Xu Na , arrêtée en juillet 2020, en même temps que 10 camarades, vient de se voir condamnée à 8 ans de prison par la Cour pénale de Beijing (Beijing Dongcheng District Court). Xu Na était soupçonnée d’avoir diffusé des vidéos montrant le contraire de ce que prétendent les autorités chinoises à savoir que la pandémie avait fait peu de victimes en Chine grâce aux mesures de confinement strictes,
Nous avions l’espoir d’ une condamnation de « seulement » deux ans de prison, vu le manque de preuves vis-à-vis de notre amie, Xu Na. Malheureusement, cette semaine dernière, nous apprenons la sentence : 8ans !!!
De même,ses 10 camarades reçoivent des peines élevées :
Artist and poet Xu Na (53 y/o, female), sentenced to 8 years
Li Zongze (28, male), 5 years
Zheng Yujie (28, female), 5 years
Li Lixin (27, male), 5 years
Zheng Yanmei (31, female), 4 years
Deng Jingjing (29, female), 4 years
Zhang Renfei (27, female), 4 years
Liu Qiang (43, male), 4 years
Meng Qingxia (49, female), 4 years
Li Jiaxuan (28, female), 2 years
Jiao Mengjiao (31, female), 2 years
Sur les différentes condamnations subies par Xu Na depuis 2000, début de la répression du mouvement religieux Falun Gong (Falun Dafa), auquel elle appartient, cette condamnation est la plus terrible : 8 ans pour une personne qui ne veut qu’une seule chose :
VIVRE , REVER , ESPERER, CROIRE ET PARTAGER
Déjà en 2008, Xu Na s’était fait arrêtée avec son mari Yu Zhou, musicien, mort au Centre de Détention de Beijing , quelques semaines avant les Jeux Olympiques de Beijing. De nouveau cette sentence extrêmement sévère intervient deux semaines avant les Jeux Olympiques d’hiver. Il s’agit pour les autorités chinoises de faire taire toute opposition qui aurait le courage de prendre contact avec les sportifs, les
journalistes étrangers. De telles condamnations sévères peuvent évidemment dissuader quiconque exercerait son droit à la liberté d’expression.
Le gouvernement chinois s’efforce depuis longtemps de contrôler la liberté d’expression. Durant les premiers jours de la pandémie, des professionnel·le·s de santé et des journalistes professionnels et citoyens ont tenté de lancer l’alerte, dès décembre 2019. Cependant, ilels ont été prisEs pour cibles pour avoir rendu compte de la propagation d’une maladie alors inconnue. En février 2020, selon Amnesty International, 5 511 enquêtes pénales avaient été ouvertes contre des personnes ayant publié des informations sur l’épidémie pour « invention et diffusion délibérée d’informations erronées et nuisibles ». C’est ce qui est arrivé à Xu Na, surveillée depuis plusieurs années, étant militante pacifique du Falun Gong.
C’est aussi ce qui est arrivé à la journaliste citoyenne Zhang Zhan qui s’est rendue à Wuhan en février 2020 pour rendre compte de l’épidémie de COVID-19. Zhang Zhan a disparu dans la région de Wuhan en mai 2020. On a appris par la suite qu’elle avait été arrêtée par la police, inculpée d’avoir « cherché à provoquer des conflits et troublé l’ordre public » et condamnée à quatre ans de prison. (cfr la campagne de soutien d’amnesty international https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/campaigns/2021/11/free-the-five-olympic-campaign-for-freedom-of-expression/)
En juin 2020, Zhang Zhan a entamé une grève de la faim pour protester contre sa détention. En décembre, elle était si affaiblie qu’elle a dû assister à son procès en fauteuil roulant. Avant l’audience, les autorités l’ont soumise à une alimentation forcée et l’ont immobilisée pendant des jours d’affilée pour l’empêcher d’enlever sa sonde d’alimentation. Elles l’ont également forcée à porter des entraves aux pieds et aux mains 24 heures sur 24 pendant plus de trois mois pour la punir de sa grève de la faim. Le 31 juillet 2021, elle a été admise à l’hôpital pour malnutrition aiguë. Cependant, elle a été renvoyée en prison et continue d’observer une grève de la faim partielle, malgré les risques graves pour sa santé, qui continue de se détériorer à une vitesse très inquiétante.
Depuis son procès, les autorités refusent de la laisser parler à son avocat ou de rencontrer sa famille en personne. Elle est autorisée à les appeler au téléphone ou en visio, occasionnellement et sous surveillance. Dans un message sur Twitter daté du 30 octobre, son frère Zhang Ju a écrit : « Je ne pense pas qu’elle vive encore longtemps. Si elle ne passe pas l’hiver qui arrive, j’espère que le monde se souviendra d’elle telle qu’elle était. »
Nous devons à soutenir de quelque manière que ce soit tous ces citoyens et citoyennes chinoises qui ont le courage de parler et de dénoncer la désinformation systématique du gouvernement chinois sous prétexte de pandémie. Xu Na, comme ses 10 camarades n’ont fait qu’exercer leur droit à la liberté d’expression et celui de croire à une religion, droits pourtant reconnus dans la Constitution chinoise. La censure et les lois répressives n’empêcheront pas les populations chinoises de prendre conscience de la réalité politique, sanitaire et écologique de la Chine
Je suis partie une première fois travailler en Chine de février 1984 à juillet 1985, et ce à l’Université du Sichuan (Chongqing) où j’ai enseigné en contrat local le français langue étrangère.
En 1990, je refais une demande pour repartir, et ce malgré la grave répression du Printemps des étudiants sur la Place Tian An Men. Je suis convaincue que je peux à nouveau aider des étudiantEs chinoisEs à connaître notre culture et moi à apprendre encore beaucoup d’eux/elles. Cette fois, j’obtiens un contrat local aux Editions chinoises en français à Beijing. C’est là que notre famille rencontre XU Na (née à Chanchun, le 8 novembre 1968), diplômée en littérature anglaise de l’université de Beijing et YU Zhou (né le 20 mai 1966), diplômé en littérature française de la même université. Ceux-ci deviennent des amis très proches que nous rencontrons tous les jours. YU Zhou va alors jouer un rôle très important dans la vie de notre famille puisque c’est lui qui va nous servir d’interprète dans la longue adoption de notre quatrième enfant, Elisabeth (née à Beijing le 31.07.1990 et accueillie chez nous le 31.08.1990). C’est lui qui nous a soutenu dans les dédales de l’administration chinoise et la justice, c’est lui qui a parcouru plus de deux mille kms en train avec moi (en me faisant passer pour sa femme), pour retrouver une trace de la mère biologique de ma fille, trace que le tribunal exigeait. Pour moi, il était mon petit frère et XU Na, ma petite sœur.
En 1994 et en 1998, toute notre petite famille est à nouveau retournée en Chine, comme « touristes », logeant chez nos amis chinois et à Beijing, chez YU Zhou et XU Na, alors mariés. Na était devenue peintre célèbre, et YU Zhou s’essayait à la chanson après avoir été guide et avoir fait du commerce sans succès. Son groupe devint vite connu dans les milieux internationaux à Beijing.
C’est en 1998 qu’ils nous parlent de leur attirance pour le mouvement Falun Gong (mouvement religieux se basant notamment sur des pratiques de Qi Gong et dont le maître s’est réfugié aux Etats-Unis)), mouvement, quant à nous, qui ne nous attirait nullement.
En juillet 2001, ma fille aînée Aïcha repart pour un périple en Chine, elle rencontre YU Zhou, Na vient d’être arrêtée pour détention de propagande de Falun Gong. Aïcha est profondément choquée par l’état physique de YU Zhou qui vient de sortir de prison, il a des difficultés pour marcher. J’apprendrai que Na sera torturée et condamnée à une peine de 5 ans de détention dans un camp de rééducation..
Début 2008, c’est la préparation des Jeux Olympiques à Beijing et une nouvelle vague de répression a lieu. Mes amis chinois vont en payer le prix fort puisque YU Zhou meurt le 6.février.2008, après avoir été arrêté à Beijing le 26 janvier 2008 avec Na et jeté à nouveau en prison. Les autorités chinoises prétendent, selon les informations de Falun gong, qu’il est décédé suite à un diabète en faisant une grève de la faim. L’autopsie demandée par la famille n’aura jamais lieu. Na est laissée en prison et sera condamnée à une peine en détention de 3 ans dans un camp de rééducation. Malgré toutes les protestations, elle fera sa peine et sera libérée en 2011..
En 2012, je décide de rendre visite à Na à Beijing avec mes deux dernières filles. Je rencontre Na pendant un mois. Beaucoup d’émotions mais elle m’assure que contrairement aux premières détentions, elle n’a pas été torturée. Est-ce les pressions internationales ? Est-ce un changement dans les méthodes policières chinoises ? Lors de nos balades à Beijing, nous étions très souvent suivies mais cela n’impressionnait nullement Na.
A plusieurs reprises, j’ai demandé à Na pourquoi elle ne quittait pas la Chine et rejoindre ainsi sa belle-sœur en Allemagne. Celle-ci répondait négativement, trop attachée à sa famille, ses racines, sa culture.
Depuis 2012, nous nous écrivions régulièrement soit en anglais, soit en chinois. Na a continué à peindre, a publié un livre sur ses peintures.
Elle participait à des expositions. La vente de ses peintures, non seulement en Chine mais aussi à Taïwan, lui permettait de vivre décemment. Elle a réalisé aussi un film. Elle faisait des recherches historiques sur différents sujets. Elle me disait se sentir plus paisible et sereine qu’avant. Apprenant que le corona virus avait atteint la Belgique, elle m’avait envoyé en Mai 2020 un paquet de masques que je distribuerai à un service de soins à domicile.
Ce 15 août 2020, je reçois l’information que XU Na a été de nouveau arrêtée alors qu’elle se trouvait chez un ami. Les motifs de son arrestation sont toujours inconnus.
Xu Na est une praticienne de Falun Gong. Actuellement âgée de 52 ans, elle est très sensible. Nous devons exiger du gouvernement chinois sa libération immédiate et sans conditions car elle n’a rien commis d’illégal càd exiger le respect de l’article 36 de la Constitution de la République Populaire de Chine qui garantit pour tous ses citoyens le droit à la liberté de religion.
Xu Na, a poet, freelance painter, and Falun Gong practitioner in Beijing, was arrested from her home again on July 19, 2020, for taking and posting photos online about the severe pandemic situation in Beijing.
The official allegation against her was “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” which is “a standard pretext used by the Chinese courts to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners,” according to a Minghui report. She was not tried and has been detained for over a year.
A photo of Xu Na and her husband Yu Zhou. (Minghui.org)
Her talent in the arts is revealed through her paintings. Two of her paintings won awards from the China Oil Painting Society and are still in its archives. More of her paintings are posted on the China Political Prisoner Concern website, which claims that it “strives for the freedom of all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, dissidents and human rights activists who are in custody in China.”
Xu survived various types of torture in Beijing Women’s Prison and managed to come out of the prison alive after being imprisoned twice, in 2001 and 2008, for her faith.
Now Xu is behind bars again, for over a year, without any legal proceedings, and is facing her third imprisonment for her faith.
“I can’t stay silent to protect my own interest. Anyone in society should have a moral judgment of unfair things unrelated to them. This is the basic responsibility of being a person. If I identify with such a government (the Chinese communist regime), then I’m not a decent person,” Xu told her lawyer, Liang Xiaojun, who visited her at Beijing Dongcheng District Detention Center on April 22, 2021.
There were 10 other Falun Gong adherents who were arrested on the same day with her, most of whom were university graduates in their 20s.
Recently, both the United States and Europe voiced their opposition to and boycotting of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022 because of the Chinese communist regime’s poor human rights situation.
Beijing has a long history of suppressing human rights activists, dissents, and religious groups in China and abroad.
On Jan. 26, 2008, Xu Na’s husband, Yu Zhou, a talented musician and member of the three-person band “Xiao Juan and Residents in the Valley” that was popular among audiences for their folk songs, was stopped by police who were conducting an “Olympics check” while he was driving home with his wife Xu Na after a performance.
The police arrested and detained them in the Tongzhou District Detention Center when they found out that the couple are practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, which promotes the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance for self-improvement. Yu was separated from his wife, who never saw him again.
Yu Zhou and Xu Na. (Minghui.org)
On Feb. 6, 2008, the eve of Chinese New Year, only after 11 days in police custody, Yu died. He was 42.
The police claimed that his death was the result of complications caused by diabetes although they rejected his family’s demand for an autopsy. The family said he was healthy and had never suffered from diabetes.
His wife, Xu Na, was locked in the detention center and not allowed to attend his funeral. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment in November 2008.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, has been a target of the Chinese Communist Party since July 20, 1999. Many believe the persecution and ensuing negative propaganda campaign was in response to the popularity of Falun Gong.
Beijing Women’s Prison
Xu once wrote in her notes about her personal experience of being tortured in Beijing Women’s Prison when she was first imprisoned from 2001 to 2006, subjected to forced labor, sleep deprivation, being tied up with legs crossed for long hours, and frozen in the winter snow.
“In Beijing Women’s Prison, it was worse to be alive than dead,” she wrote in her notes which were recently published in The Epoch Times Chinese edition, “Repeatedly, you go through long sessions of torture in which they have inmates with medical knowledge to check your physical conditions at all times. I was found to have an irregular heartbeat after I was not allowed to sleep for many days. So the police ordered [the inmates torturing her], ‘Let her sleep for an hour and rest [before continuing with the torture]’.”
She wrote that “various covert and elaborate tortures were invented” by Beijing Women’s Prison. One particular “invention” that “the police are proud of” was called “the splits” ̶ the legs of the person being tortured were pulled apart to 180 degrees and three inmates were ordered to sit on the legs and the back of the tortured person and kept pressing him or her repeatedly. The police were happy with this torture “because the pain is unbearable, but it doesn’t break the bones.”
Even amidst such severe tortures, she refused to give up her belief. A policeman said to her, as quoted from her notes, “[we] should apply for a craniotomy and have your brain removed.”
Xu Na. (Minghui.org)
“The most profound education I had received in media and communications was not in a university classroom but in a prison,” she wrote in her notes.
She said that was in 2003, when Xu Tao, one of her former schoolmates at the Communication University of China, came to the prison for an interview. Xu Tao’s full name is used here to distinguish them.
Xu Tao was a hostess at Beijing TV at that time and she set up a program called “Legal Governance in Progress” in 1999, according to Baidu, a popular Chinese search engine similar to Google. The news program and posts on its website were under strict censorship by the CCP. She later became a deputy chief editor of Beijing TV and a delegate of the CCP’s rubber-stamp legislature.
When Xu Tao was doing the interview at the prison, Xu was isolated in an office of the prison police, not far from the interview venue. She could clearly hear the police and inmates who had tortured her “preaching about how civilized they were in enforcing the law,” but could not make a sound, because “my mouth was gagged with a towel, and four inmates, serving the function of handcuffs, were holding me tightly,” Xu wrote in her notes.
Shortly after the interview, a Falun Gong practitioner, Dong Cui, also known as Dong Cuifang, was tortured to death in Beijing Women’s Prison. Her death was claimed to be a result of illness by the prison authorities. Xu Na was punished and isolated in a small cell for reporting the fact that Dong was abused and tortured to death.
‘If in the Future Either of Us Dies for Our Belief, the Other Person Should Not Feel Sorrowful’
In April 2001 Peng Min, a practitioner of Falun Gong who had stayed at Yu’s home, was persecuted to death after being tortured by police. Twenty-two days later, Peng’s mother Li Yingxiu died in the same hospital.
“When Min’s (Peng Min’s) elder brother Peng Liang and father Peng Weisheng went to pay their last respects to her remains, they found that Li Yingxiu’s hair had been shaved, her head had been drilled into, her nose and mouth were filled with blood, and her clothes were bloodstained as well,” according to Minghui.
Upon reading the news, Yu said to his wife: “If in the future either of us dies for our belief, the other person should not feel sorrowful.”
He didn’t want to die, but he was prepared to prove his innocence “at the cost of his life,” The Epoch Times Chinese edition reported on Feb. 6, 2018.
Yu Zhou (L) and his band. (The Epoch Times)
Xu wrote in her notes that the detention center authorities claimed Yu died of “illness,” but an anonymous former inmate told her that he didn’t dare to tell her everything about Yu’s death, because he was “afraid of being silenced by the police.”
The anonymous witness said a policeman who practiced martial arts tortured Yu to death, the Epoch Times report wrote.
“He (Yu) is a true man!” the witness said, “He has suffered what a human being is not able to stand.” According to the witness, the policeman involved in the death of Yu is called Dong Yasheng and is a martial arts champion in the public security system.
Dong Yasheng, born in Beijing in 1961, is a member of the Chinese Wushu (martial arts) Association and was awarded the title “National Extraordinary Excellent People’s Police,” among many other titles, according to an article published in May 2020 on 163.com, a popular Chinese news outlet.
Yu’s sister asked to see the CCTV footage of the detention center during the period of time. The police agreed and said, “[we can] let you watch part of it.” Later they told her, “the recorded video has been deleted,” The Epoch Times’ Chinese edition reported on Feb. 6, 2018.
Yu was the pride of his family—in 1985, he was enrolled by Peking University to study French as the top scorer in arts in the national entrance examinations that year in his hometown in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin Province in northeastern China. His talent in languages enabled him to sing songs in French, English, and Japanese. He’s still loved and mourned by his friends.
A concert ticket of Xiao Juan and Residents in the Valley. Yu Zhou (L) and his band. (The Epoch Times)
Liang Xiaojun, a Chinese human rights lawyer, began to represent Xu in August last year. He told The Epoch Times Chinese edition on April 25 that the cases of the Xu and 10 other Falun Gong practitioners arrested on July 19, 2020, have been transferred to the court, but “the time of the trial is yet to be scheduled” and that “it is not possible to judge” what would happen in the next stage.
Lyrics from a song Yu used to sing during his performances—“A Motto of Love,” composed by a Taiwan musician Luo Dayou, might give us some idea of why they all stood up for their faith amidst the cruel persecution of the CCP:
“I give you my sincerity and keep sorrow to myself I give you my youth and keep the aging years to myself I give you my life and keep loneliness to myself I give you spring and keep winter to myself.”
As Xu wrote in her blog: “Those who think they are free in China do not know that they have been removed of their spirits and are living in a big invisible prison.” She said that “every screw that is tightened in this evil persecution machine is guilty of reinforcing the evil operation of this machine, including those who want to get fame, fortune, and all kinds of benefits from it.” She quoted Confucius as saying: “When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.”
The Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Christians, and other groups of religious believers has been happening for decades.
The U.S. State Department announced sanctions against a Chinese Communist Party official for persecuting Falun Gong on May 12. The sanctions will bar Yu Hui, former director of the agency specifically tasked with persecuting Falun Gong in the city of Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, from entering the United States. The penalty also extends to his immediate family.
Recently, the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has aroused a lot of attention and discussion.
Reports in the Western media fall on the political left, middle, and right, depending on the author’s viewpoint. I was impressed by a comment that might be more correct. The author of that comment said that what happened to the Jews in concentration camps during World War II was a moral and legal basis for the subsequent restoration of Israel.
More than 6 million Jews died during the Nazi genocide of World War II. Innocent people were systematically killed and tortured for their faith and heritage. Only after the war was the terrible truth gradually revealed, shocking the world. In reaction, many vowed, “Never again.”
But the point of this article isn’t to address the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. What I want to discuss are the same terrible humanitarian disasters that are indeed happening today, despite humanity’s declaration upon learning about the crimes of the Holocaust.
Chinese painter Xu Na is currently locked in a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) prison for her faith in Falun Gong. Simply for her spiritual beliefs, she has been moved in and out of prison for more than 20 years. Her lifelong partner died while he himself was locked away and tortured in a CCP prison.
Last week, an article she wrote was published. It moved me deeply. She wrote:
“How I wish I was imprisoned in Auschwitz concentration camp, not a Chinese prison. Because in the Nazi gas chamber, people can die quickly, but in the Beijing Women’s Prison, it’s worse to be alive than dead. Repeatedly, you go through long sessions of torture in which they have inmates with medical knowledge to check your physical conditions at all times. I was not allowed to sleep there for many days and was found to have irregular heart rhythm. So the police ordered, ‘Let her sleep for an hour and take a break.’
Various concealed and delicate tortures were invented, such as splitting, pulling the legs 180 degrees apart, ordering three prisoners to sit on the legs and back of the victim and press down repeatedly. The police are proud of this invention: ‘This method is good because the pain is unbearable, but it doesn’t hurt the bones.’
The purpose of the Nazi’s persecution was to destroy the body of the Jews, but the purpose of the CCP’s persecution is to destroy the spirit and conscience of people. When I straightened my back even more during the torture and brainwashing, a policeman said to me seriously: ‘You should apply for a craniotomy and have your brain removed.’”
Let me emphasize this shocking point: Xu would rather be in Auschwitz, the place where we swear “never again,” than in a Chinese political prison.
The greatest fear of human life is said to be death. But death isn’t the most terrifying. What is more terrifying than death is that life is worse than death.
This is the reality faced by Xu Na right now.
For 70 years, the CCP’s prisons have implemented the policy of making life worse than death for its victims. The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China isn’t the first persecution of prisoners of faith, and it won’t be the last.
Many first-hand testimonies from Falun Gong practitioners reveal the terrible tortures enacted on political prisoners in CCP prisons.
The Nazi concentration camps aimed to destroy the flesh of the Jews. The goal of the CCP concentration camps is to destroy the human spirit. It’s much easier to end a person’s life than to change their beliefs. The CCP’s torture aims to inflict so much suffering and pain onto human lives that they renounce their belief in God and the virtue of goodness.
Xu Na’s Life in CCP Prisons
Xu Na was a young college student during the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. She studied at the Communication University of China, one of the leading public universities in Beijing. After graduating, she turned away from CCP media organizations and instead became a painter.
In 1995, she and her husband, Yu Zhou, started practicing Falun Gong.
Throughout their life together, they were constantly separated due to sentences in separate prisons. In 1999, Xu Na was arrested for the first time. Despite their hardships, they supported and housed fellow practitioners in China. In 2001, Xu was sentenced to five years in prison for sheltering fellow practitioners.
In November 2002, Xu was transferred to a special prison section for forced brainwashing. In order to brainwash her, the prison used many torture methods including: complete sleep deprivation, tying and forcing her to sit in a cross-legged position for long hours, physical punishment, forcing her into using her fingerprint on self-incriminating statements that were written by others, forcing her to stay outside during cold weather wearing little clothing, not allowing her to shower for more than a month, and more.
In her article, she revealed a surreal incident: An old university classmate, TV host Xu Tao, went to Beijing Women’s Prison to interview the officers. Four prisoners held her down in a back room, while she could clearly hear the interview taking place through the walls. The police who tortured her were preaching about civilized law enforcement in the interview, while her own mouth was muffled with a towel to silence her yells.
While in prison, another Falun Gong practitioner, Dong Cuifang, was imprisoned next to her. Dong Cui was a 29-year-old former doctor from the Women’s and Children’s Health Care Hospital in Shunyi District in Beijing. She was transferred to the Third Section of the Beijing Women’s Prison on the morning of March 11, 2003.
Xu often witnessed Dong being beaten in the neighboring prison cell. She was tortured to death after only eight days.
On March 18, Xu watched the head of the Division of the Prison Tian Fengqing command officers to torture Dong. Xu witnessed through her cell window police officers carrying Dong’s body away several hours later.
It’s reported that Xu openly called out those responsible for Dong Cui’s murder while still in prison, even writing letters to the prison warden to call attention to the circumstances of Dong’s death.
Xu’s Husband Dies in Prison
Xu Na’s husband was a popular folk musician in a band called Xiao Juan and Residents of the Valley. He graduated with a degree in French from Peking University, an elite institution in China.
The CCP used the 2008 Beijing Olympics as an excuse to intensify its persecution of dissidents and religious believers. At 10 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2008, while Yu and Xu were driving home from Yu’s recording studio, police stopped their car to perform an “Olympic safety” inspection. The police found Falun Gong lectures in their car and took them to the Tongzhou District Detention Center.
At 9 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2008, officers from the Beiyuan Police Station, Tongzhou Police Station, Xiangshan Police Station, and Haidian Police Station searched Xu Na’s parents’ home. They found nothing and continued the search at Xu Na’s younger sister’s home.
On Feb. 6, 2008, the last day of the year according to the Chinese calendar, when all families have their reunions and have dinner together, Yu died in the Qinghe Emergency Center at the age of 42.
The family rushed to the hospital, but when they arrived, Yu had already stopped breathing. His body was covered with a white sheet, his face was still wearing a breathing mask, and his legs were cold.
He didn’t get a chance to see Xu before he died. The detention center didn’t even allow Xu to attend her husband’s funeral.
His band, Xiaojuan & Residents in the Valley, featured Xiaojuan, a disabled girl with a beautiful singing voice. Her boyfriend played the guitar, while Yu played the harmonica and drums.
Band singer Xiaojuan published a song in her personal blog that is said to have been composed many years ago, Beautiful Soul.
This time, Xiaojuan recorded it a cappella. These are the lyrics:
“As time goes by We will become beautiful souls Floating in the distant sky Maybe you first Maybe it’s me first Fold a heavenly holy rose Waiting quietly in heaven”
Yu’s family was told that diabetes or a hunger strike caused his death. His family later revealed that he had never suffered from diabetes.
Moreover, it’s highly unlikely that a person only shortly detained in a center for 10 days could die from a hunger strike.
In order to cover up the crime, the CCP’s detention center forced Yu’s family members to immediately cremate the body—against their wishes. This happened 13 years ago in 2008, right before the start of the Beijing Olympics.
As we approach 2022, Beijing will again host the Olympics. The CCP has also again arrested Xu with a number of other Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing. They were charged with publishing photos of Beijing during the pandemic on the internet.
Today, Xu is still detained in Beijing Dongcheng Detention Center.
In her recent letter, she wrote, “Every injustice in this world, even if it is far away from you, is closely related to you, because it is questioning your conscience.”
In her letter, she called the CCP a machine, and stated, “Everyone that tightens and strengthens the screws of the evil operation of this machine is guilty.”
Alexander Liao is a journalist who covers international affairs, focused on the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. His work has been published in newspapers and financial magazines in the United States and Hong Kong.