English Name: Zhao ChangfuChinese Name: 赵长福Gender: MaleAge: 51City: ShenyangProvince: LiaoningOccupation: business ownerDate of Death: July 18, 2023Date of Most Recent Arrest: August 22, 2018Most Recent Place of Detention: Xinkang Prison Hospital

A 51-year-old man in Lingyuan City, Liaoning Province, died on July 18, 2023, four months after he finished serving 4.5 years for his faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Mr. Zhao Changfu’s prison sentence stemmed from his arrest on August 22, 2018. The Lingyuan City Procuratorate twice returned his case to the police citing insufficient evidence, on December 20, 2018 and again on March 4, 2019. But the police fabricated more evidence and persuaded the procuratorate to indict him on May 9, 2019. The Lingyuan City Court held a hearing of Mr. Zhao’s case on June 5, 2019, without informing his family, and sentenced him to 4.5 years with a 2,000-yuan fine weeks later. Mr. Zhao’s appeal was soon rejected by the Chaoyang City Intermediate Court.

Mr. Zhao was subjected to brutal torture since the day of his arrest, and his health quickly declined. Throughout his incarceration, he was hospitalized multiple times. Yet the authorities never approved his family’s request to have him released on medical parole to seek better treatment.

Mr. Zhao was first taken to to the Chaoyang City Chinese Medicine Hospital and stayed there for several days before he was indicted. He was sent there again after his court hearing and discharged on June 17, 2019, shortly before he was sentenced. He was transferred to the Jinzhou Prison from the Lingyuan City Detention Center on September 3, 2019. About one month later, he was moved again to the Kangjiashan Prison.

Mr. Zhao’s condition worsened in late 2021. He became blind in one eye, and the other eye had blurred vision. He could only see things within three feet with the one eye. His legs were severely swollen, his calves oozing fluid. Two other hospitals in Shenyang were better equipped to treat his condition, yet the authorities only allowed him to use the Shenyang City No. 4 Hospital, which was overcrowded at the time. As Mr. Zhao was waiting for a bed, his eye condition got even worse. He was then allowed to have eye surgery at the He Eye Hospital at his own expense. 

After a bed became available at the Shenyang City No. 4 Hospital around April 2021, Mr. Zhao was admitted there, but as soon as he got a bit better, the authorities moved him to the Xinkang Prison Hospital, where he served the remainder of his prison term.

Everywhere he was taken, be it various detention facilities or hospitals, Mr. Zhao was always given a large amount of injections or pills, which had severe side effects and caused damage to his body. Once, an inmate saw a nurse give him a large amount of pills and took a look at them after the nurse left. He told Mr. Zhao to not take a particular pill because he had seen it before and knew it’d not be good for Mr. Zhao. This inmate used to be a prosecutor and had inside knowledge of how the regime used involuntary drug administration as a means to persecute people. 

After Mr. Zhao was released on February 21, 2023, he never recovered and was also traumatized by the fear that his wife, also a Falun Gong practitioner, would be arrested again. She had been arrested with him on August 22, 2018 but was released much sooner, on January 30, 2019. Prior to that, she was arrested multiple times over the years, also for practicing Falun Gong. His own physical suffering and the anxiety about his wife’s wellbeing eventually took Mr. Zhao’s life on July 18, 2023.

Details of Mr. Zhao’s last arrest and prison sentencing can be found in the related reports at the end of this article.

Earlier Persecution, including Two Forced Labor Terms Totaling 4.5 Years

Mr. Zhao suffered many diseases in his twenties and nothing seemed to help. All his symptoms disappeared after he took up Falun Gong. His wife, Ms. Sun Guangli, also joined him in the practice. The couple strove to live by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and were known to their family, neighbors, colleagues and friends as kind-hearted, warm, and honest people. 

Mr. Zhao was a conscientious salesman with integrity and never accepted kickbacks as his peers did. He thus won the trust of his employer, the construction department of the Lingyuan Iron and Steel Company. 

Ms. Sun took meticulous care of her parents-in-law and was known as a filial daughter-in-law among the locals. She and Mr. Zhao also had a happy marriage and were the envy of many people. 

After the persecution began, the couple were repeatedly targeted by the authorities. On October 11, 2000, Mr. Zhao was arrested for traveling to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was subsequently given two years in Xidayingzi Forced Labor Camp. Under pressure from the authorities, his employer terminated him after his arrest, but they hired him back as a contractor after he was released. He later quit voluntarily after the company had an organization restructure. 

Mr. Zhao started his own business and soon won the trust of his business partners and clients, who admired him for his integrity and honesty. He also treated his employees with respect and offered them pay and fringe benefits that were much better than the industry average. 

Mr. Zhao took a friend to Beijing to see a doctor on January 17, 2010 and was arrested when checking into a hotel. The hotel staff had reported him upon noticing that his information was in the police database of Falun Gong practitioners. He was once again sent to a labor camp to serve two and a half years, during which time he was often beaten and deprived of sleep.

Related Reports:

Liaoning Man in Serious Condition Denied Medical Parole for Upholding His FaithFamily Loses Contact with Imprisoned Man in Serious Condition

Liaoning Man Hospitalized After Being in Detention for More Than 10 Months for His Faith

Couple Arrested for Their Faith Before Taking Son Back to School

Falun Gong Practitioner Mr. Zhao Changfu of Lingyuan City Tortured