Henan Man in Critical Condition After One Year on Hunger Strike
(Minghui.org) A resident of Zhengzhou City, Henan Province is in critical condition after holding a hunger strike for more than a year to protest the persecution for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Guo Baojun’s son and daughter-in-law visited him at the hospital on December 3, 2020, the first time they have been allowed to see him since his arrest on November 10, 2019.
According to the younger Mr. Guo, his father was in a large hospital room shared with a dozen other patients. He was extremely emaciated. His lips were very dry and his skin cracked. His eyes were swollen. He had a feeding tube in his nose. He was receiving glucose drips through his arms, which were full of bruises and needle wounds from previous drips. He was also connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor and a urinary catheter.
The nurse said he weighed only about 88 pounds and was sent to the hospital on a wheelchair.
Upon seeing his family, the older Mr. Guo attempted to talk, but coughed badly. His voice was very weak.
A Bitter Childhood
Mr. Guo Baojun, 62, was born in the Houzhai Village, Erqi District in Zhengzhou. His father, Mr. Guo Yuanlin, was a famous doctor of Chinese medicine. When Mr. Guo Baojun was a few years old, his father became severely ill and passed away. His mother worked very hard to raise him and his older sister.
To provide the opportunity for Mr. Guo to go to school, his sister gave up her own study. Cherishing the precious opportunity, Mr. Guo studied very hard and excelled academically. Meanwhile, he also did intensive farm work to earn income for the family.
After years of hard work and study, Mr. Guo graduated from Zhengzhou Normal University. He worked many jobs over the years, including as a village official, an elementary school teacher, and an accountant in a local hospital.
He took up Falun Gong in 1995 while working in the hospital. He lives by the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” and is known to be a good person by his friends and colleagues.
Arrest and Sentence
After the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Mr. Guo was repeatedly arrested and detained. He has also served time in labor camps. His family has endured tremendous hardship.
Mr. Guo was arrested on the evening of November 10, 2019, while distributing Falun Gong materials. He started a hunger strike as soon as he was taken to the Zhengzhou City No. 3 Detention Center, which had been denying him family visits until he was on the verge of death.
The local prosecutor indicted Mr. Guo on January 9, 2020 and moved his case to the Zhongyuan District Court. On the afternoon of June 12, a Friday, the court informed his son and lawyer that he was scheduled to be tried the next morning.
Mr. Guo attended the hearing through a video conference at the detention center. He admitted that he distributed the materials, but he denied any wrongdoing in practicing his faith and speaking up about it. He said he would never give up practicing Falun Gong.
His son entered a not guilty plea for him. While he was halfway through reading his defense speech, the judge stopped him and said he had to watch his words and actions. The judge asked him to sign his defense statement, and submitted it to the court after the hearing. He also asked him whether he practices Falun Gong as well. The younger Mr. Guo responded that it had nothing to do with the case.
The elder Mr. Guo’s lawyer also entered a not guilty plea, before the judge adjourned the hearing.
According to Mr. Guo’s son, who saw him on the video, he had a feeding tube in his nose. Although he had been holding a hunger strike for nearly seven months and his voice was weak, he was still in good spirits.
The judge sentenced Mr. Guo to two years with a 20,000 yuan fine on June 29, 2020. He appealed, but the intermediate court ruled to uphold his sentence on August 28.
Mr. Guo’s son received a call from a staffer of the Zhongyuan District Court on December 3, 2020. The staffer said the detention center contacted them for his phone number, and that his father was seriously ill and the detention center guards would like him to visit his father.
Hours later, the detention center guards called the younger Mr. Guo and said they had sent his father to the Zhengzhou City No. 2 People’s Hospital. They said that Mr. Guo started a hunger strike in early November 2019 and has been force fed every day.
The younger Mr. Guo and his wife went to the hospital at around 1:30 p.m. Under the watch of two detention center guards, they met with the attending physician.
The doctor said that Mr. Guo was suffering from severe malnutrition, and also has pneumonia and thrombus. He has been hospitalized several times and is in critical condition.
The doctor and detention center guards urged Mr. Guo’s son to persuade his father to eat. They also asked him to sign a consent form, which he refused to comply.
The doctor threatened that without the consent form, they couldn’t let him visit his father. Mr. Guo’s son still refused to sign the form.
Three minutes after the doctor and the guards left, the guards called Mr. Guo’s son and said their supervisor has granted him special permission to visit his father without signing the form.