Name: Wang JianChinese Name: 王建Gender: MaleAge: 72City: TangshanProvince: HebeiOccupation: FarmerDate of Death: April 3, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 6, 2019Most Recent Place of Detention: Jidong Prison
A 73-year-old resident of Zunhua City, Hebei Province, died suddenly in Jidong No.2 Prison while serving seven years for his faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
Mr. Wang Jian’s children said they got a call from the prison at noon on April 3, 2023, saying that their father had fallen into a coma. By the time they got to the Kaifaqu Hospital an hour later, Mr. Wang had already passed away. His chin was up, and his mouth and eyes were slightly open. His children couldn’t understand how their father, who was given a clean bill of health during a physical exam just a month before, could die so suddenly.
They also raised other concerns. The emergency room doctor who treated Mr. Wang was unable to determine a cause of death because his pupils were already dilated and he had no blood circulation by the time he was taken to the hospital. The coroner who did the autopsy reported that there were large areas of deep bruises around Mr. Wang’s ears and on his back, as well as some bruises on the back of his right hand. There was a circular mark on his chest and scratches on his back. When the coroner turned the body over, fluid came out of the left ear.
To Mr. Wang’s children, all these facts pointed to an unnatural death. In the 18 days after his passing, his children visited various agencies in order to find out his cause of death.
They first asked the prison to release his medical records and details regarding his imprisonment. The prison turned them down, so they next went to the Tangshan City Procuratorate, which refused to investigate the matter on the grounds that it concerned state secrets and the rights of the relevant personnel.
Mr. Wang’s children called the National Administration of State Secrets Protection and its Tangshan Branch, asking how to apply for the public disclosure of confidential information. Both agencies said that they had no idea how to do that and that they only serviced organizations, not individuals.
The Caofeidian District government in Tangshan City and the Tangshan City government, who both oversee the Jidong No.2 Prison, also turned Mr. Wang’s children away when they went to them for help.
While the prison insisted Mr. Wang’s death was natural, they offered his family a subsidy in an attempt to silence them. Mr. Wang’s family declined the offer and believed even more so that the prison was trying to cover up the facts.
Arrest and Sentencing
Mr. Wang was targeted in a group arrest of Falun Gong practitioners on July 6, 2019. More than 300 officers were dispatched to arrest him and 18 other practitioners. Several officers scaled Mr. Wang’s fence and broke in at around 3 a.m. He and his wife were awakened by a barking dog. The police took Mr. Wang away and then ransacked his home. They returned in the afternoon and ransacked the home again.
Twelve of the practitioners were tried in the Zunhua City Court on December 17, 19, and 23, 2019, and sentenced to from two to eight years on November 27, 2020. Mr. Wang was sentenced to seven years and fined 5,000 yuan.
According to an insider, Mr. Wang was very healthy when he was admitted to the Jidong No.2 Prison. He was assigned to Division Five. Guard Li Zhuang shocked him with an electric baton and pepper sprayed him when he refused to renounce Falun Gong.
Mr. Wang was then put in the strict management team, where he and other steadfast practitioners were subjected to constant brainwashing and torture aimed to force them to renounce Falun Gong.
Guard Li ordered Mr. Wang to renounce Falun Gong again after he was moved back to Division Five around February 2023. Despite the torture, Mr. Wang was still in good health when he had a physical exam on March 2, 2023. He also appeared to be fine and in good spirits when his family visited him on March 19. They wonder what caused such a healthy man to die in only two weeks.
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