Jiangsu Veteran Passes Away After 11 Years of Being Bedridden
(Minghui.org) After being bedridden in a vegetative state for eleven years, a veteran in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province passed away on January 30, 2021, at the age of 83.
Mr. Zhang Chaogui’s passing was a tragic ending to two decades of harassment he suffered for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Mr. Zhang, a retired military official from the Suzhou City Military Division in Jiangsu Province, began practicing Falun Gong in 1997. He credited the practice for quickly improving his health, and introduced it to many of his friends and colleagues. He also volunteered to be a coordinator at the local practice site and used his spare time to promote the practice to the residents.
After the Chinese Communist Party began the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Mr. Zhang went to the government in Shanghai on July 21 to appeal for Falun Gong. After he returned, Liu Shuangrong, head of the Pingjiang District Domestic Security Office, attempted to arrest Mr. Zhang, but failed.
Liu made several requests to the military division to arrest Mr. Zhang, but was again met with objection. He then contacted the Suzhou City government and local 610 Office, an extralegal agency created to persecute Falun Gong, and had them pressure the military to arrest Mr. Zhang.
Pressured by the authorities, the military division detained Mr. Zhang and held him at a brainwashing center. He was also forced to retire from the military.
After his retirement, the military continued to brainwash and intimidate him. They also closely monitored his daily life. When Mr. Zhang went back to his hometown in nearby Yangzhou City during the Chinese New Year, the military also sent people to follow him during his entire trip.
At the same time, Domestic Security Office director Liu, local police, and staff members from the residential committee harassed Mr. Zhang from time to time and monitored his life. The long-term harassment and mental pressure took a toll on his health. He became incapacitated in late 2010 and suffered from complete memory loss. He was in a vegetative state and bedridden for the next eleven years before passing away on January 30, 2021.
Mr. Zhang wasn’t the only person in his family who was targeted for their faith in Falun Gong. His wife, Ms. Cheng, was first arrested and detained for two hours in July 2008. She was arrested again and had her home ransacked in March 2012, for distributing Falun Gong materials. Both the couple’s son and daughter were forced to divorce after being implicated by the persecution.
During the eleven years when Mr. Zhang was bedridden, the military refused to reimburse his medical expenses even though he was covered by its health insurance. When Ms. Cheng sought reimbursement for her husband's medical bills, the military threatened to arrest and sentence her to prison.