Chinese Name: 李文栋Gender: MaleAge: 55City: N/AProvince: BeijingOccupation: LawyerDate of Death: June 3, 2020Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 2001Most Recent Place of Detention: Haidian District Hospital

A man in Beijing died on June 3, 2020, after two decades of suffering due to toxic injections in 2001 for practicing Falun Gong. His death came 14 years after he lost his wife to the persecution of their shared faith.

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

Both Mr. Li Wendong, a former lawyer, and his wife Ms. Shao Yan, a professor at Beijing Agricultural University, took up Falun Gong before the persecution started. They credited Falun Gong for curing their many diseases, especially Ms. Shao’s kidney condition.

After the persecution began in 1999, the authorities monitored the couple’s phone calls and stayed outside of their apartment to watch them. There were also people following them when they went out. To avoid the harassment, they were forced to live away from home and under tremendous distress.

After eight months of displacement, the couple were arrested in Hainan Province (about 1,670 miles from Beijing) in August 2001 and taken back to Beijing.

The police threatened to disable Mr. Li and injected him with toxic drugs that damaged his central nervous system. He lost his memory and couldn’t recognize anyone. He also lost the ability to speak and walk. Emaciated, he was taken back to his hometown in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province by his parents.

Upon returning home, he went through heart-wrenching screaming every night. While he remained bedridden, the local police in Jiamusi harassed him frequently. His father was dealt a heavy blow due to the persecution and passed away shortly after.

Mr. Li’s mother, who was in her 70's and also suffered declining health due to the persecution and mental distress of losing her husband, struggled to care for Mr. Li herself.

Ms. Shao, on the other hand, was given 1.5 years at the Beijing Women’s Forced Labor Camp. She was tortured and was on the verge of death. Instead of releasing her, the guards forced her to take a large amount of hormonal drugs.

When she was released in late 2002, she didn’t go back to Beijing, but to Jiamusi to take care of Mr. Li, even though she was extremely weak herself.

Ms. Shao read Falun Gong’s teachings to Mr. Li and taught him the Falun Gong exercises every day. Gradually, he began to recognize people and was able to walk on two walking sticks. A few years later, he walked with a single stick and could climb the stairs to the eighth floor.

As he regained some of his memory, he recalled that he was taken to the Haidian District Hospital following his arrest. In a very large room, many people lay in bed. They were covered with white sheets and they were all in an unconscious state and not moving. He was one of them. Some people in white coats patrolled the area. There were also people in police uniforms. He said he was given some toxic injections that caused his condition.

Ms. Shao struggled with persistent health issues over the years. Both the police in Beijing and Jiamusi kept harassing her and monitoring her daily life, sometimes staying outside of her mother-in-law’s home. She lived with constant fear and pressure. She passed away on December 31, 2006. She was 40.

Ms. Shao’s passing dealt a heavy blow to Mr. Li. Without her help, he no longer made improvements in his condition and gradually became bedridden again. After struggling with the physical condition for two decades, he passed away on June 3, 2020.