A Gongzhuling City, Jilin Province, man passed away on April 3, 2021, after enduring years of incarceration, torture, and displacement for refusing to give up his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Mr. Wang Sheng was 73.
The Onset of the Persecution
Mr. Wang started practicing Falun Gong in 1993. The self-cultivation practice helped him quit bad habits, such as drinking, gambling, and visiting prostitutes. His health improved, and his family life became harmonious.
Months before the Chinese communist regime launched the persecution of Falun Gong due to its tremendous popularity in July 1999, plainclothes officers began to appear at Falun Gong exercise sites to gather information. Police ordered volunteer coordinators at each site to stop doing the exercises. One of the officers also ordered Mr. Wang to report on Falun Gong.
Mr. Wang and other practitioners went to the Jilin Provincial Appeals Bureau in June 1999. He was taken to the local police department for questioning the next day. The chief accused him of not providing information on Falun Gong as ordered.
When Mr. Wang and other practitioners planned to go to Beijing to appeal to the central government, police officers stopped them at a train station.
From then on, the police frequently harassed Mr. Wang at his home. They also took him to the police department for questioning and demanded again that he become an informant, but Mr. Wang refused.
Two people from the police department showed up at Mr. Wang’s home one day, claiming that they were from the Appeals Bureau, trying to collect information about Falun Gong. Mr. Wang told them how he benefited from practicing Falun Gong and did not give them any information about other practitioners. In response, the police tried to frame Mr. Wang but were unsuccessful.
Going Into Hiding
The communist regime officially launched its persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Mr. Wang and other practitioners went to Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong, only to be beaten by the police.
Mr. Wang went to Beijing to appeal in October 2000. The police again beat him on Tiananmen Square. His face and mouth bled.
Returning home, he was informed that the police had attempted to arrest him several times. Several dozen local practitioners had already been arrested at the time. They were threatened with the loss of their jobs and their families were also implicated. Mr. Wang decided to go into hiding to avoid further persecution. In retaliation, the authorities suspended his and his family member’s pension.
For the next five years, Mr. Wang was destitute and faced constant danger. Sometimes he was out on the streets late at night in below freezing conditions. He stayed for one night at a relative’s home and left the next morning to avoid implicating the relative.
The police went to Mr. Wang’s home day and night to look for him. His wife shook with fear whenever she heard a knock on the door.
Once, over 20 officers stormed into one of his relatives’ homes late at night. When his relative went to the police station to complain that they had scared their young child, officers beat the relative and drove him out of the station.
Three-year Labor Camp Term
Mr. Wang was at his niece’s home on May 24, 2004, when more than 20 officers surrounded the building and broke in. They pushed Mr. Wang down, handcuffed him, and removed his belt. They confiscated his mobile phone and cash, his niece’s money and all her jewelry.
At a detention centre, the police cuffed Mr. Wang to a metal chair in a solitary cell and denied him food and water for three days.
To protest the abuse, Mr. Wang went on a hunger strike. By the thirteenth day, he had blood in his stool and was extremely dizzy. Inmates could not feel his pulse and called the guards. He was transferred to a hospital and diagnosed with colon cancer. The doctor said he was near death.
Prison officials called his family the next day and suggested that they prepare for his death. His family took him to a better-equipped hospital in the provincial capital, where he was diagnosed with liver and kidney problems, diabetes, cholecystitis, and colon cancer. Doctors there also told his family to prepare for his funeral. His weight dropped from over 170 pounds to less than 110.
Despite his condition, the authorities gave him three years of forced labor. When Mr. Wang refused to sign the sentencing document, the authorities forced his family to sign in his place.
Three and a Half Years in Prison
Mr. Wang’s latest arrest took place on April 26, 2014, after he returned home from attending a relative’s funeral. As soon as he got off the bus, several people came from behind and grabbed him. In front of a crowd, they beat and kicked him, fracturing his femur and tailbone.
Mr. Wang was later sentenced to three and a half years and taken to Gongzhuling Prison on March 2, 2015. He was held in the ward for newly admitted inmates for five months. During that time, he was forced to sit on a small stool without moving from early morning to 8 p.m. The guards ordered him to recite the prison rules. When he refused to comply, they forced him to stand facing the wall. He was emaciated and extremely weak when he was released on December 28, 2016.
Continued Harassment Following His Release
The police continued to harass Mr. Wang at home and to call him repeatedly. Although he was forced to live away from home again, the police still managed to find him. In early September 2017, officials from both his original residence and his new residence came to harass him. As he happened to be away from home, the police took pictures of his wife.
The displacement took a further toll on his health. After struggling with poor health for several years, he passed away on April 3, 2021.
- The Repeated Abuse and Torture of An Elderly Man for Practicing Falun Gong
- 66-Year-Old Man Caged Following Arrest, Sentenced to 3.5 Years
- Family Sues after Police Torture Older Man, Fracturing His Femur and Tailbone
- Mr. Wang Sheng, Over 70, Tortured, Family Not Told His Whereabouts or Allowed to Visit Him
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