(Minghui.org) Less than a year after his most recent arrest for speaking out against the persecution of Falun Gong, 63-year-old Mr. Liu Liyan passed away at a Changsha City hospital. His death is suspected to be the result of brutal beatings in the Xiangtan County Detention Center in Hunan Province.
At the hospital, Mr. Liu's family found that his entire body was wrapped in gauze with only his head exposed. A follow-up forensic investigation indicated brain and internal organ damage, and his body was covered with dark bruises.
Officials at the detention center refused to give any information about Mr. Liu's death. His family only knew that he was transferred from the detention center to Yisuhe Town Hospital four or five days before being admitted to the Changsha Second Hospital, where he died on June 13, 2014.
Mr. Liu was illegally arrested on September 2, 2013, while he was distributing Falun Gong informational materials with another practitioner, Ms. Lu Mengjun, in Shebu Town of Xiangtan County. They were taken to a local police station and interrogated. The police then sent them to the Xiangtan County Detention Center.
In March 2014, Mr. Liu Liyan was secretly sentenced to three and a half years in prison, while Ms. Lu Mengjun was given 4 years.
Ms. Lu is currently incarcerated in Changsha Women’s Prison. Neither of their families received any notification of the sentencing.
Once, when friends and family were visiting him at the Xiangtan County Detention Center, they noticed that some of his teeth were missing. They asked him about it, but the guards forbade Mr. Liu from answering.
During his detention, Mr. Liu's family and friends had sent money to him several times, however, he did not receive a penny.
Mr. Liu had traveled to Beijing three times to appeal for Falun Gong since the persecution began in 1999. The police illegally arrested him in Beijing during his third trip and took him back to Xiangtan. He was jailed in a drug rehabilitation center for two weeks, where inmates beat him every day as instigated by the guards.
Ten days after his release, while he was reading a Falun Gong book during a work break near Xiangtan Train Station, the police arrested him and sent him to the Xinkaipu Labor Camp in Changsha, where he was imprisoned for two years.
Mr. Liu’s body is still being kept at the hospital morgue. His family members do not know whether the guards or inmates were responsible for the beating. They have hired an attorney, but the authorities have failed to respond to the attorney's inquiries.