(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioner Mr. Zhang Hongju from Nankai District in Tianjin has been imprisoned at Binhai Prison since December 2016.

His family was notified on March 21, 2017, that he had been hospitalized at Huanhu Hospital (specialized in treating injury to or illnesses of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves).

The family was also informed to bring their residency certificates and housing deed papers to process his medical parole. The prison authorities later denied him medical parole after his condition slightly improved.

Persecuted While in Critical Condition

Mr. Zhang's wife rushed to the hospital after she was notified of his condition. Her husband was very thin, pale and could not speak coherently or move his body.

He was diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage and in critical condition. Yet, his ankle was still shackled to the bed, that caused him more pain and made it difficult for him to turn his body. A video camera and audio recorder were also installed near his bed to closely monitor him.

His family members had to care for him 24/7 since he could not eat, urinate or defecate by himself.

The prison guards told the family members to pay for his medical expenses even though the cerebral hemorrhage he suffered was due to being tortured in prison. Mr. Zhang's wife refused to pay and stated the prison should be held accountable instead.

Medical Parole Denied

Mr. Zhang's condition slightly improved five days later, but he still needed an IV. The police then transferred him to a regular hospital without the family's consent.

His family requested that he be released on medical bail to continue to receive treatment in Huanhu Hospital, but the prison authorities refused their request.

Past Arrests and Imprisonments

Mr. Zhang, 53, a former employee at Tianjin Tax Bureau, started practicing Falun Dafa in 1995. He was awarded and recognized as a model worker, and often donated money and clothes to people in disaster areas.

He and his wife went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Dafa in 1999 and were arrested and detained. His wife was forced to do one year of hard labor.

Mr. Zhang later lost his job because of his belief.

He was arrested again on May 20, 2003, by officers from the Guangkai Police Station of Nankai District Police Department for talking to people about the practice.

He was then sentenced to five years of imprisonment by the Nankai District Court and transferred to Tianjin No. 1 Prison. He was forced to attend brainwashing sessions and physically tortured. He became very weak and lost many teeth as a result.

After he was released, Mr. Zhang and his wife worked as street peddlers in order to support their child in college.

He was arrested for the third time on July 14, 2015, by the Tianjin City 610 Office and held at the Nankai District Detention Center for a year-and-a-half.

During this time, he had surgery to remove a kidney stone in October 2016. Officials at the detention center did not notify his family of the surgery or allow them to visit him, but only informed them to pay the medical expenses.

Mr. Zhang was later sentenced to four years and three months by the Nankai District Court, and transferred to Binhai Prison in December 2016.

He continued to be tortured in prison and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage only three months after being imprisoned.

His current condition is still not good. He has high blood pressure, has lost all of his teeth, and is very thin and weak.

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