Shandong Woman, 79, Dies after 8 Months of Imprisonment

Ms. Dong Yonghui, in good health and physically fit, was able to ride her tricycle to the local market every day before she was imprisoned in late September 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

But in just 8 months the Binzhou City resident was unrecognizable when her children visited her on June 2, 2017. She had lost almost 70 pounds, she couldn’t stand without assistance, and she could barely talk.

Ms. Dong’s children took her home for medical treatment. Sadly, despite several hospitalizations, she passed away on August 11. She was 79.

Arrest and Imprisonment
Ms. Dong enjoyed practising Falun Gong as the practice kept her fit and healthy, able to enjoy life. She often went to the local market to talk to people about Falun Gong, sharing the benefits of this tremendous practice. She was arrested in 2015 but released one day later.

Ms. Dong filed a criminal complaint months later against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for initiating the brutal persecution of Falun Gong.

A group of police officers and court officials descended on her home in March 2016 and took her away. After a hasty trial, Ms. Dong was sentenced to one-and-a-half-years in prison.

The authorities never explained to Ms. Dong’s family how they could prosecute and convict a law-abiding citizen without going through any legal procedures.

Ms. Dong wasn’t sent to prison right away. She was released under the condition that she undergo a medical examination every month at her own expense. She did it for two months, but afterwards refused to do so any longer.

Lin Donghai, head of the local Domestic Security office, took Ms. Dong back into custody in late September. He said that she had violated her bail condition by failing to submit her monthly medical examination reports.

Without informing her family, Lin sent Ms. Dong to Ji’nan Prison three days later.

Her children tried to visit her on June 1, 2017 but weren’t allowed to see her. The next day they received a call from the prison, asking them to pick their mother up.

Ms. Dong revealed to her children after she returned home, “I wasn’t feeling well and asked to see you. That was in late May. It just so happened that you tried to visit me on June 1. The prison didn’t allow you to see me that day because I was in really bad shape. They gave me an injection of unknown drugs the next day [June 2] to prop me up a little bit and then asked you to pick me up.”

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