Chinese Name: 叶中秋Gender: FemaleAge: 54City: ShenyangProvince: LiaoningOccupation: TeacherDate of Death: January 25, 2022Date of Most Recent Arrest: November 3, 2016Most Recent Place of Detention: Liaoning Province Women’s Prison
When Ms. Ye Zhongqiu was released from prison in November 2020 after serving a four-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, she was unable to walk or talk clearly. The former physics teacher died on January 25, 2022. She was 54.
Ms. Ye’s death capped two decades of suffering due to the persecution of her faith, a traditional cultivation practice targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. For raising awareness about the persecution, Ms. Ye was sentenced three times for a total of 12 years. She was fired from her school. Her husband divorced her due to the pressure of the persecution. Her daughter was deprived of mother’s care while still in middle school.
Previous Two Prison Terms
Ms. Ye used to teach at Liaozhong County Urban No. 2 Middle School in Liaoning Province. She was first arrested on December 10, 2003, after being reported by another teacher at the school for passing out information about the persecution to her students. She was fired by the school and later sentenced to five years.
Her imprisonment dealt a heavy blow to her daughter, who was in the second year of middle school, as the young girl was deprived of mother’s care and love. Unable to bear the pressure, her husband, who was also a middle school teacher, divorced her.
After Ms. Ye was released in November 2008, she provided tutoring to several students. She treated the students like her own children and their parents all spoke highly of her.
Ms. Ye was preparing lunch for the students one day in October 2010, when a group of police officers broke in. They said that Wang Lianhe, the principal of Liaozhong County Urban No. 1 Middle School, reported her for giving him a DVD with information about the persecution of Falun Gong. Ms. Ye stood trial in the Liaozhong County Court on March 8, 2011 and was sentenced to three years.
Third Prison Term
Ms. Ye continued her effort to raise awareness about the persecution after she was released. When she went to Dongyugangzi Village on November 3, 2016 to distribute calendars with information about Falun Gong, she happened to witness the police arresting another practitioner who was also there to distribute materials about Falun Gong. She tried to stop the police from spraying pepper water on the other practitioner, only to be arrested herself.
The police took Ms. Ye back home for a search. Her gold necklace was taken away. Because she refused to go upstairs as ordered by the police before the raid, Li Wei, the head of the Domestic Security Office, slapped her in the face twice. Li slapped her another four times when she refused to cooperate in the interrogation or sign the interrogation records. She was held at the Shenyang City No. 1 Detention Center.
The police submitted Ms. Ye and the other practitioner’s cases to the Liaozhong District Procuratorate. The prosecutor returned their cases twice for insufficient evidence, but was still pressured by officer Li to indict them.
Ms. Ye appeared in the Liaozhong District Court on August 23, 2017. She denied all the charges against her. The judge sentenced her to four years in November 2017.
Because Ms. Ye refused to renounce Falun Gong while in the First Ward of Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, she was often beaten and verbally abused by inmate Zhang Meiyan. She reported the abuse to the guards, but to no avail. The guards also withheld the complaint she wrote to the prosecutor staffed at the prison.
After Ms. Ye was transferred from the Tenth Squad to the First Squad in the First Ward, guard Sun Shuang forbade her from writing anything. As soon as Sun saw Ms. Ye writing on paper, she would take away the paper. She also threatened her with strict monitoring and physical abuse if she refused to do the forced labor in the prison.
Ms. Ye and many other practitioners were only allowed to spend 50 yuan each month in the prison, which was barely enough for them to get daily necessities.
Ms. Ye suffered a stroke on April 4, 2020 and became incapacitated. She was first treated at a hospital affiliated with the prison and then transferred to the clinic inside the prison. The guards blocked her daughter from visiting her, citing the pandemic as an excuse.
When Ms. Ye was released in November 2020, she was unable to walk on her own or talk clearly. She succumbed to the physical damage and passed away fifteen months later, on January 25, 2022.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Zhang Kun (张坤), former head, Liaozhong County Police DepartmentZhang Yongjun (张永军), former deputy head, Liaozhong County Police DepartmentFeng Dongchang (冯东昌), former head, Liaozhong County 610 Office: +86-24-87883425, +86-24-87822610, +86-13804978811Li Wei (李伟), former head, Liaozhong County Domestic Security Office: +86-13604909119, +86-24-87820003, +86-24-87801119
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