PRESS RELEASE | AUG 10, 2020 NEW YORK -- Award-winning artist and prominent prisoner of conscience Ms. Xu Na has been arrested for the third time in China for practicing Falun Gong. She was detained by police on July 19, 2020 while at a friend's home in Beijing, just one day before the 21st anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party\u2019s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong began. The next day, police ransacked Xu's home, confiscating all of her digital devices and cameras. Her elderly father is now left at home alone, without being told where Ms. Xu is being detained. "Xu lost her husband when he was tortured to death by police and herself faced years of abuse in a Chinese prison," says Falun Dafa Information Center executive director, Levi Browde. "The suffering of Xu and her husband was documented by Amnesty International, Freedom House, and the United Nations Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings as well as reported by several media including The New York Times, The London Times, the Associated Press, The Guardian, and The Epoch Times." "And yet," continued Browde, "with all that visibility, the Chinese regime has detained her again knowing full well their actions would be scrutinized by the international community. What does that tell us about the level of aggression the CCP is willing to employ to stamp out Falun Gong? And its blatant disregard for the international community?" History of Torture and Persecution In July 2001 Ms. Xu Na was arrested and subsequently sentenced to five years in prison for allowing out-of-town Falun Gong practitioners to stay at her home in Beijing. During that time, many Falun Gong practitioners around the country travelled to Beijing to appeal for their freedom of belief to the Communist regime. While in prison, Ms. Xu Na experienced all kinds of torture and abuse, including being forced to remain in snow for long periods, extended sleep deprivation, slave labor for long hours, solitary confinement, being tied up in excruciatingly painful positions, repeated force-feedings, and brutal beatings. Famous Musician Killed Shortly Before 2008 Olympics Ms. Xu Na\u2019s late husband, Mr. Yu Zhou, was a percussionist for the popular Chinese folk music ensemble \u201cXiaojuan and Residents from the Valley.\u201d The band released two successful albums and frequently topped the charts in China, and also appeared on the Phoenix television channel. Mr. Yu Zhou above, left) with his music group, Residents From the Valley. On January 26, 2008, Mr. Yu Zhou was driving home from one of his concerts with his wife, when police stopped their car for a "Olympics Search" in Tongzhou District in Beijing. Police arrested them and took them to the Tongzhou District Detention Center after discovering they practiced Falun Gong. According to minghui.org, Mr. Yu Zhou was tortured to death in police custody and died February 6, 2008, while his wife was held indefinitely at the time. An Amnesty International report stated, \u201cThe crackdown on Falun Gong intensified in the lead-up to the Olympics.\u201d Another report released in April of 2008 continued, \u201cIt is increasingly clear that much of the current wave of repression is occurring not in spite of the Olympics but actually because of the Olympics.\u201d Amnesty International took up the case of Mr. Yu Zhou\u2019s death in custody and his wife\u2019s arrest, calling for the world to pay attention to the safety of Ms. Xu Na. Freedom House and the United Nations also gave significant attention to the death of Mr. Yu Zhou before the Olympic Games in China, and the regime\u2019s attempts to cover-up their intensified persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The United Nations report stated, \u201cThe police claimed that was a result of him going on hunger strike although he had diabetes. However, other sources indicate that he had been healthy and had never been suffering from diabetes.\u201d The London Times reported that one distraught fan said of musician Yu Zhou\u2019s death, \u201cAnother beautiful soul has left the world.\u201d https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vG_MNq08dqzQ Popular single from Residents from the Valley Olympic Tragedy The Communist Party\u2019s campaign against Falun Gong escalated sharply in 2008 as China\u2019s rulers took advantage of the Olympic games to catalyze and justify the large-scale arrest, imprisonment, and monitoring of Chinese citizens known to adhere to the spiritual practice The Falun Dafa Information Center documented over 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners detained in 2008, mostly in the run-up to the Olympics in Beijing. The Center also recorded over 100 deaths in custody. Yu Zhou was, tragically, one of those cases. In 2009, the Center released an annual report focused mostly on the increased human rights abuses fueled by the 2008 Olympics. "With another Beijing Olympics right around the corner in 2022," says Browde, "we can expect the same uptick in human rights abuses that we saw last time." Xu's Whereabouts Unknown The current whereabouts of Ms. Xu Na are unknown after her third arrest for her belief in Falun Gong. Raised in a family of artists and training from a young age, Ms. Xu Na eventually became a renowned artist herself. She took up Falun Gong before the persecution began in 1999. According to minghui.org, in 1997, her award-winning paintings were exhibited by the government\u2019s Ministry of Culture at the Great Exhibition of Chinese Arts. In 1998, her paintings won a prize at the China Youth Oil Painting Exhibition. Some say her paintings reflected the peacefulness and harmony of her mind after having practiced Falun Gong.