(Minghui.org) Tragedy struck an elderly couple in Nanjing City when the wife was sentenced to prison and the husband died of high blood pressure induced by police harassment.

Ms. Zhang Xiuhua and her husband, Mr. Sun Genluo, were targeted because they refused to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999. The couple's home was ransacked ten times in the past, and they were repeatedly arrested. Mr. Sun was twice given forced labor for a total of 29 months, and Ms. Zhang was once given one year of forced labor.

The couple was home on September 20, 2017, when police broke in and seized Ms. Zhang. Mr. Sun was resting in bed at the time. He was so traumatized by the sudden arrest of his wife that his blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels. He was rushed to the emergency room three times in the days that followed.

Ms. Zhang was also found to have high blood pressure during the required medical examination. The local detention center recommended she be released on bail, but the 610 Office, an extralegal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given the power to override the judicial system, claimed that Ms. Zhang's blood pressure change was due to the change in her physical environment.

The detention center examined Ms. Zhang the next day and reported that she had developed a high fever on top of her high blood pressure. The 610 Office instructed the detention center to keep observing her.

Ms. Zhang's condition kept deteriorating on the third day. She was found to have heart problems. The detention center urged the 610 Office to release her. Only then was she released on bail.

The 610 Office ordered the police to keep monitoring Ms. Zhang at home. The constant police visits aggravated her husband's already fragile condition.

Mr. Sun passed away in early March 2018. Ms. Zhang was sentenced to one year in prison around the same time, and she was ordered to serve her time outside of prison due to her health conditions.

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