Elderly Man Serving Lengthy Term for His Faith Denied Contact with Family for Nearly 1.5 Years
(Minghui.org) A man in his 70s serving a seven-year term for his faith in Falun Gong has been denied family visits and phone calls for nearly one and a half years. His family is very worried about his health.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Hu Zhanting, a Fuxin City, Liaoning Province resident, was arrested on August 19, 2015, for posting information about Falun Gong. He was later sentenced to seven years by the Haizhou District Court. His appeal was rejected by the Fuxin City Intermediate Court within days and before the power of attorney for his new lawyer arrived at the higher court.
Mr. Hu was first held at the Jinzhou Prison for a month and then transferred to the Shenyang First Prison around September 2016.
For refusing to renounce his faith, Mr. Hu was placed in solitary confinement multiple times and denied food and water. The guards also shocked him with electric batons and beat him.
Song Changde, a ward director, beat and kicked Mr. Hu after finding a slip of paper on which he had recorded the abuses in the prison. Song shouted, “I’d torture you to death here rather than have get the information out.”
After Mr. Hu was taken to the Shenyang First Prison, his family hasn’t been allowed to send in money or daily necessities to him. They have repeatedly been denied visitation requests since their last visit on March 8, 2019.
On August 13, 2020, Mr. Hu’s family received a call from Zhang Chao, the head of the 19th ward where Mr. Hu was held in the past four years, saying that they were transferring Mr. Hu to the 13th ward, one that was dedicated to elderly detainees.
Mr. Hu’s family then called the 13th ward and demanded to visit him but was unsuccessful. The guard who talked to them said Mr. Hu could apply for a special phone account to call them but didn’t provide any details.
Mr. Hu’s family heard that the prison only allows those with certain qualifications to apply for the phone account. They doubted whether Mr. Hu would be given such rights since he has been persecuted for upholding his faith all along.