Name: Niu LanyunChinese Name: 牛兰云Gender: FemaleAge: 59City: DatongProvince: ShanxiOccupation: Sales associateDate of Death: March 28, 2022Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 28, 2022Most Recent Place of Detention: N/A

Ms. Niu Lanyun’s family was told by the police on the evening of March 28, 2022 that their loved one, who was just arrested that morning, had died.

Ms. Niu had been living away from her home in Datong City, Shanxi Province since early 2021 to avoid being persecuted for her faith in Falun Gong. A witness saw her climbing down a rope from her third-floor temporary apartment unit in Heng’an Residential Area of the same city at around 6 a.m. on March 28. When she got close to the first floor, the rope and she fell down. She soon stood up and walked towards the witness. 

The witness offered to call an ambulance for her. Ms. Niu kindly declined. But the witness still made the call. Before Ms. Niu left, the ambulance arrived. She refused to get into the ambulance and an emergency medical technician tried to drag her onto it. As they struggled, the police showed up. They pushed her into the police car and left. 

Shortly after, the police arrested Ms. Niu’s landlord. According to an insider, when the police went inside Ms. Niu’s rented residence, there was fresh dough in her kitchen, suggesting that she was preparing breakfast when she was suddenly forced to escape.

At 8 p.m., Ms. Niu’s family received a call from the police and was informed of her death. They were also asked to come to the Datong Funeral Home to confirm her identity.

The family was still in shock by Ms. Niu’s mysterious death and they demanded to know what had happened to her in police custody that resulted in her death.

The latest round of the persecution of Ms. Niu dated back to 2020 when she and several other Falun Gong practitioners were followed and arrested by the police. Although the police released her on the same day of the arrest after the local detention center refused to take her during the pandemic, they threatened to look for her again in the future. 

Starting on February 17, 2021, Sun Wenlong of Datong City Domestic Security Office and Yang Haoxiang, the head of Xinhuajie Police Station, began to harass Ms. Niu and her family, signaling to arrest her again. To avoid further persecution, Ms. Niu moved out and rented a place in a different district in the same city to live on her own. But the police soon found her again. One day when she returned to her temporary housing, she saw the police officers (in plainclothes) leaving. It’s because they didn’t recognize her that she escaped the arrest. 

Previous Two Labor Camp Terms

Ms. Niu was a retired sales associate. She began to practice Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline, in April 1998. Soon after, her rheumatism disappeared. She lived by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and became more broad-minded and considerate. At home, she took care of her family, especially her bedridden mother-in-law. 

After the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Ms. Niu was given two labor camp terms. She barely survived the torture and force feeding, especially after being fed toxic drugs. 

Ms. Niu was first arrested in November 2000 when she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was taken back to Datong on the second day and held at the Datong City No. 2 Detention Center. The guards deprived her of sleep for two days, forcibly cut her hair and then washed her with ice-cold water. 

After two months of detention, Ms. Niu was taken to the Shanxi Women’s Forced Labor Camp. Because she did the Falun Gong exercises, guard Chen Huiru beat her with a baton, causing her hands to become terribly swollen. 

Ms. Niu held a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The guards ordered five inmates to hold her limbs and head, pry open her mouth with a metal spoon and force feed her. Ms. Niu felt extremely nauseous and her mind was about to explode after one force feeding session. She suspected that the guards added toxic drugs to the food.

Another time, as she tried to stop the guards from defaming Falun Gong during a labor camp-wide meeting, the guards kicked her and put her in solitary confinement. Five inmates also beat her. 

Ms. Niu was arrested again in early 2005 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. While she was held at the Datong City No. 2 Detention Center, the guards force fed her again. Two weeks later, she was transferred to the Xindian Forced Labor Camp. 

She held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was force fed saline water and unknown drugs. The guards also gave her IV drips every day. She almost suffocated during one force feeding. 

After seventy days of torture, her body weight dropped to less than 80 lbs. When the guards took her to the hospital for a checkup, the doctor said she was dying. While the guards released her back then, they arrested her again thirty days later and tortured her for another forty days, before asking her family to pick her up.