Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Zhang Bingwu of Jingyuan county, Gansu province, died eight months after he was arrested. Mr. Zhang had been held for six months at the Jingyuan detention centre.
Mr. Zhang was arrested on May 17th, 2016 and passed away on January 26th, 2017 with a brain tumour. He was arrested for putting up posters carrying information about Falun Gong on May 13th, 2016.
In the middle of the night on May 17th, 2016, officers from the police department climbed over the courtyard wall and went into Mr. Zhang's house. The officers threatened his family and ransacked his house before taking him to the detention centre.
This is not the first time that Mr. Zhang has been arrested. He has been detained and persecuted many times since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999.
At the time of the arrest, Mr. Zhang's wife and youngest daughter, who was five months pregnant, together with the daughter's five-year-old child, were at home. The child was terrified by the scene unfolding in front of him.
Shocked by the arrest, Mr. Zhang's wife cannot sleep well and is always on edge. She has developed high blood pressure and aged a lot after his arrest, although she is only 50.
Release on Medical Parole and Death
On November 22nd, 2016, the head of the detention centre and two police officers went to Mr. Zhang's house and informed his family that he had a brain tumour. He was granted medical parole after the family completed and submitted the necessary paperwork.
Three days later, on November 25th, the head of detention centre and a police officer sent Mr. Zhang home.
Upon returning home, Mr. Zhang's family noticed that his expression was dull and he was unresponsive. He was also incontinent. He gave irrelevant answers when asked questions. If someone put a fist up in front of him, he became very scared and quickly avoided it. He could not answer when asked if he was beaten during detention.
The family heard that a policeman told others that Mr. Zhang would die within a month, as he was seriously ill.
The family brought Mr. Zhang to the hospital on November 31st. The doctor asked the family if Mr. Zhang was a drug addict, as needle marks could be seen all over his body.
When Mr. Zhang was detained, the police department forged evidence of his “crime” and sent it to the procuratorate. A hearing was originally set for December 28th, 2016, and later postponed to January 4th, 2017.
Before the trial in January, the judge visited Mr. Zhang's house to check if he was really unfit to attend. He commented that Mr. Zhang looked fine before leaving.
As Mr. Zhang was not in a right state of mind, he did not attend the trial on January 4th.
On January 17th, 2017, the family rushed him to the hospital when they noticed that he was in pain and twitching. He was transferred to another hospital, as he was in critical condition.
Different symptoms started to appear: redness, pustules, rash and small blisters. In the next two days, a series of tests showed that he had a malignant tumour in his brain, and his brain showed a high level of fluid accumulation, which may have been caused by trauma. He slipped into a coma the next day after being admitted to the hospital.
The family took him home on January 22nd, 2017, as they decided not to proceed with the surgery on that day.
When he was awake while at home, the family tried asking him questions, but he could not describe what had happened while he was detained. Mr. Zhang passed away on January 26th, 2017.
After his death, the judge still harassed the family on February 6th, 2017 via phone calls.
Two Other Practitioners Also Persecuted
Mr. Liu Sicai and Mr. Song Guoli were with Mr. Zhang on May 13th, 2016. Mr. Liu was putting up posters as well.
Mr. Liu was arrested on May 19th, 2016, and sent to the same detention centre.
On January 4th, 2017, Mr. Liu was put on trial and sentenced to six years of imprisonment. His family was not allowed to attend the hearing.
Meanwhile, Mr. Song's relatives have been harassed by the police since mid-January of 2017. The police searched his relatives' homes in an attempt to arrest him. He had no choice but to leave home to avoid further persecution.
List of people responsible for Mr. Zhang's death:
Su Benlu, judge in charge of the case: +86-153-39890253
Hao Jun, head of police in 610 Office: +86-151-09438616
Zhong Lianrong, deputy head of police in 610 Office: +86-151-09438539
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