The Musician Who Perished Seven Years Ago
Folk band Xiaojuan & Valley Residents was hailed
as “China’s warmest voices" in 2007.
Drummer Yu Zhou, however, passed away right before
the Chinese New Year the next year.
While his death is still being concealed in China today,
Yu Zhou has not been forgotten.
His harmonica once brought people to the secluded valley.
His voice conveyed warmth to people.
Yu Zhou: I bring you spring, leave winter to myself;
I keep the view of your back to myself,
give you my wholehearted self.
If you know the “Xiaojuan & Valley Residents,"
you should still remember the drummer and harmonica player,
Yu Zhou, a gifted musician from Peking University.
George, friend: Yu Zhou was very gentle and kind.
The Love Quotes was what he would always sing
to the audiences.
He sang with tears, I could feel that he’s completely devoted.
The audiences were also very touched,
listening to him in tears.
Such a sincere and simple voice has left the world
for seven years.
The band was becoming popular, but Zhou Yu’s sudden death
the day before Chinese New Year was not reported anywhere.
His death remains a sensitive keyword to the Chinese Internet.
In January 2008, the streets of Beijing were tense.
In the name of upcoming Olympics,
police check points were seen in every major intersection.
George: Yu Zhou had just finished the concert,
was driving home with his wife.
They were pulled over by the police who searched their car.
The Falun Gong practitioners would often bring a copy
of the doctrine, Zhuan Falun, to read.
It is people’s freedom to read whatever they’d like.
But the police brought them to
Tongzhou District police station.
No one would have thought that this arrest would have ended
Yu Zhou’s singing forever.
George: It was around the 11th day, on Feb. 6, when his family
was notified to hurry to Qinghe Emergency Center.
Yu Zhou was covered with a white blanket.
The family was restricted from getting close to Yu Zhou.
The family barely touched his leg and said the
leg was icy cold.
He was already dead.
On the Chinese New Year Eve, Feb. 6,
the 42-year-old Yu Zhou left the world.
The authorities refused to give the cause of death.
The family firmly requested an autopsy,
but the result was never revealed.
His wife, artist Xu Na, never saw Yu Zhou for the last time,
forbidden to attend the funeral,
was illegally sentenced to three years in prison.
Since he’s gone, his music partners have expressed
their yearning with songs and fans constantly questioned.
Seven years have gone by, Yu Zhou has not been forgotten.
Every year on Feb. 6, he was commemorated on Twitter
as a musician persecuted to death for his belief.
Lawyer Cheng Hai was commissioned to handle Xu Na’s case.
Looking back 7 years ago,
he indicates that the environment has changed.
The victims will punish the criminals through legal process.
Lawyer Cheng Hai: It is not just to speak out,
but also to punish the crimes by law.
Our law has not expressly indicated that believing in
Falun Gong, publicizing and producing
materials of information are illegal.
Therefore, it is clear that the authorities
have committed the crime.
That’s why we will defend for our defendants, plead not guilty,
and sue those prosecutors for their crimes in malfeasance.
For the past seven years, there have been many exposures
of the persecution against Falun Gong.
Consequently, the labor camps were abolished, many righteous
lawyers have defended Falun Gong practitioners and massive
numbers of Chinese have demanded an end to the persecution
of Falun Gong with petitions endorsed with their thumbprints.
Interview & Edit/ShangYan Post-Production/XiaoYan