(Minghui.org) A middle-aged man from Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province is awaiting verdict at a detention facility in Changchun City, Jilin Province after being arrested for practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Li Shaozhi, 56, was arrested in Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, by police officers from Changchun. The arrest occurred on Sept. 22, 2017.

It is unknown why police from Changchun traveled 170 miles to Harbin to arrest him.

Li was forced to move to Harbin in 2011, after being released from a five-year prison term for refusing to renounce his belief in Falun Gong. He continues to practice.

Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.

Millions in China practiced it openly before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), led by Jiang Zemin, suddenly reversed course and initiated a crackdown on July 20, 1999. This led to a severe persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the regime, which continues today.

Forced Labor, Homelessness

Mr. Li started the practice in August of 1998. After the CCP began its persecution, like many Falun Gong practitioners Li traveled to Beijing to appeal to the government. He was arrested on Feb. 4, 2000, and sentenced to one year of forced labor.

While imprisoned in the forced labor camp, he refused to renounce his faith, and was severely tortured and abused - both physically and mentally. He also developed scabies, a skin condition that covers the body in itchy scabs. His skin eventually festered and oozed pus due to unsanitary conditions at the camp.Li escaped from the labor camp on Nov. 3, 2000, and wandered the streets for nearly six years. On Aug. 31, 2006, police arrested him again, and he was subjected to more torture and beatings, leaving him partially paralyzed and prone to blackouts.

Mentally disoriented, yet to fully recover from the torture, Li was tried in the Xiangyang District Court in Jiamusi City on April 21, 2007. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

After his release Li moved to Harbin in 2011. To survive he did odd jobs, before being arrested again in 2017.

“Not Guilty”

After his latest arrest, the Nanguan District Procuratorate sent Li's case back to Changchun police three times, due to lack of evidence. Eventually it was forwarded to the Nanguan District Court.

Mr. Li appeared in court on Nov. 16, 2018, and his lawyer entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf.

He is awaiting verdict at the Nanguan District No.3 Detention Center, where he has been held for 16 months since his arrest.

Li's parents are entering their 90s and are bedridden, anxious for his release.

Related report:

Practitioner Mr. Li Shaozhi's Family Not Notified after His Arrest

Practitioner Mr. Li Shaozhi from Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province Partially Paralyzed from Torture

A Police Officer Forces A Person to Give False Testimony Against Mr. Li Shaozhi from Heilongjiang Province

Related report in Chinese:

长春警察跨省绑架 李绍志再次蒙冤