To our great sadness, Mr. Yu Zhijian (余志坚), one of the “Three Gentlemen of Tiananmen,” has passed away. Humanitarian China calls for donations to provide relief for his family, who face significant funeral costs and are in need of aid.
Yu Zhijian (余志坚), 54, died of diabetes on March 30 in Indiana.
Mr. Yu was born on September 23, 1963, in Liuyang city, Hunan Province. He was an elementary school teacher in Liuyang city. On March 23, 1989, Yu Zhijian, along with Lu Decheng (鲁德成), a driver with the Liuyang Municipal Transportation Company, as well as Yu Dongyue (喻东岳), a fine arts editor with the state-run Liuyang Daily, hung a large banner on the Tiananmen Square gate arches saying: “Five Thousand Years of Dictatorship Ends Here; The Cult of Mao Can Now Rest”. The three men then threw eggs filled with paint at the portrait of Mao Zedong hanging over Tiananmen. In June 1989 the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court found Yu guilty of “counter-revolutionary sabotage” and “counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement” and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Yu Dongyue was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, and Lu Decheng 16 years.
Yu Zhijian was released on parole at the end of 1998. He relied on odd jobs to get by, but due to constant harassment by the authorities was never able to get a secure source of income. In 2008, Yu and his wife fled China with Yu Dongyue, going into hiding in Thailand. They were admitted to the United States in 2009 as refugees and were later granted permanent residency, setting up home in Indianapolis. Mr. and Mrs. Yu took in Yu Dongyue, who suffers mental illness from prison torture, and looked after him. After Yu Zhijian’s death, his wife made clear that she would continue providing care for Yu Dongyue.
Over the past year, Yu had been unable to work due to illness, and his wife instead took on the responsibility of providing for the family, though they remained in straitened circumstances. Later, Yu’s hospitalization depleted the family’s savings entirely. The couple has a nine-year-old son.
Mr. Yu’s surviving wife now needs to raise the funds for the cost of the funeral. She also faces financial pressure from raising her young child and providing care to Yu Dongyue on her own.
Given the Yu family’s circumstances, Humanitarian China hereby announces a fundraising campaign for the Yu family. Humanitarian China is a California-based registered non-profit; all donations are tax-deductible (EIN: 30-0413217). All Humanitarian China staff are volunteers and all donations to it are used to help victims of political persecution. Last year we helped the lives of 100 such individuals.
When making a donation, please specify the object of the funding by writing: “Yu Zhijian family fund.”
Donations can be made through check, PayPal, credit card or a third-party. For details, please visit: http://h-china.org/donation/