13-year-old Boy Orphaned by the Persecution of Falun Gong
A 13-year-old boy in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province became an orphan after his mother died on November 2, 2020 from the persecution of Falun Gong. The boy had earlier lost his father and maternal grandparents to the persecution.
Parents Persecuted, Father Dies at 33
The boy’s parents were persecuted for practicing Falun Gong even before he was born.
His mother, Ms. Yang Xue, studied fine arts at Yanshan University in Hebei Province. Upon graduation, she worked as a designer in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, before returning to her hometown of Suizhong County and becoming an art teacher.
His father, Mr. Fan Dezhen, was repeatedly arrested between 2001 and 2008 after the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999. He served two labor camp terms and was released on the verge of death both times.
On February 25, 2008, Yang and Fan were both arrested. Yang’s art classes were also forcibly terminated.
On the afternoon of April 20, 2008, 55 days into his detention, Fan’s parents were asked by the police to visit him at the Suizhong Detention Center.
Fan’s nine-months-old son, wife Yang, and Yang’s mother, Ms. Yi Guizhen, were also brought by the police to the detention center.
After everyone from the family arrived, Wang Xueping, the head of the detention center, announced that Fan had died earlier that day at 7 a.m.
Wang claimed that Fan suddenly died from malnutrition. Yi fainted upon hearing the news. After she came to, she said to Wang, “I just came here six days ago and delivered 200 yuan for him. When I asked you how he was doing, you told me he was having two meals each day and was in good spirits. How did he just die suddenly?”
Wang did not answer directly, trying to shirk responsibility. Another officer said to the family, “Even if we beat him to death, what can you do?”
The detention center guards ordered the family to see Fan’s body that evening and sign a cremation agreement. Both Yang and Yi refused to give consent to the cremation and asked to see the body the following day. The guards threatened them, “We will cremate it tomorrow, whether you see it tonight or not. If you don’t see it today, you will only see the ash urn tomorrow.”
At 11 p.m., Fan’s parents and brother decided to look at his body.
In the morgue, they were all shocked by what they saw. Before he was arrested, Fan weighed about 150 lbs and was very healthy. But after two months of detention, he was merely skin and bones. His face was twisted; his eyes were wide open; his mouth was open; his teeth were biting tight; his head was tilting to one side; his hair and beard were very long; his lower abdomen was bruised and with an inch long cut and some blood dried around it; his back and limbs were also covered with bruises; and his anus was loose and had black discharge mixed with blood. His family also heard that some guards had squeezed his testis.
Fan’s father demanded to videotape his body but was rejected. He asked a guard why he was covered with bruises and the guard answered, “Dead people are all like this!”
On the next day, Fan’s family was brought to the crematorium. The yard was full of police cars. Hundreds of officers surrounded the family and everyone looked very nervous.
At the reception room, the officers tried to force Fan’s family to sign his cremation agreement. His family said, “He was tortured to death, why should we sign it?” They said to Wang, “He died at your place, you should be responsible for it!” Wang appeared to be scared, but then stared back at Fan’s family and said, “You have no evidence.”
Yi insisted on hiring a lawyer to investigate Fan’s death. An officer told them that a forensic doctor had already examined Fan’s body and did not find any problems. The officer also said the detention center was not responsible and they would not compensate the family.
Without the permission of his family, the authorities cremated Fan’s body around 2:10 p.m. the next day. Fan was 33.
Maternal Grandparents Die One Year Apart
The boy’s maternal grandparents, Ms. Yi Guizhen and Mr. Yang Jiabin, also practiced Falun Gong and were persecuted for their faith.
In July 2001, Yi was given a term at Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. She was constantly harassed after returning home.
Fan’s death in 2008 and subsequent police harassment then dealt a heavy blow to Yi and her health began to decline. On September 29, 2011, she was arrested again after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. Although she was released soon due to her health condition, on April 20, 2013, Yi passed at the age of 59.
A year and a half later, on November 4, 2014, her husband, Yang, also died. He was around 60 years old.
Mother Dies from Mental Distress and Continual Harassment
Yang and her family appealed to several government agencies to seek justice for Fan, but to no avail. Most officers told them that no one would dare to investigate the case.
To prevent her from filing more complaints, the authorities in Suizhong sentenced Yang to four years. But because she was still breastfeeding her son, she was allowed to serve time at home. After her son grew older, the police began to harass her and attempted to send her to the prison, forcing her to live away from home and go into hiding. Unable to find her, the police arrested her father-in-law and harassed her mother, which resulted in trauma and contributed to her parent’s later death.
As Yang could no longer work due to the harassment, she and her boy lived in destitution.
The little boy often envied other kids for having a father. When some friends of the family brought a gift or a treat to him, the boy often asked, “Can I call you my father?”
After suffering years of harassment and mental distress, Yang died on November 2, 2020, at the age of 41, leaving behind her 13-year-old son.
Related reports:Mr. Fan Dezhen’s Body Cremated Against His Family’s Wishes
Mr. Fan Dezhen Dies in Police Custody in Liaoning Province
By a Minghui correspondent in Liaoning Province, China