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( An 84-year-old man in Keshan County, Heilongjiang Province passed away three months after his 73-year-old wife was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for speaking out against the persecution of Falun Gong.

Many practitioners have risked their lives to spread information about the persecution since the communist regime launched the nationwide campaign against Falun Gong in 1999. Their family members, whether practicing Falun Gong or not, also bore enormous pressure seeing their loved ones arrested, detained, sentenced, and at times, tortured.

Both Mr. Liu Hongxin and Ms. Li Yingju had been targeted before for their faith in Falun Gong. The couple was first arrested on May 13, 2010. While Mr. Liu was later released, his wife was sentenced to five years in prison.

Ms. Li was released in February 2016, only to be arrested a few more times in recent years. She was sentenced to a 4.5-year prison term on July 12, 2018, following her latest arrest on March 8, 2018. Mr. Liu fought hard to seek justice for his wife, to no avail. He also had to face harassment by police. He died around October 10, 2018.

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