Cheng Xiande - 程贤德
(Minghui.org) A 75-year-old man from Jinzhong City died within weeks of his release from detention for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Cheng Xiande could no longer recognize anyone when he was brought home last November. His family suspects he was abused in the detention center, as he was usually energetic and healthy. The exact details of his death remain to be investigated.
Death Likely a Result of Abuse
Although he once had colon cancer, Mr. Cheng Xiande completely recovered shortly after he began to practice Falun Gong in 1997. Having gained a new lease on life, he never shied away from sharing the reason for his good fortune with others. He, however, was arrested for refusing to renounce his faith in the practice that brought him such benefits.
Several dozen officers ransacked Mr. Cheng's home and took him into custody on March 17, 2014. Although the police released him on bail after several hours of interrogation, they frequently went his home to harass him in the months that followed.
The local procuratorate indicted Mr. Cheng on December 5 of that year, and he was sentenced to three years in prison on October 30, 2015.
The family of the former government employee suspect that he was abused in the detention center, where he was temporarily held following his sentencing. He was extremely weak and had lost his cognitive function when the family was asked to pick him up some 20 days after he was taken into detention.
Criminal Complaint against Jiang Zemin
Prior to his October sentencing, Mr. Cheng had filed a criminal complaint against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for initiating the persecution of Falun Gong that resulted in the brutal disruption of his retirement years.
In his complaint, Mr. Cheng credited Falun Gong for returning him to health. He wrote, “I had surgery for my colon cancer in 1992, but my condition kept deteriorating over the next five years. I also suffered from prostate enlargement and a frozen shoulder. Fortunately, I came across Falun Gong in 1997 and all my symptoms disappeared shortly afterwards.”
Mr. Cheng was also grateful that Falun Gong helped him quit smoking, drinking, and playing Mahjong. “Falun Gong saved my life, and I just wanted to let more people know how great it is,” he wrote, to explain why he never wavered in his faith despite the persecution.
Already retired, Mr. Cheng was ordered to report back to his former employer, a government agency in Zuoquan County, three times shortly after the persecution began in July 1999.
“Each time I returned to Zuoquan, I was pressured to write statements admitting my 'mistake' in practicing Falun Gong. My employer later stripped me of all my benefits as a retired government official,” wrote Mr. Cheng.
The complaint also detailed the home ransacking that accompanied his arrest in March 2014, “Shen Jianjun, Yuchi District 610 Office head, led several dozen officers to break into my home and turn everything upside down. They confiscated 2 computer towers, 4 printers, 2 paper cutters, 1 laminator, 1 portable hard drive, 3 U drives, 5 cell phones, and other valuables.
“My wife and I were taken to the basement of the Domestic Security Office, where we were interrogated, photographed, fingerprinted, and had our blood drawn. We were not released until midnight when we posted bail.”
Mr. Cheng's release didn't bring him any respite, as the police kept showing up at his home to harass him. He was tried on June 12, 2015, and died not long after he was sentenced to prison in October.