Mr. Yu Zhongzhu, 39, Heilongjiang
Name: Mr. Yu Zhongzhu (???)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 8, 2008
Date of Death: January 14, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Talai Prison
On the evening of August 8, 2008, over a dozen agents from the local police and 610 Office (link), abducted Yu, his wife Ms. Sun Lijuan, and six other Falun Gong practitioners. In December 2008, the eight were “sentenced” in sham trials to prison terms ranging from three to six years. Judge Li Hengjiang from Hanjiayuan Court gave Mr. Yu a six-year term because of his identity as a Falun Gong practitioner.
In April 2009, Yu was transferred to Talai Prison, where he was reportedly abused in custody. On January 14, his family received a call from the prison authorities asking them to go to the facility’s hospital because Yu was in critical condition. Upon arriving at the prison, Yu’s relatives were prevented from carrying cameras or cell phones into the facility. They witnessed Yu’s death at 10pm that evening.
The authorities cremated Yu’s body two days later, before an autopsy could be conducted and without the family’s permission. Though contrary to Chinese and international law, such actions to cover-up signs of abuse are common practice in cases where Falun Gong practitioners die in custody from torture-related injuries.
Yu’s wife continues to be held at Harbin Women’s Prison after herself being “sentenced” for four years. It is unknown whether she is aware of her husband’s sudden death. Prior to his detention, Yu had worked at Guyuan Forestry Farm and was a resident of Guyuan Town of Songling District in Daxinganling region.