Parents of Grace Chen
Mr. Yang Chen and Mrs. Zhimin Cao are Falun Gong practitioners from Hunan Province. The couple was detained by police on October 27, 2020 along with 19 other Falun Gong practitioners. Their teenage daughter Grace, who lives in New York, has been unable to contact them and lawyers have been pressured not to take their case. Chen and Cao have both been previously imprisoned for their faith. The Falun Dafa Information Center is requesting assistance in asking the Chinese government about their whereabouts and calling for their immediate release.
(Pictured above (L) is mother Zhimin Cao with daughter Grace Chen in China over a decade ago. (R) is a photo of Grace in New York, taken in December 2021.)
Yang Chen / 陈阳 – Gender: Male, Born: 1969
Zhimin Cao / 曹志敏 – Gender: Female, Born: 1974
Current status: Detained. According to their daughter, Grace Fayuan Chen, the extended family has been unable to reach the couple at the detention centers since October 26, 2020. Lawyers hired by the family were pressured by their law firms or local Hunan justice bureaus to withdraw from the case, and were stonewalled from Liuyang Police Department and the Liuyang Procuratorate.
Reason for Detention: Chen and Cao were detained as part of a mass-arrest of 21 Falun Gong practitioners in Changsha, while studying the teachings (akin to Bible study).
Past Detentions: Mr. Chen was previously sentenced to 4 years of prison for his activism. He was severely beaten and tortured, including being force-fed with bamboo tubes and beaten with electric batons. In 2010, Mrs. Cao was abducted by authorities along with Grace after picking her up from elementary school. Both Cao and Grace were taken to a brainwashing facility for an unspecified amount of time.
Current location: Mr. Chen is in an unknown location. Mrs. Cao is currently detained in Changsha City Fourth (Women’s) Detention Center.
U.S. Family Residence: New York
Mr. Yang Chen (52) was a computer engineer at a medical company in Hunan Province. He started practicing Falun Gong in October 1995. Through the practice’s mind and body meditation, his health improved and his chronic illness even disappeared. In November 1999, Chen petitioned the National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. He was then sentenced to four years in prison.
Mr. Yang Chen’s wife, Zhimin Cao (48), worked for the human resources department at a state-owned car company. She also began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. She was sentenced to three years in prison after she petitioned the National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration with her husband in November 1999. Cao and her family were left without any money, a house, and have been stripped of all social resources.
Their daughter Grace Fayuan Chen (16) currently resides in New York. Two years ago, she left her home in Hunan Province to pursue her dream with the support of her parents. Grace hopes through playing the erhu—a two-stringed Chinese instrument— people around the world will discover the beauty of traditional Chinese culture. She currently attends a classic music high school in upstate New York. In her free time, Grace likes watching musical films and you can always find her humming a tune. Her favorite are Sunset Boulevard and Singin’ in the Rain.
News & Actions
1. Share This Page on Social Media
2. Send a Letter to Congress
You can email or print this prewritten letter to urgently call upon members of Congress to press for the release of Mr. Yang Chen and Mrs. Zhimin Cao.
3. Send a Letter to a Chinese Embassy or Consulate
You can email or print the prewritten letter below to urgently request the release of Mr. Yang Chen and Mrs. Zhimin Cao. The letter is written in English and Chinese.
4. Send an encouraging letter directly to Mrs. Zhimin Cao
People who have survived Chinese prisons and escaped to the U.S. attest to the enormous difference it can make to hear from the outside world directly. It lifts the spirits of those wrongfully detained, and shocks local officials, making them wary of participating further in persecution.
You can send cards directly to Mrs. Zhimin Cao to this address:
The No. 4 Detention Center of Changsha City
No. 1736, Yuanda 2nd Road
Quantang Town, Hunan Province, 410131
Changsha Municipal Public Security Bureau
湖南省长沙市芙蓉区解放西路140号, 邮政编码 410005
140 Jiefang W Rd, Furong District
Changsha City, Hunan Province, 410005