The Chinese New Year is upon us, but one family from Lulong County, Hebei Province won't be able to enjoy the holidays. Their loved one, Mr. Li Kai, died on January 29th, 2016, two weeks after he suffered a brain haemorrhage while imprisoned for refusing to give up his belief in Falun Gong.
Mr. Li was watching TV at home on July 29th, 2015 when he was arrested by police. The local court sentenced him to 3.5 years on September 21st without the knowledge of his family or lawyer.
Mr. Li's health quickly deteriorated after he was transferred to Jidong Prison in Tangshan City in early December last year.
On January 14th, 2016, Mr. Li's family suddenly received a notice informing them to pick him up in prison. The family rushed there, only to be redirected to Gongren Hospital in Tangshan City, where they saw Mr. Li in a coma after a brain haemorrhage.
The prison authorities refused to respond to the family's inquiry as to why Mr. Li suddenly developed such a catastrophic medical condition. Moreover, they forced the family to cover his medical bills, which totalled 70,000 yuan1.
Mr. Li was able to move his limbs and respond to his family after about ten days of treatment. Just when the family was rejoicing over his recovery, the doctors performed surgery to cut open Mr. Li's skull and trachea without explaining why or asking for their consent.
Mr. Li died two days after the operation. Instead of using the nearby funeral home, the prison guards forcibly moved Mr. Li's body to a faraway morgue.
Mr. Li's family suspects foul play, as he had been very healthy prior to his arrest. They are also fighting with the prison for their right to make their own funeral arrangements for Mr. Li.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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