(Minghui.org) For the first time since the COVID pandemic broke out three years ago, Mr. Zhao Naiqian’s family was finally allowed to visit him in prison on February 2, 2023.

Mr. Zhao, in his 60s, told his brother and sister that he couldn’t sleep well at night due to the cold temperature and thin bedding. He was also constantly hungry, as the prison never gave him enough food to eat. As he was talking, the guards who stood behind him stopped him.

Mr. Zhao’s siblings also noticed that he was wearing a pair of sandals despite the cold weather and that he could hardly keep his balance while walking.

Mr. Zhao, of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was sentenced to a life sentence in 1995 for colluding with a colleague and stealing parts worth 20,000 yuan from their workplace. He took up Falun Gong before the persecution started in 1999. Since then he has been subjected to relentless torture in the past 24 years. The former colleague of his, who was also sentenced to life, got his sentence commuted and was long released 11 years ago.

Before his brother and sister were granted the recent visitation, they were ordered to sign an agreement to persuade him to renounce Falun Gong and have the agreement reviewed by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency created to oversee the persecution.

Since the persecution started, the authorities have held Mr. Zhao in six different prisons. His mother went to various prisons to look for him, only to be told every time that he wasn’t there. For seven long years, she was not allowed to see him. He wasn’t allowed to write or call his family either.

It was not until 2012 that Mr. Zhao’s mother confirmed he was detained at the Jiazhou Prison through the Sichuan Province Prison Administration Bureau. She visited him twice in the Jiazhou Prison, but the guards later no longer allowed any visits, with the excuse that she also practiced Falun Gong. She filed complaints against the prison, but to no avail.

The Jiazhou Prison is notorious for torturing Falun Gong practitioners. Just last month, news broke that a 30-year-old former radio host was beaten to death there in December 2022 while serving a five-year term for practicing Falun Gong.

Unable to see Mr. Zhao, his mother was worried about the torture that might be imposed on him. Her health deteriorated and she passed away in 2019. Mr. Zhao’s family applied to have him return home to see her for the last time, but were rejected.

When his family was later allowed to visit him, two guards always stood behind him and prevented him from talking about the torture he suffered. The prison also restricted him from buying daily necessities, reducing the 100-yuan monthly purchase limit to a 20-yuan limit, which was barely enough to buy anything.

Through limited channels, Mr. Zhao’s family learned that because he talked to others about Falun Gong, the prison held him in isolation and prevented others from getting close to him. In recent years, he was held in the prison hospital, even though he was perfectly healthy.

Taking Up Falun Gong While Serving Life

Mr. Zhao, a former employee of Qianfeng Geyser Factory, was sentenced to life for stealing 20,000 yuan in materials from his workplace. He was angry and wanted to kill the judge for giving him such a heavy term.

When his mother visited him in October 1997, she gave him a copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong. The book changed his outlook on life. He regretted his wrongdoing and gave up the idea of taking revenge. He became a better person and was often praised by the guards. But because he refused to renounce his faith, he has been subjected to constant persecution.

Related reports:

Sichuan Man Tortured, Denied Parole for Refusing to Renounce Falun Gong

Mr. Zhao Naiqian Suffering Cruel Torture in Prison

Learning Falun Dafa in a Detention Center in 1996, Mr. Zhao Naiqian Is Persecuted and Injected with Unknown Drugs

Mr. Zhao Nieqian: “Even Though My Physical Body Has Limited Endurance to the Brutal Torture, You Can Not Destroy My Belief