Name: Feng YanChinese Name: 冯燕Gender: FemaleAge: 53City: FuyangProvince: AnhuiOccupation: N/ADate of Death: Between April 28 and May 13, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: May 19, 2005Most Recent Place of Detention: Suzhou City Women’s Prison
It was recently confirmed by Minghui.org that Ms. Feng Yan of Yingshang County, Fuyang City, Anhui Province, passed away nearly a year ago. Ms. Feng was targeted for practicing Falun Gong, a meditation and spiritual practice that has been persecuted in China since 1999. Although the police-initiated autopsy confirmed that she died an unnatural death, they refused to specify the exact cause of death, even to her family.
Police Seal Cause of Death
Ms. Feng visited a practitioner in Hefei City in April 2021 and stayed with the practitioner for a few days. Officers from Liu’an City Domestic Security Office and Bozhoulu Police Station in Hefei City broke in and raided the practitioner’s apartment on April 28. They seized the practitioner and put her in Liu’an Brainwashing Center. Ms. Feng fled the scene and her whereabouts were unknown.
When the practitioner was released two weeks later on May 13, the police had put a new lock on her door, to replace the one broken by them during the raid. The practitioner also smelled a stench. She went up the attic and saw Ms. Feng’s body on the floor, with her eyes popping out and flesh partially decomposed. After the police arrived, they took photos of the body and rushed it to a crematory.
The next day the police called Ms. Feng’s family in Fuyang City and had them come to Hefei City. The family wanted to take the body back to Fuyang to be cremated as soon as possible, but the police said an autopsy, which would take three months, must be done before they could close the case. They also warned the family not to post any information about Ms. Feng’s death on the Internet or file any complaint. The family agreed to have the autopsy done but demanded to speed up the process. A week later the police issued a death certificate, which stated that the cause of her death was unnatural, but they gave no specifics on what it was.
Summary of Persecution
Ms. Feng, 53, took up Falun Gong in 1996. After former Chinese communist regime leader Jiang Zemin and his regime launched the persecution three years later, she was arrested multiple times for upholding her faith. Her first arrest took place in January 2000 when she went to Beijing to protest against the persecution. The police held her in two detention centers for a total of five months.
In less than ten days after her release, the police arrested her again on July 10, 2000. Shen went on a hunger strike in protest and was taken to Fuyan City Psychiatric Hospital 24 days later. She wasn’t released from the hospital until a month later. The authorities later held her in Hefei Women’s Forced Labor Camp from May 2002 to August 2004. During that period, a judge in Yingshang County Court approved her husband’s request to divorce her without her knowledge.
Her next arrest took place in May 2005, which resulted in a five year prison sentence. The authorities tortured her in Suzhou City Women’s Prison until May 2010. Her young son grew up without her presence.
Ms. Feng remained steadfast in Falun Gong after she was released, so the authorities never stopped harassing her. The authorities went to her workplace, seized her, and put her in a brainwashing center on January 6, 2021. The officials from Yingshang County Court and Procuratorate threatened to arrest and inject her with toxic drugs if she refused to sign the papers to renounce her faith. Coming out from the brainwashing center, Ms. Feng told her son, “If I died, it had to be them. I would never commit suicide, because it is against my belief.”
Criminal Complaint Documents Her Ordeals
Ms. Feng filed a criminal complaint with the Supreme Court and Supreme Procuratorate against Jiang in June 2015. In her complaint, she described in detail how she was tortured in the psychiatric hospital and forced labor camp.
“...The electric baton gave out blue sparks. When it fell on my temples, I became disoriented and my eyesight went blurry...”
“...The punches fell on me like raindrops. They slammed my legs with a stool. They held me on the ground while two of them stomped on my legs. They punched my head until it swelled up like a balloon. I had black eyes and could not close my swollen lips. I lost count of the number of bumps on my head...”
The following is Ms. Feng’s complaint letter.
My arthritis, frozen shoulder, nerve pain, and back pain went away after I became a Falun Gong practitioner in 1996. I strove to live by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
The persecution started in July 1999 and everything took a down turn. The police kept coming to raid my house, terrorize my family, and arrest me. My mother, mother-in-law, husband, and young child lived in constant fear. My husband couldn’t bear the pressure and divorced me.
Arrested for Going to Beijing
I decided to go to Beijing with my older sister in January 2000 to protest the persecution. As soon as we got to Tiananmen Square, the plainclothes officers arrested us. The officers from Yingshang County Police Department came to take us back. They held us in Yingshang Detention Center for a month and confiscated the 300 yuan in cash that I had at the time. When I asked for the money back, the detention center head said to me, “The money is no longer valid.”
They transferred me to another detention center, where I was held until July 1, 2000. Before they let me leave, the guards extorted nearly 1,000 from my family.
Torture at Psychiatric Hospital
On July 10, ten days after I went home from the detention center, the officers from Longmen Police Station arrested me again, saying that it was to prevent me from going to Beijing. I went on a hunger strike in the detention center. Twenty-four days later, two officers from Yingshang Police Department transferred me to Fuyang City Psychiatric Hospital, where I was force fed and shocked with electric batons. The electric baton gave out blue sparks. When it fell on my temples, I became disoriented and my eyesight went blurry. They tied me to the bed to give me IV injections and forced me to take unknown pills. My mind was cloudy after taking the pills. My body became weak, my back hurt, I became restless, and my heart rate and breathing went so fast that I thought I would die. This went on for 36 days before I was released.
Police Break in at Midnight
A group of officers from Longmen Police Station came to my home at midnight one day in May 2001. They wanted to come in, claiming to check my household registry. I did not let them in. They broke down the door, took me to the police station, and collected my fingerprints before letting me go.
Two Years of Torture in Forced Labor Camp
The police arrested me in September 2001 and arbitrarily gave me two years in a forced labor camp. They transferred me to Hefei Women’s Forced Labor Camp in May 2002. A head guard there ordered two collaborators [former practitioners who have given up their belief under pressure] to brainwash me. They badmouthed my practice and Master (founder of Falun Gong), and tore up Master’s photos in front of me. They forced me to stand for over 10 hours every day, and didn’t allow me to use the toilet, talk to others, or clean myself.
During the summer months they only allowed me to shower once a week, when my stench began to bother them. They also deprived me of sleep, for as long as five days.
To further torture me, the guards cuffed me wrists to the top rail of a bunk bed and made me stand in that T position for 20 hours. My legs became swollen and my arms were in so much pain that I felt dizzy and nauseous. A few days later they held me on the ground, put a straitjacket on me, and force fed me.
Because I refused to wear the uniform, a head guard ordered the collaborators to cuff my wrists to the top of a bunk bed, and made me stand in the T-shape position until I fell into shock because of the excruciating pain. They then cuffed my wrists to one side of the bed and feet the other. They tied my back to the bed so that I could not move at all. They force fed me when I refused to eat and did not allow me to get up to use the toilet. I stayed in the position and the flesh on my back began to fester because it rubbed against the hard bed. The room smelled awful, like rotten flesh. This lasted 15 days before they put me on a bed without bedding. I couldn’t fall asleep because of the freezing weather.
A head guard and a director of the labor camp handcuffed me behind my back and dragged me by the handcuffs to a solitary confinement cell on December 26, 2003. They ordered seven people to beat me. The punches fell on me like raindrops. They slammed my legs with a stool. They held me on the ground while two of them stomped on my legs. They punched my head until it swelled up like a balloon. I had black eyes and could not close my swollen lips. I lost count of the number of bumps on my head. After the beatings I couldn’t put my shoes and pants on because I was swollen all over from the beatings. Still now I have a big lump of scar on my left leg.
The authorities in the labor camp arbitrarily extended my term for ten months. When I returned home in August 2004, my husband had already divorced me. I had to live with my mother.
The knocks on the door woke me up in the middle of the night in December 2004. I did not open the door and went back to sleep. At around 5 a.m. I woke up and spotted two men sleeping in a van parked in front of my apartment. Knowing that they came to arrest me, I ran away to avoid persecution. At the time my 12-year-old son was still sound asleep. It was hard for me to imagine how he’d feel and what would happen to him after I left. With the help of my family, he became a boarder at the middle school where he used to be a day-time student.
Five Years of Torture in Women’s Prison
I went to visit my son at the school on May 19, 2005, and the police arrested me when they saw me telling others about the brutal persecution. To prevent me from doing the Falun Gong exercises, the guards at Taihe Detention Center put on me handcuffs and shackles that were held together by a foot-long metal rod. Chained up in that position, I could not straighten my body, change clothes, clean myself, or use the toilet.
The authorities transferred me to Suzhou City Women’s Prison on August 21, 2006. The guards assigned three people to watch me around the clock, and I had to follow a set of strict rules. If I looked at somewhere they didn’t allow me to, I’d be beaten by them. I had to work 16 to 18 hours each day and sit through the brainwashing sessions after that. I was released on May 18, 2010.
The 610 Office’s Financial Harassment
I applied for a low-rent housing in 2011 and was approved. But the director of the Yingshang County 610 Office and a community official wanted me to sign a statement guaranteeing never to practice Falun Gong before they’d give me the keys. I refused to sign and they withheld the keys. The authorities scheduled to demolish my mother’s house in 2012, and we couldn’t find an affordable house. I reasoned with the authorities for two years before they allowed my mother and me to move into a low-rent housing in 2014.
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