A farmer in Xiao County, Anhui Province passed away on May 2, 2020, two days after the local authorities harassed him for his faith in Falun Gong. Mr. Liu Fating had been suffering from lung cancer after serving 3.5 years for his faith, and the harassment worsened his condition.
Because of persisting in practising Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that he credited for curing his tuberculosis, Mr. Liu was repeatedly targeted after the Chinese Communist Party started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999.
The police arrested Mr. Liu and ransacked his home on October 16, 2007. Years later, they attempted to arrest him again on August 30, 2015. As Mr. Liu wasn’t home when the police came, they confiscated his computer, Falun Gong books and other personal belongings, including 3,000 yuan in cash. They also threatened to arrest his wife, forcing the couple to live away from home to avoid the persecution.
Mr. Liu was arrested 500 miles away in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, on November 17, 2015. The police brought him back to Xiao County on November 29 and held him at Xiao County Detention Centre.
The guards whipped him for doing the Falun Gong exercises and forced him to do long hours of intensive, unpaid labour, without providing enough food to him. He developed cerebral infarction, but was denied bail to seek medical treatment. The detention centre also rejected the clothes his family sent him.
The Xiao County Court later sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison. He was sent to Suzhou City No.3 Prison on December 15, 2016, despite the fact that he had already become incapacitated.
The three-year imprisonment totally ruined Mr. Liu’s health. He came out of the prison in January 2019 with a walking stick. He often coughed up blood upon returning home and was soon found to have lung cancer.
Mr. Liu stayed in the hospital and received chemotherapy for a few months. After he returned home, agents from Xiao County 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong, harassed him and attempted to force him to renounce his faith. His condition worsened in the next few months due to the mental pressure.
After the coronavirus broke out and his village was locked down, he wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital to receive treatment. After the lockdown was lifted months later and he went back to the hospital, the 610 Office ordered village officials to harass his family.
On April 30, 2020, Chen Zhimin, the head of Xiao County 610 Office, led a few officials to harass Mr. Liu again, despite the fact that he was already in and out of a coma and on the verge of death. They intimidated the family and took his cellphone to check whether he had contacted any Falun Gong practitioners recently.
Mr. Liu passed away two days later, around 7:40 p.m. on May 2, 2020. He was 74.
Many villagers condemned the village officials for participating in the persecution that claimed Mr. Liu’s life.
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