(Minghui.org) A Fuxin City resident imprisoned for his faith has been on a hunger strike since July 31, 2017 to protest the illegal detention and brutal abuse of him.

Mr. Hu Zhanting was arrested on August 19, 2015 for spreading information about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. He was tried on May 10, 2016 and soon sentenced to 7 years in prison. The local appeals court ruled to uphold his conviction even before receiving the power of attorney document from his new lawyer.

Mr. Hu was transferred to Jinzhou Prison on August 22, 2016. About one month later, he was moved again, this time to Shenyang First Prison, where he remains today.

Mr. Hu’s family visited him on July 31, 2017. It just so happened that an inspection team was there on the same day, and they noted that Mr. Hu wasn’t wearing a prison uniform. The guards beat him and tied him up on a long bench after the inspection team and his family left.

Mr. Hu went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse and to request unconditional release. The guards gave him two injections in the first few days of his hunger strike, but stopped upon his strong protest.

A team lead surnamed Xu contacted Mr. Hu’s family twice, on August 8 and 9, respectively, to discuss his hunger strike. On August 10, Xu arranged for Mr. Hu to have a phone call with his family, who was unable to change his mind about the hunger strike.

On August 15, Xu asked Mr. Hu’s family to call his supervisor He, who urged the family to persuade Mr. Xu to stop the hunger strike.

Mr. Hu’s family visited him on August 16 and noted that he needed two guards to help him walk. He told his family that he wouldn’t stop the hunger strike until he was released. After all, he had broken no law by exercising his constitutional right to freedom of belief, and he should never have been sentenced in the first place.