(Minghui.org) Mr. Di Yongchi’s daughter got a call from the Shenyang No. 1 Prison in Liaoning Province on December 17, 2022, telling her that her father had died after the hospital failed to resuscitate him.

Mr. Di, a 69-year-old retired power plant engineer in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, was serving a seven-year term for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. His death came only a year and a half before his term ended.

Mr. Di’s daughter saw his body in the hospital mortuary. She has hired a lawyer to seek justice for her father. Due to the Chinese regime’s strict information censorship, it’s not clear if Mr. Di was subjected to any torture that could have caused his death.

Taking Up Falun Gong

Mr. Di used to suffer from many ailments, including a heart condition, stomach problems, and anemia. While he was working for the Daqing City Oilfield Equipment Bureau in Heilongjiang Province, he and a coworker were accidentally hit by a three-ton machine. His coworker was hit on his head and died at the scene. Although Mr. Di survived, he suffered a severe brain injury and significant memory loss. He often couldn’t find his way home when he went out, and all the heavy household chores had to be done by his wife.

In 1995, Mr. Di was introduced to Falun Gong. Shortly after, he regained his health and returned to work, making a significant contribution to the company.

Wife Dies Due to the Persecution

After the persecution began, Mr. Di was repeatedly arrested and harassed for upholding his faith.

He was arrested in early 2003 and held in a brainwashing center for several months. He was forced to watch propaganda videos smearing Falun Gong every day. The guards beat and verbally abused him, forced him to stand for long hours and deprived him of sleep.

While he was detained, his wife lived under tremendous stress and suffered a mental breakdown. She often woke up in the middle of the night and shouted, “The police are coming!” Her health declined by the day. She passed away in May 2007.

To avoid continued harassment, Mr. Di and his daughter moved from Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province to Suizhong County, Liaoning Province. He retired from the Suizhong County Power Plant in 2014.

Sentenced to Seven Years

Over ten plainclothes officers knocked on Mr. Di’s door on the morning of May 14, 2017, and deceived him into opening up by claiming to be from the property management agency. They raided his home and confiscated his Falun Gong items. They said they had been monitoring Mr. Di for a long time.

Mr. Di developed extremely high blood pressure and also had blood in his stool while in the Suizhong County Detention Center. He went into shock twice.

Despite his condition, the Suizhong County Procuratorate approved his arrest on May 24, 2017, and indicted him. When Mr. Di appeared in the Suizhong County Court on June 26, 2017, Wang Baomin, head of the Suizhong County Domestic Security Office who’d arrested him, stood outside of the courtroom and refused to allow other practitioners from attending the hearing to show their support. Only three of Mr. Di’s family members were allowed in.

When Mr. Di’s two lawyers entered the courtroom, Wang verbally abused them and falsely accused them of smearing the Chinese Communist Party. Wang also threatened to beat the lawyers.

The lawyers entered a “not guilty” plea for Mr. Di. They argued that no law in China says that practicing Falun Gong is a crime. They also pointed out that the police fabricated Mr. Di’s answers during the interrogation, including that he spent all of his savings on Falun Gong.

Mr. Di testified in his own defense. He recounted how he suffered from various medical conditions before practicing Falun Gong and how he regained his health after taking up the practice. He said he had blood in his stool at the detention center. He asked to be allowed to do the Falun Gong exercises in order to recover his health. A guard said that he would believe in Falun Gong’s health benefits if Mr. Di could recover simply by doing the exercises. Mr. Di did the exercises and recovered in 15 days.

The judge sentenced Mr. Di to seven years on July 3. Mr. Di appealed with the Huludao City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold the original verdict. He was taken to Jinzhou Prison on August 17, 2017, and later transferred to the Shenyang No.1 Prison, where he was persecuted to death.

Because Mr. Di’s daughter was not allowed to visit him during the past five years, she has no idea what ordeals he endured before he died.

Perpetrators’ information:

Wang Baomin (王宝民), head of Suizhong County Domestic Security OfficeLiu Huanyu (刘唤宇), officer, Suizhong County Domestic Security OfficeZhao Haiqing (赵海青), prosecutor, Suizhong County ProcuratorateWang Guanyi (王冠一), prosecutor, Suizhong County ProcuratorateGuan Shusen (关树森), judge, Suizhong County Court

Related report:

Liaoning Man Suddenly Dies While Serving a 7-year Term for His Faith