Name: Liao SonglinChinese Name: 廖松林Gender: MaleAge: 81City: ChenzhouProvince: Hunan Occupation: VeteranDate of Death: October 14, 2022Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 19, 2018Most Recent Place of Detention: Wangling Prison

Mr. Liao Songlin struggled with poor health after he was released on July 13, 2021, having served a three-year term for practicing Falun Gong. The 81-year-old Chenzhou City, Hunan Province resident passed away on October 14, 2022. Even after his passing, local community workers still came to harass him and even attempted to verify his death by checking out his burial place.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Latest Arrest and Sentencing

Mr. Liao, a veteran retired from the Military Reception Center, was arrested at home on July 19, 2018. His Falun Gong books, more than 9,000 yuan in cash, and other valuables were confiscated.

After days at the Chenzhou Detention Center, the then 77-year-old man was diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease, minor stroke, and tuberculosis. Instead of releasing him, officials sent him to a military hospital. His wife, Ms. Meng Qinglian, demanded his release, but to no avail.

The Beihu District Court held a hearing of Mr. Liao’s case at the hospital on September 27. Ms. Meng was the only family member allowed to attend. Presiding judge Luo stopped Mr. Liao, who was handcuffed and shackled, after he'd only said a few sentences and deprived him of the right to defend himself for the remainder of the session.

On October 22, 2018, Mr. Liao was sentenced to three years at the Wangling Prison, where his son, Mr. Liao Zhijun, was serving a four-year term for practicing Falun Gong. 

While Mr. Liao was serving time, his workplace also suspended his pension. A local court later ruled that it was illegal for his workplace to do so and they promised to give him 803 yuan each month. However, Mr. Liao never received the money.

Seven Previous Arrests and Two Prior Prison Sentences 

Mr. Liao took up the practice of Falun Gong in 1994. Many of his illnesses were gone in a short time, including nerve problems, tuberculosis, prostatitis, stomach issues, and the effects of a concussion caused by a work-related injury. Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, he volunteered to do utility maintenance at his workplace, repair home electronics for neighbors, and participate in property management for the community.

Because of his belief, Mr. Liao was arrested a total of seven times and twice sentenced prior to his latest arrest and third prison sentencing in 2018. 

His first arrest was in 2001, followed by detention at a brainwashing center. 

The second arrest was in August 2002, after which he was held at the Chenzhou Detention Center.

Mr. Liao’s third arrest in 2003 was followed by a three-year term in Jinshi Prison.

The police targeted Mr. Liao and his family again in May 2008. They arrested his daughter-in-law on the street before going to her father-in-law’s home to arrest her husband and father-in-law. The police also confiscated Falun Gong materials, DVDs, MP3 players, cell phones, and over 5,000 yuan in cash. 

The elder Mr. Liao was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment, and his son was given 3.5 years.

In Jinshi Prison, inmate Zhang Fanghua was assigned to watch the elder Mr. Liao, who was also forced to do hard labor without pay and was often beaten. Zhang also wrote phrases that defamed Falun Gong to post on the wall, tables, and floors. When Mr. Liao tried to stop him, Zhang put rags and even urine into Mr. Liao’s mouth.

In April 2011, officers from the 610 Office inside the prison intensified their efforts to force practitioners to renounce their belief. Practitioners who held firm were forced to stay motionless for long periods of time without sleep, were denied access to the toilet, and were forbidden from washing.

Mr. Liao’s fifth arrest took place in December 2016, when both he and his wife were detained for 8 hours of interrogation after they distributed Falun Gong materials at a farmers’ market. 

The couple was seized again on January 3, 2017, and detained for 6.5 hours before being released.

Mr. Liao’s last two arrests took place over the course of six months. Mr. Liao was arrested a seventh time, on January 16, 2018. 

Though he was soon released, he was taken back into custody on July 19, 2018 and later sentenced to 3 years. 

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