Prison Refuses to Grant Medical Parole to Bedridden Man in Serious Condition Following Stroke
(Minghui.org) The Jidong Prison in Hebei Province has refused to release Mr. Lai Zhiqiang on medical parole, even after he became bedridden and unable to move after suffering a stroke last year.
Mr. Lai, of Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was arrested on March 31, 2016 for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
He was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in late September of the same year, without his family's knowledge. He was sent to Jidong Prison on October 17, 2016.
After suffering more than three years of torture and strict management in the prison, Mr. Lai suffered a stroke in 2019. The prison guards repeatedly denied him family visits, before finally allowing his wife to visit him in mid-January 2020.
By that time, Mr. Lai had lost all mobility. He was carried out by several guards. He had no facial expression and appeared not to recognize his wife.
Mr. Lai’s wife applied for medical parole for him after the visit, but was told that it had to be approved by the officials at the provincial level. Meanwhile, the prison asked for several thousand yuan to pay for Mr. Lai’s medical expenses.
Six months have since passed, and the prison still refuses to release Mr. Lai.
It was reported that Mr. Lai is currently being held in the prison clinic. The guards keep a feeding tube in his stomach and are feeding him through the tube every day. Without being given enough water, Mr. Lai’s lips were very dry. A few staff members occasionally use a towel to drip some water into his mouth. He often had tears in his eyes when they did that. He also moved his lips, but couldn’t talk.