Name: Lai ZhiqiangChinese Name: 赖志强Gender: MaleAge: 50sCity: TangshanProvince: HebeiOccupation: Bus driverDate of Death: January 3, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 31, 2016Most Recent Place of Detention: Jidong No. 2 Prison
Mr. Lai Zhiqiang’s wife waited seven long years, eager to reunite with him, only to learn on January 3, 2023, that he had died two months before his scheduled release from serving a wrongful term for his faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Lai’s wife rushed to Jidong No. 2 Prison in Hebei Province after learning of his death, only to be told that she had to pay 1,000 yuan to see his body. While it’s not clear whether or not she paid the 1,000 yuan, she wasn’t allowed to see his body until the next day.
According to Mr. Lai’s wife, his body was curled up and his face had been injured. Five guards held her back to keep her from getting close to or touching him. They refused to return his body to the family and deceived his daughter into signing a consent form to have him cremated.
Mr. Lai of Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was arrested on March 31, 2016, and secretly sentenced to seven years. His elderly mother was so traumatized that she passed away shortly after.
Mr. Lai was first taken to Jidong No.4 Prison on October 17, 2016, and then to Jidong No.2 Prison. He suffered a stroke in 2019 from being tortured in custody, but the prison denied his family’s multiple requests to visit him.
When Mr. Lai’s wife was finally granted a visit in January 2020, she was heartbroken to see that the guards had to carry him out. He could hardly move. He didn’t appear to recognize her and didn’t respond when she cried.
According to an insider, Mr. Lai was held at the prison clinic for nearly six months and was force-fed every day. The guards kept the feeding tube in his stomach. His lips became very dry and cracked. Some of the nurses occasionally used a towel to drip some water into his mouth. He often had tears in his eyes when they did that. He also moved his lips but couldn’t speak.
Mr. Lai’s family demanded medical parole for him. But the prison claimed that they had to wait for their superiors to make the decision. Meanwhile, they charged the family several thousand yuan, claiming to pay Mr. Lai’s medical bills.
Mr. Lai’s condition further deteriorated in 2020, and he contracted a lung infection in August 2020. He was in a vegetative state and had difficulty breathing. When the prison took him to the hospital, the doctor did a tracheotomy on him but nothing else. The doctor implied that there was not much hope for him to recover.
Despite Mr. Lai’s condition, the prison always kept him shackled with heavy chains. He was brought back to the prison after over a month in the hospital only to be taken back to the hospital on September 9, 2020, even before his trachea was closed.
Mr. Lai’s family kept applying for medical parole for him. The prison claimed that the justice bureau had denied the request. When his family went to the justice bureau themselves to submit the request, they were stopped at the door and not given any chance to talk to anyone.
Perpetrators’ contact information:
Sun Xicang (孙希仓), head of the 7th ward, Jidong No.2 Prison: +86-315-8313517, +86-15030509866Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), president of Jidong No.2 Prison: +86-13513050598Zhang Zhanzhong (张占忠), head of the Tangshan Justice Bureau: +86-315-2802323, +86-13832980088
(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the Chinese article.)
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