Imprisoned Man on Hunger Strike, Denied Medical Parole
(Minghui.org) A Benxi City resident serving time for his faith has been on a hunger strike for more than a year to protest his imprisonment. He is in precarious condition, but the local prison authorities have repeatedly denied his request for medical parole.
Mr. Song Yuegang was arrested on June 28, 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
The 38-year-old man went on a hunger strike five months later as a peaceful way to protest the illegal detention, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.
Mr. Song's health deteriorated to the point that he was unfit to stand trial. Despite his lawyer's objection, he was tried on December 13, 2016. He collapsed in the middle of the hearing, but the presiding judge resumed the trial in his hospital ward nine days later and sentenced him to three years in prison on December 28.
The local appeals court ruled in March 2017 to uphold the original verdict. When questioned by Mr. Song's lawyer, the higher court judge admitted that he was ordered to issue such a decision by the local 610 Office, an extra-legal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given power to override the judicial system.
Mr. Song's family hadn't been allowed to see him up to that point. His sister went to Benxi City Detention Center on March 24, 2017 and was told that her brother was denied family visits for “failing to obey rules.” Mr. Song's wife, Ms. Wang Wei, tried to see her husband on March 30 and was told that he had been transferred to Kangjiashan Prison (located in Shenyang City) ten days earlier.
Ms. Wang received a phone call from the prison in June 2017, asking her to visit her husband to persuade him to end his hunger strike. At the prison she saw Mr. Song carried out on a gurney.
Mr. Song told his wife that he broke no law by practicing Falun Gong and he was determined to carry on his hunger strike until he was released.
Ms. Wang was subsequently allowed a monthly visit with her husband. She noted that he had to be carried out on a gurney each time. She made numerous requests for her husband to be released on medical parole, but the prison made no response.
Ms. Wang filed a motion with the Liaoning Province Superior Court on January 17, 2018 requesting that they reconsider her husband's case. She hasn't received a response. She learned on March 21, 2018 that her husband has been admitted to the prison hospital. She again requested his medical parole, and was denied yet again.
Ms. Wang, who was pregnant when her husband was arrested, was hit by a taxi in November 2017 and had to take a leave from work. With her husband in prison, she struggles to make ends meet and take care of their two young children, ages 1 and 3.