A 78-year-old man who suffered a mental collapse after being tortured in prison for practicing Falun Gong years ago succumbed to his mental illness in November 2020. With his wife Ms. Du Guiying, 68, still serving time in prison, Mr. Wang Dejin passed away at home alone.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
The ordeal of Mr. Wang and his wife, residents in Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province, started when local Falun Gong practitioners wrote an open letter to the police and 610 Office (an extralegal agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong) in 2004 and urged them not to participate in the persecution of Falun Gong.
The local police established a special task force to investigate who wrote the letter. Liang Xiaoming, then Domestic Security Division chief, said, “As long as we arrest one person, we can blame him for everything.”
Mr. Wang and his wife became the police’s top target. In the middle of the night on February 16, 2004, the police broke into the couple’s home and arrested them. The officers searched their residence everywhere and also tore up their comforter looking for the so-called evidence.
On May 20, 2004, both Mr. Wang and Ms. Du were secretly sentenced to four years without legal representation.
As a result of the torture in prison, Mr. Wang suffered a mental breakdown and lost the ability to take care of himself. He lost the sensation of feeling hungry and full. He relieved himself in the rooms. When he went out, he was unable to find his way back home.
Despite his condition, the police ransacked their home again on July 24, 2015 during a group arrest of local practitioners. He and his wife were brought to the police station for interrogation.
The police harassed the couple again in late 2016 and arrested Ms. Du a few years later for passing out a few copies of Falun Gong materials. She was sentenced to a four-year prison term by the Acheng City Court in July 2019.
Mr. Wang’s health further deteriorated without the care from Ms. Du. He passed away a year later.
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