Mr. Li Runhui, 68, Huabei Oilfield Retiree, Dies after Years of Persecution

Summary of Key Persecution Facts:

Name: Li Runhui
Gender: Male
Age: 68
Address: Bazhou City, Hebei Province
Occupation: Retired employee of the No. 2 Oil Extraction Plant of Huabei Oilfield
Date of Death: August 21st, 2013
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 6th, 2012
Most Recent Place of Detention: Jidong Prison
City: Tangshan
Province: Hebei
Persecution Suffered: Detention, imprisonment, forced labour, sleep deprivation, brainwashing, forced injections/drug administration, beatings

Mr. Li Runhui, 68, a retired worker from the Huabei Oilfield, was arrested seven times because he practised Falun Gong. He was sentenced to a seven-year term in 2009 and held in Jidong Prison. He was later released on medical parole after he developed heart disease and pulmonary oedema (excess fluid in the lungs) and was on the verge of dying. The 610 Office officials (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) kept harassing, pressuring, and threatening Mr. Li while he was on medical parole. Unable to recover under such torment, Mr. Li passed away on August 21st, 2013.

Below is an account of the persecution Mr. Li experienced.

Illness Cured after Practising Falun Gong

Mr. Li was born in 1945. The living conditions in China were extremely rough back then. Overwork reduced him to a physical wreck. He developed heart disease and suffered from it for nearly 20 years.

Mr. Li started practising Falun Gong in July 1997. His illnesses disappeared shortly after that. He lived by Falun Gong's principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and worked hard on keeping himself to a high moral standard.

Detained for Appealing for the Right to Practise Falun Gong

Mr. Li and two other practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practise Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999, at the start of the persecution. When a police officer questioned them, they replied that they were Falun Gong practitioners. The officer said, “You are here to appeal. I can lead your way.” He then took them to the police department and detained them for a week. Mr. Li returned to work and his company reduced his pay and bonus.

Mr. Li went to Beijing again on October 28th, 1999. A plainclothes officer asked him, “What's up?” He replied, “I'm here to call for justice for Falun Gong.” Mr. Li was arrested and taken to the Changping Detention Centre. He was released several days later. His company removed him from his post, causing a major financial loss to Mr. Li and his family.

Multiple Arrests and Detention

Mr. Li and his wife did the Falun Gong exercises outdoors on March 1st, 2000. They were arrested and Mr. Li was held for 20 days at the Huabei Oilfield Detention Centre.

Mr. Li was arrested again in 2001 after the police found informational materials about Falun Gong in the local area. He was taken to a detention centre. He held a hunger strike for 24 days to protest the unjust detention. A police officer beat him and his teeth became loose. Mr. Li was later sentenced to one year of forced labour and taken to the Shijiazhuang Forced Labour Camp.

At the labour camp Mr. Li was forced to do hard labour. He was also beaten, and tortured by being forced to squat for a long period of time and deprived of sleep.

Mr. Li was taken to the Langfang Brainwashing Centre in September 2007, where the staff took turns tying to “transform” [forcibly renounce Falun Gong] him. Mr. Li later found that his food had a bitter taste. He became suspicious that he was drugged. However, it was too late. He started to lose his memory. His mind became unclear and he wrote a guarantee statement to renounce practising Falun Gong.

Sentenced to a Seven-Year Prison Term

More than a dozen officers from the 610 Office and local police department broke into Mr. Li's home on March 11th, 2009, arresting Mr. Li and his wife.

Mr. Li's wife was taken to the Langfang Brainwashing Centre. Mr. Li was taken to a detention centre and was later sentenced to a seven-year prison term. He was taken to the Jidong Prison (also called Tangshan Prison).

Mr. Li's heart disease reoccurred due to torture and the severe living conditions in prison. He had several heart attacks and developed pulmonary oedema. He was dying. The prison authorities released him on medical parole.

However, 10 months later, on July 6th, 2011, Mr. Li was arrested again and taken back to prison. His health deteriorated further and he was transferred to a military hospital. He was tied to a bed and the prison guards took turns monitoring him. His symptom of auricular fibrillation (heart rhythm disorder) didn't improve after one month of treatment. The prison authorities released him again on medical parole.

About eight officers went to Mr. Li's home on July 6th, 2012, and took him to prison again. By this time, Mr. Li was dying because of his heart problem. The prison authorities had to release him again on medical parole on January 21st, 2013.

The ongoing persecution greatly injured Mr. Li both physically and mentally. Even while he was out on medical parole, the 610 Office personnel constantly harassed, pressured, and threatened him, claiming that they would take him back to prison. Mr. Li could not recover his health under this environment of severe oppression, and he passed away on August 21st, 2013.

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