(Clearwisdom.net) Qiqihar City officials in Heilongjiang Province refuse to release "illegally imprisoned" Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Pan Benyu, despite his critical condition. Tailai Prison officials issued a notice of "critical condition" for Mr. Pan, but the 610 Office in the Tiefeng District of Qiqihar would not release him.

Mr. Pan Benyu was arrested by Beijuzhai police officer Xing Guona and others at 9:00 a.m. on December 12, 2006. The arrest of Mr. Pan was reported as part of an ongoing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) activity that established a quota for arresting a certain number of practitioners before the end of the year. Prison guards tried to force Mr. Pan into making a false confession using torture that resulted in internal and external bleeding and bruising. He was taken to the Second Hospital for emergency treatment and recovery. In late April, Mr. Pan was returned to Tailai Prison.

Back in prison, Mr. Pan was again subjected to several torture sessions and was again taken to the hospital. At present, Mr. Pan's severe injuries have caused a loss of liver function and abdominal swelling. Additional symptoms of his weak condition were evidenced by heart disease and generalized swelling with bruises, including on his face and mouth. His physical condition was so poor that even his vision had deteriorated. Despite Mr. Pan's serious condition, the prison officials announced that he would not be released until he signed a repentance statement.

On December 25, his family went to the prison's political office to request Mr. Pan's release. Prison officials gave the excuse, "We have issued a 'critical condition' notice already, but you need to contact the local 610 Office. If they agree to release him, then we will give him to you." However, the Tiefeng District 610 Office and Beijuzhai local police officials disregarded Mr. Pan Benyu's life-threatening injuries and again refused to release him.

Currently, many practitioners remain illegally imprisoned in Tailai and are suffering similar persecution. We appeal to kindhearted people to help secure the release of Mr. Pan Benyu and other practitioners whose lives are in danger and for the sake of their families.

Tiefeng Sub-bureau of Police Department of City of Tsitsihar, Heilongjiang Province: 86-452-2183708

Tiefeng District Politics and Law Committee: 86-452-2188663

Beijuzhai Police Station: 86-452-2112035