(Minghui.org) A Tianjin man who has been on hunger strike for more than eight months was not able to recognize his family when they visited him on December 22, 2016.

Mr. Hua Lianyou was arrested on April 14, 2016, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. The police sent him to Binhai Prison hours later without following due process.

Mr. Hua started a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention as soon as he was admitted to prison. The guards force-fed him with chili pepper water and tortured him on a regular basis.

His health quickly declined. When his wife and daughter visited him on November 24, he had to be wheeled to the meeting room. He told them about how he had been abused at the prison hospital from August 25 to October 25. The guards had poured cold water all over his body before turning on the fan to blow air on him. They also didn’t allow him to sleep.

Mr. Hua’s wife and daughter were heartbroken when he no longer responded to them during their visit on December 22. His eyes remained closed for the duration of the meeting, and all he did was repeatedly talk about how he was force-fed and beaten.

The guards refused to release him on bail despite his wife’s request. She is now in the process of hiring a lawyer to seek justice against the prison. She is also calling on the international community to pay attention to her husband’s plight.

This is not the first time that Mr. Hua has been targeted for his faith. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term following an arrest in 2001. When he was arrested again on April 24, 2012, he was given a seven-year jail sentence. He was released on January 28, 2014, after being on a hunger strike for 617 days.

He filed a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin in June 2015, holding the former Chinese dictator responsible for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong, which resulted in his past imprisonment. The local police arrested him in April 2016 and have since been holding him captive. His family was never told of his exact sentence.

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