An 84-year-old man died three months after he finished serving a one-and-a-half-year term for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Zheng Decai, a resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was arrested on September 4, 2017 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. He was detained for 37 days and released on bail due to a medical condition.
Zhu Wenwen, an officer from Guangmingshan Police Station, went to Mr. Zheng’s home on March 27, 2018 and asked him to go to the court to sign a statement promising to give up Falun Gong. Zhu threatened to send Mr. Zheng to jail if he refused to do so.
Zhu brought Mr. Zheng to the court on the next day. As Mr. Zheng had lost his hearing after being beaten by the police in 2000, he didn't know what Zhu was saying during the interrogation. Zhu then wrote that Mr. Zheng had admitted to his “guilt” in practising Falun Gong.
Zhu then brought Mr. Zheng to the hospital for a physical examination. He kept Mr. Zheng in detention afterwards and said that he was scheduled to appear in court in a few days.
Mr. Zheng was tried by Zhuanghe City Court on April 12, 2018. His lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for him.
Mr. Zheng's family didn't learn of his prison sentence until June 11, 2018 when they went to the local detention centre to pick up his belongings, as directed by the authorities. This was his second time being sentenced for his faith, following an earlier 3.5-year term in 2010.
Mr. Zheng was taken to Nanguangling Prison on June 12, 2018. He was denied admission after failing the physical exam, and was returned to the detention centre, where he exhibited symptoms of high blood pressure and abnormal heart rate two days later. He also coughed up blood.
When the detention centre finally allowed his family to visit him after their strong insistence, they noticed that Mr. Zheng had to be wheeled out to meet them.
Mr. Zheng was accepted by Dalian Prison on August 6, 2018. His family was never allowed to visit him during his imprisonment there.
Mr. Zheng’s health condition was very poor when he was released on August 19, 2019. He couldn’t walk and had an eating disorder.
The police and local village officials harassed him prior to the communist regime’s 70th anniversary of founding on October 1, and confiscated a photo of Falun Gong’s founder.
Mr. Zheng passed away on November 21, 2019.
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