Coal Miner Persecuted to Death in China for His Spiritual Belief

March 16, 2021 Updated: March 17, 2021

A Chinese man was persecuted to death by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in February. While alive, he was tortured by prison guards in a bid to force him to abandon his belief in the spiritual practice Falun Gong.

Yue Caiyun, a 54-year-old coal miner, was seized by authorities at work on Aug. 21, 2020, in Hangzhou city in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province. The police arrested him on the charge of mailing Falun Gong materials, according to Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website dedicated to reporting the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

While detained, Yue went on a hunger strike for several months to protest against being persecuted.

After being sentenced to 1 year and 4 months in prison last December, Yue was prevented from seeing his family due to the pandemic.

In late February, Yue was rushed to a hospital for emergency care and he died soon afterward, Minghui.org reported. He is survived by his wife and son.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice that originated in China. It is composed of meditative exercises and a set of teachings based around the principles of “truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.” Its surge in popularity in the 1990s saw some 70 million people practicing by 1999, according to official estimates at the time.

Threatened by this popularity, the CCP launched a persecution against the practice in 1999. Since then, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been thrown into prisons, psychiatric wards, and other facilities, while hundreds of thousands have suffered torture, according to estimates from the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Yue was previously persecuted after he went to Beijing in 2003 to petition the CCP to abandon its suppression of Falun Gong. As a result, he was sentenced to re-education through labor for three years, reported Minghui.org. During that time, he was severely tortured at the Xuchang labor camp in central China’s Henan Province.

The prison guards used a variety of torture methods on Yue. In one method known as the “roasted lamb,” the victim’s legs and hands are tied to a stick while being beaten by a group of people.

In another torture method called the “binding chair,” the victim is tied to a chair for several days to prevent rest.

Yue was also subjected to “rope punishment,” where the victim’s hands are tied back with a thin nylon rope and lifted up, causing unbearable pain. This form of torture can cause the rope to cut deep into the flesh, causing injury and disability. Yue was made to endure this torture method 20 times, while at the same time being denied rest for an entire week, Minghui.org reported.