Mr. Xu Tianfu never recovered from the torture he suffered during nine years of imprisonment for practising Falun Gong. After years of struggle with poor health, he passed away on January 5, 2019.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Xu, a resident of Miyi County, Sichuan Province, began practising Falun Gong in 1996. He was arrested and had his home ransacked multiples times for holding firm to his faith after the persecution of Falun Gong began.
Mr. Xu was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2003. While serving time at Deyang Prison, he was subjected to various forms of abuse, including heavy labour, long hours of standing, running, freezing and exposure to the scorching sun.
In 2008, in a prison-wide campaign to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith, guard Zhong Sheng of the 10th Ward ordered the inmates to torture Mr. Xu.
They forced Mr. Xu to stand for seven days and then squat for one day. On the eighth evening, the inmates filled a big basin with water and repeatedly dunked his head into the water. Next, they brought him to the restroom, sat him by a urinal and poured cold water onto his head continuously.
Unable to bear the torture, Mr. Xu agreed to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong against his will.
“As soon as I said I would write the statement, I knew I did wrong. It was very painful. I couldn’t sleep that evening and I cried. Instead of writing things to condemn Falun Gong in the statement, I told them why I started doing the practice,” Mr. Xu once recalled.
For the next three months, Mr. Xu said he always felt muddleheaded and was in low spirits.
When he was released on October 12, 2012, Mr. Xu was emaciated and his health was completely ruined. His legs and feet were severely swollen. He also had liver problems and ascites (excess abdominal fluid). A guard said to his family, “He doesn’t have much time left.”
Mr. Xu was hospitalized three days after his prison release. Although his health improved somewhat, he never fully recovered. His condition deteriorated in 2018 and he was frequently hospitalized. He was merely skin and bones in his final days.
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