(Minghui.org) A 69-year-old man serving time for practicing Falun Gong has been denied family visits since December 2019. An insider recently revealed that Mr. Guan Zhongji was hospitalized in late 2020 and found to have heart failure. The prison never informed his family of his critical condition, let alone the possibility of filing a medical parole application for him.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Guan, a resident in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, was arrested on June 5, 2018. He was tried by the Pingdu City Court at the Pingdu City Detention Center on July 3, 2018 and sentenced to seven years ten days later.
In order to prevent Mr. Guan from appealing against his prison sentence, the authorities pressured his son to “work on” him. They arranged for the son to visit Mr. Guan at the detention center multiple times. During each visit, the son was told to urge his father to admit his guilt and not file an appeal. The authorities claimed that the heavy sentence against Mr. Guan was a result of him hiring a lawyer to defend his innocence.
Mr. Guan was later transferred to the eleventh ward at Shandong Province Prison. He has been denied family visits since December 2019. The guards constantly tortured him and forced him to do intensive unpaid labor. He was also forced to watch videos smearing Falun Gong’s founder. The physical and mental distress took a toll on his health. When he couldn’t finish a meal one time, the inmate assigned to monitor him used that as an excuse to torture him.
Mr. Guan had difficulty breathing on October 26, 2020 and was unable to do the forced labor anymore. His condition kept deteriorating. He was found to have heart failure when the guards finally took him to see a doctor. His heart rate was between 40 and 50 beats per minute. The doctor said he only had four months left, yet the prison refused to release him, with the excuse that he refused to renounce Falun Gong.
The Shandong Province Prison is notorious for abusing Falun Gong practitioners in its attempt to force them to renounce their faith. An inmate once said to a practitioner, “As long as we don’t torture you to death, we will make your life worse than death!”
The physical torture that Falun Gong practitioners constantly face includes, but is not limited to, beatings, sleep deprivation, being forced to stand still for over ten hours, handcuffing and shackling for 24 hours, and intensive brainwashing.
The eleventh ward, in particular, is designated for detaining Falun Gong practitioners. It’s under the direct supervision of the Shandong 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong. It is also known as the “Shandong Province Cult Transformation Center.” In addition to the physical torture, the practitioners are also forced to perform intensive unpaid labor.
Mr. Jin Yongxin, of Qingdao City, was take to the prison to serve an eight-year term. He was held in solitary confinement for three months in early 2021 for not cooperating with the guards. During that time, the guards only gave him a small steamed bun for each meal. He was forced to drink water from the toilet. A guard claimed, “It’s fine as long as he isn’t starved to death!” When Mr. Jin returned to the eleventh ward, he was in an incoherent state.
The ward’s directors, Wang Chuandong and Zheng Hao, ordered inmate Wang Xishuan to beat Mr. Jin. He developed high blood pressure from the abuse and suffered cerebral hemorrhaging in June. He was hospitalized for four months and still suffered from mobility and speech impairment when he was discharged.
Mr. Gong Piqi of Qingdao City was a retired colonel. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his faith. He wasn’t allowed to buy daily necessities or take any breaks for six months for not renouncing Falun Gong. He also developed high blood pressure and other symptoms. He suffered a stroke and passed away on April 12, 2021. According to his brother, who saw his body, his head was injured and swollen, and there was blood in his ears.