Mr. Wang Lihe, a Falun Dafa practitioner in Lanzhou, passed away at his home on November 7, 2016 at the age of 53. Although the exact cause of his death is unclear, his family and friends believe that the stress of trying to secure his wife's release and pressure from the authorities to withdraw his lawsuit against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin contributed to his death.
Mr. Wang's wife, Ms. Yue Puling, was arrested in July 2015 in connection with banners and signs hung around the city two months earlier. She has been detained at Lanzhou No.1 Detention center ever since. She was sentenced to seven years in prison on December 20, 2016, a month after her husband's death.
Banners and signs reading “Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day” and “Global Efforts to Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice” were hung up overnight in Lanzhou on May 13, 2015. May 13 is celebrated by Falun Dafa practitioners worldwide as the anniversary of the practice's public introduction.
In response, the authorities monitored, followed, and arrested many practitioners in the following months. Ms. Yue was seized along with another practitioner at a bus stop by plainclothes officers on July 1, 2015.
Husband and Son Interrogated Overnight
When Ms. Yue was arrested, her husband and her son (not a practitioner) were taken separately to Lanzhou Police Department. They were interrogated overnight and held until 6 p.m. the next day. The police questioned them about where the signs came from.
They returned home to find uniformed officers inside and outside of their apartment, taking away books, computers, other personal items, and over 80,000 yuan in cash. The police did not show a warrant while ransacking their home. The family was only given a seizure list two weeks later.
Pressured to Withdraw Legal Case Against Jiang Zemin
After Ms. Yue's arrest, Mr. Wang filed a criminal complaint against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, holding him responsible for the persecution of his wife for her faith. He mailed his lawsuit to the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate, which are required to process all criminal complaints filed by citizens.
Soon, the 610 Office started to pressure Mr. Wang’s employer to convince him to withdraw his case. Mr. Wang’s employer started to pressure him just as he was trying to find attorneys to defend his wife.
In October 2015, he was hospitalized, diagnosed with cancer, and operated on. Three months later, he received another operation. All that time, he was still trying to contact lawyers regarding his wife’s defense.
During that time, Mr. Wang's employer called him frequently to pressure him to withdraw his lawsuit against Jiang. Mr. Wang eventually wrote a letter explaining how he had benefited from practicing Falun Dafa. This did not satisfy the authorities.
In October 2016, Mr. Wang had finally had enough. He informed his employer that he would have to quit his job if they did not stop harassing him.
Two weeks later, Mr. Wang passed away. He is survived by his wife, his 80-year-old mother, and his son.
Before he died, Mr. Wang asked to have his wife come home for a last visit, but his request was denied by the 610 Office.
Ms. Yue is currently appealing her sentence.
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