposed her practice of Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang was arrested two more times, on May 31, 2013 and in October 2019, respectively, for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was threatened and forced to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong.
Starting in late 2019, Ms. Zhang’s health deteriorated quickly. By April 2020, her weight had dropped from nearly 200 lbs to less than 110 lbs. She was hospitalized twice but passed away a few days after she was discharged.