The family of a Tangshan City, Hebei Province resident was informed by Jidong Prison around 8 a.m. on May 30, 2020 that their loved one serving seven years for his faith in Falun Gong has just died from “cardiac arrest.” Mr. Cao Jinxing was 69.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
When Mr. Cao’s family rushed to the prison on June 2, the prison authorities showed them some documents about Mr. Cao, but without allowing them to take notes or pictures. His family learned that Mr. Cao had been diagnosed with an unknown terminal disease as early as in 2018, but that they were never notified and he had never been provided medical treatment.
Mr. Cao's family also learned that the prison guards had been forcing him to do unpaid labour despite his medical condition.
The prison insisted that Mr. Cao died of “natural causes” and said that they are considering providing some financial compensation to his family.
Mr. Cao, a retired worker from the Tangshan City Agricultural Machinery Bureau, was arrested on June 7, 2017 during a massive harassment campaign of Falun Gong practitioners across China. The police spent three hours ransacking his home and confiscated many of his personal belongings. He was injured after being thrown to the ground during the home invasion and arrest. He later developed rashes on his back while being held at the Tangshan City No.1 Detention Centre.
Mr. Cao appealed to the Tangshan City Intermediate Court after being sentenced to seven years by the Lubei District Court on June 26, 2018.
A staff member from the Tangshan City Procuratorate visited Mr. Cao at the detention centre and promised that the intermediate court would hold a hearing concerning his case.
But Li Zhuo, the judge who handled his case, decided to uphold the original sentence after some internal discussion, without following the required hearing procedure.
Mr. Cao was transferred from the detention centre to Jidong Prison in November 2018. He was never allowed any family visits while imprisoned.
In addition to Mr. Cao, it has also been confirmed by Minghui.org that three other Falun Gong practitioners held at the same prison are being abused and/or denied family visits.
Mr. Li Congchun, a former deputy police chief in Handan City, was sentenced to five years in 2016, and is now being denied any communication with his family.
Mr. Lai Zhiqiang, a Tangshan City resident who was sentenced to seven years in 2016, has suffered a stroke. He is unable to walk and couldn’t recognize his wife when she visited him. His family’s requests for medical parole have been met with prolonged delay.
Mr. Wang Zhiqin, a Leting County resident who is serving a 3.5-year term, also suffered a stroke in prison and has lost the ability to talk or take care of himself. The prison has also denied his family’s request for medical parole.
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