(Minghui.org) A native of Wuxue City, Hubei Province was arrested by police in Changde City, Hunan Province after he mailed letters to authorities in the latter location requesting release of a detained Falun Gong practitioner.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.

Mr. Tao Jinlong, in his 30s, was sentenced to three years in prison and suffered brutal torture during his imprisonment. He was placed in solitary confinement the night before his release in August 2018.

Mr. Tao credits Falun Gong for enabling him to live a fulfilling life. He suffered from congenital heart disease and often experienced shortness of breath and fatigue. His health further declined when he was in high school, and his teacher was worried that he could not go to college because of his illness. Fortunately, he began to practice Falun Gong and soon regained his health. He caught up in school and was admitted to a four-year college in 1999.

Having had firsthand experience with Falun Gong, Mr. Tao was keen in telling people that the practice is nothing like what's depicted by the state propaganda and should never have been persecuted.

Upon learning of the arrest of a fellow practitioner he knew, Mr. Tao mailed several letters to the police and the judicial system in Changde City, Hunan Province, where the detained practitioner was. He urged Changde authorities to stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

He was arrested by agents from Wuling Police Bureau in Changde on August 11, 2015 and taken to Changde City Detention Center. The formal arrest warrant was issued on September 18, 2015.

Mr. Tao appeared at Wuling District Court in Changde City on April 6, 2016 and was sentenced to three years in prison three months later, on July 20. Changde City Intermediate Court heard his appeal case on April 7, 2017. It remains unclear whether the intermediate court ever ruled to uphold the original verdict, but Mr. Tao was sent to Wangling Prison in Hunan Province in fall 2017.

Mr. Tao refused to renounce Falun Gong and was beaten regularly. He was also deprived of sleep for a long period of time. The guards once forced him to do leg splits, causing excruciating pain. More than once he was held in solitary confinement.

The repeated torture caused Mr. Tao to have a relapse of his heart condition, and he was in critical condition several times.

In the frigid winter of 2017, a guard named Wang Fuchen poured ice water down the neck of Mr. Tao, which triggered a heart condition. After Mr. Tao changed clothes, Wang resumed pouring ice water on him. Mr. Tao's condition quickly worsened and he ended up in the emergency room.

Wang once spit into Mr. Tao's food and forced him to eat it. He also threatened to make Mr. Tao's life more miserable if he still refused to give up his belief.

The day before Mr. Tao's scheduled release in August 2018, guard Xie Guangwen shaved his head and restrained him on a bench in solitary confinement for the entire day and night. They did not stop until his family came to take him home the next morning.