Grieving Parents Lose Daughter to Persecution of Falun Gong

NEW YORK, October 25, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — Four days ago, an elderly couple in China went to visit their daughter, Yang Mei, who was being held in a detention center for her beliefs. They did not see her that day, nor will they ever see her again, for Yang Mei died earlier that morning becoming the 28th practitioner of Falun Gong to have died in Hebei Province due to torture suffered while in police custody. She was 23 years old.

Yang Mei worked in a bank in Cangzhou, Hebei province. Those who knew her say she was an unpretentious and kind young woman. As a dedicated practitioner of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), she was also a courageous person. This past summer, the police arrested her for handing out flyers containing information about what the Chinese communist regime is doing to carry out its persecution of people who practice Falun Gong.

The police in the Cangzhou Second Detention Center where she was held forced Yang Mei to do hard labor and tried to make her write letters to guarantee that she would stop practicing Falun Dafa. When she refused, they would tie her down by her wrists and ankles to an iron bed several days and nights at a stretch without a break. On October 10th, she went on a hunger strike to protest this torture. Sources say she was brutally force-fed through a thick tube in the afternoon of October 19th. She passed away around 6 o’clock the next morning, October 20th.

Twenty-one confirmed cases have been reported of Falun Gong practitioners dying from injuries sustained during this type of force-feeding procedure at various labor camps throughout China.

October 20th happened to be the day her parents would go to visit her at the detention center, unaware that their daughter was already dead. The guards would reveal nothing about her situation, however, and sent them home. As soon as they got home, they received a call from the detention center to go back. Back at the center, the guards kept talking in circles until after 2PM, they finally informed her parents of her death.

Yang Mei’s parents were devastated, but it is unlikely they will find any recourse for their grief. Instructions from “higher authorities” state that if Yang Mei’s family requests an autopsy of her corpse, the corpse must be immediately, forcibly cremated, according to sources familiar with her case.

Yang Mei’s body is currently being kept in a nearby hospital. Because the Cangzhou Municipal Party Committee and Police Department have directly intervened in this matter, news regarding Yang Mei’s case is strictly blocked, and no further information is available. Sources say plainclothes police “protect” the neighborhood of her home around the clock.

The total number of documented deaths from the two-year-plus persecution of Falun Gong in China has now reached 303, although government sources inside China disclose that the actual number exceeds 1,000.

More than 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally arrested and detained since communist chief Jiang Zemin banned the peaceful spiritual practice in July of 1999. At least 20,000 have been sent to labor camps without trial, and thousands more have been illegally confined in mental hospitals where they are tortured and abused.