Yu Zhijian(Three Gallants of Tiananmen)
May 23, 1989
Making counterrevolutionary propaganda, sabotage
Throwing paint-filled eggs at Mao's portrait in Tiananmen Square with Yu Dongyue and Lu Decheng
Yu Zhijian was a famous pro-democracy activist. He and his compatriots Yu Dongyue and Lu Decheng became collectively known as the “Three Gallants of Tiananmen” after they threw paint-filled eggs at the official portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square during the pro-democracy student protests of 1989. Yu Zhijian completed his prison sentence in 1998. He and his wife escaped to the United States as political refugees along with Yu Dongyue who was mentally disordered due to the torture he received in prison. They settled in Indiana. Yu Zhiian and his wife served as caretakers for Yu Dongyue until Yu Zhijian died at age 54.
When Yu Dongyue was released from prison in 2004 after 15 years of incarceration, he was barely recognizable. Before his imprisonment, he was an art editor at a regional newspaper. Now he looked blank and often became repetitive. Family members and friends could barely recognize him. During his incarceration, he was subjected to beatings, electrocution, exposure to the elements, and two years of solitary confinement. He was even sent to a mental hospital. In 2009, Yu Dongyue came to America.