Mr. Yu Yungang, 48, Heilongjiang
Name: Yu Yungang (???)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: February 2009
Date of Most Recent Release: Died in custody
Date of Death: March 5, 2011
Most Recent Place of Detention: Jiamusi Prison (?????) in Lianjiangkou, Heilongjiang
In February 2009, the 24th Winter Universiade, an international college sporting event was held in Harbin. Ahead of the event, the persecution and abduction of local Falun Gong practitioners increased. Therefore, Mr. Yu Yungang and several other practitioners tried to use small loudspeakers to inform attendees of these abuses. Police detained him along with over 20 practitioners, ransacking their homes and severely torturing them once in custody. In Yu’s case, police hung him up by handcuffs and badly beat him. When he was interrogated several days later, his head was reportedly still wrapped in bandages.
On July 7, 2009, a trial was held and overseen by judge Zhao Yubin from Xiangyang District Court. Knowing that there was local interest in the case, the hearing was secretly moved to Jiamusi Detention Center, located outside the city. His family members were informed only the evening before. According to sources inside China, the trial lasted just over two hours and each practitioner was only allowed to say two sentences in “self-defence.” Personnel from the city’s Communist Party Political-legal Committee, known to instruct judges on how to rule in Falun Gong and other politically sensitive cases, were present throughout.
Several weeks later, Yu’s family learned that he had been sentenced to eight years in prison and was taken to Jiamusi Prison. The Falun Dafa Information Center reported on Yu’s imprisonment (see below).
According to sources inside China, after receiving instructions to intensify the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners at Jiamusi Prison and reach an 85 percent “transformation rate,” the prison personnel set up a “Strict Management Team” on February 21, 2011. Several practitioners from different wards were taken to that section, including Yu. They were not allowed to bring with them any personal belongings. Every practitioner was watched by several criminal inmates and under constant pressure to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong.
At approximately 3 p.m. on March 1, 2011, Yu reportedly passed out due to torture, and was rushed to the No. 2 hospital affiliated with Jiamusi University. He underwent surgery on his skull and the doctor issued a “Notice of Critical Condition” to his family and suggested they prepare for the worst. After the surgery, Yu was sent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Plainclothes and uniformed police officers heavily guarded his room and regulated which medical personnel were allowed to enter and exit. After hearing of his condition, his family came to the hospital and was allowed to visit briefly, but they found Yu could not recognize them.
Yu underwent another emergency treatment at around 4 p.m. on March 3, 2011. Then, on the afternoon of March 5, 2011, several dozen officers surrounded the ICU. Officers took Yu’s clothes from his family and quickly put them on Yu. They were about to carry him away. Only then did his family realize that he had died.
The family insisted on being allowed to view Yu’s body in the ICU room, but were refused. Officers carried his body downstairs and into a police vehicle, and then asked his family to sign the death certificate. His family was furious. They refused to sign the document and firmly requested that the police wait for the whole family to arrive so they could say their last goodbyes to Yu. The prison’s deputy director reportedly replied that he would give them five minutes to view his body. After Yu’s family saw him in the vehicle for five minutes and paid their respects, the vehicle drove off, as the prison personnel sought to cover-up his death and its causes.
Yu was 48 years old when he died. He was the second practitioner from the “Special Management Ward” to die within two weeks of being transferred there (see the case of Mr. Qin Yueming).
- Intensified persecution ahead of the 2009 Winter Universiade Sporting Event: /article/1019/
- Documented Cases of 1,352 Falun Gong Practitioners “Sentenced” to Prison Camps in 2008-2009. Yu is number 181: media.faluninfo.net/media/doc/2010/04/FDIC-jan-dec-09-sentencing.pdf