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( It was learned recently that a native of Jilin City, Jilin Province died 12 years ago as a result of abuse suffered while in prison.

Mr. Li Songtian was arrested in September 2003, while working in Qingdao City, Shandong Province. He was targeted after being reported to the police for spreading information about the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Mr. Li was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was kept at Dashan Second Detention Center for one year before being moved to Ji'nan Prison in Shandong Province. He lost a significant amount of weight due to the abuse inflicted upon him by the prison guards. As his health kept deteriorating, he was sent to the prison hospital around November 2004.

It was unclear what kind of medical treatment was provided, but Mr. Li became totally incapacitated after six months in the hospital.

Jing Tao from the Ji'nan City 610 Office approved the prison's request to release Mr. Li on medical parole.

The prison flew Mr. Li back to his hometown of Jilin in May 2005. His mother noted that he was emaciated but had a big belly. He was diagnosed with hepatic ascites.

Mr. Li passed away on January 8, 2006, at the age of 29. His death capped his years of suffering for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.

Mr. Li began practicing Falun Gong on February 18, 1998, and saw his heart problem, brain tumor, cholecystitis, and leg pain disappear in just three months. His mother and aunt also picked up the practice.

After the persecution began in July 1999, Mr. Li and his mother tried to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, but they were stopped before they could get to the local train station. They were placed under surveillance afterward. They managed to get away around September 1999 and went to the central government's appeals office in Beijing. They were arrested at the office and sent back to their hometown to be detained for 15 days.

Mr. Li and his aunt went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in December 2000 and were arrested. He went on a hunger strike in protest, was brutally beaten, and fainted. When he was returned to Jilin to be detained, his mother visited him and saw that he had lost a lot of weight. His heart ailment recurred and he was released on medical parole.

Mr. Li and his mother were arrested at home in May 2001 and sent to a brainwashing center. He moved to Shandong Province not long after he was released.

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