Chinese Name: 袁玉珍Gender: FemaleAge: 81City: NanjingProvince: JiangsuOccupation: TeacherDate of Death: November 19, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 16, 2011Most Recent Place of Detention: Gulou District Brainwashing Center

A former award-winning teacher in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province died on November 19, 2021, after enduring two decades of persecution for her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Yuan Yuzhen was 81. 

Ms. Yuan began to practice Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in 1995. She credited the practice for curing her many ailments, including a heart condition, rheumatoid arthritis and lumbar disc herniation. 

After the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, due to Falun Gong’s tremendous popularity and revival of traditional values that the regime sought to eliminate, Ms. Yuan went to Beijing three times to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was arrested each time and had her home ransacked. She was also given one year of forced labor after being taken back to Nanjing. The arrests, detention and subsequent harassment took a toll on her health and eventually claimed her life.

Ms. Yuan was first arrested in April 2000 when she went to Beijing to appeal. She was held in a metal cage and chained to a metal chair. The nails on the chain cut deep into her flesh. She was given one month at the Nanjing City Detention Center after being transferred back to Nanjing. Her home was also ransacked.

Torture illustration: confined to a chair

Ms. Yuan went to Beijing to appeal for the second time in October 2000. The Beijing police hit her on the head, causing her head to swell. Her face was bruised and her teeth bled. The police also stepped on her fingers, hung her up by the wrists with her arms behind her back and shocked her with electric batons. She passed out from the electric shocks. She was later taken back to Nanjing and had her home ransacked again.

Torture reenactment: hung up and shocked with electric baton

Ms. Yuan returned to Beijing to appeal for the third time in December 2000. She was arrested while holding up a banner at Tiananmen Square. She was first held at the Tiananmen Police Station and then transferred to a police station in Haidian District. The guards beat her and tortured her as she refused to reveal her name and address. (Note: Due to the Chinese regime’s policy of implication, Dafa practitioners often refuse to reveal their names in order to protect family members, co-workers, and other associates.)

A week later, the Beijing police transferred Ms. Yuan to a detention center in nearby Liaoning Province. They also attempted to take her to a psychiatric hospital, but the doctor refused to admit her. She was then taken to a prison and held with death row prisoners, before being taken back to the detention center, where she was forced to report her name.

After she was taken back to Nanjing, Ms. Yuan was given one year at Judong Women’s Forced Labor Camp, after one month at the Nanjing City Detention Center. The labor camp guards beat her, pulled her hair, hit her head against the wall and slapped her in the face. She was also taken to a brainwashing center and almost lost all of her teeth from the beatings she sustained there.

A group of officers broke into her home around April 2007 and held her at the Gulou District Brainwashing Center for 12 days. 

Ms. Yuan was arrested again on March 16, 2011, for talking to people outside of a supermarket. Two plainclothes officers, Ding Yang and Liu Jiangtao, pushed her into a car and sprayed her face with a noxious compound. She was detained at the Gulou District Brainwashing Center again. 

During her detention, the police called her husband Mr. Li Wankun and insisted that they needed to talk to him. Mr. Li said he wasn’t available that day and would talk to the police the next day. When he returned home later that day, he was devastated to find that the police had broken into his home and turned everything upside down. He questioned the police as to why they raided his place with no one around. The police replied, “We can’t stop working just because you weren’t home.” Mr. Li was so infuriated that he almost fainted. The police continued to harass him from then on, leaving the elderly man traumatized and living in fear. 

Ms. Yuan was harassed and intimidated again in June 2015, after the police learned that she filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. She began to suffer high blood pressure after that. Sometimes she had difficulty breathing and she shook uncontrollably. She lived in tremendous fear and her health declined rapidly. She eventually passed away on November 19, 2021. 

Perpetrators’ list:
Xu Jinhui (徐锦辉), secretary of the Nanjing Political and Legal Affairs Committee
Wang Xiaoming (王晓明), head of the Nanjing 610 OfficeGao Honghua (高洪华), head of the Nanjing Domestic Security Office: +86-25-86015780, +86-25-84420854

(More perpetrators’ names are available in the original Chinese article.)