Mr. Yang Dejie, a Falun Gong practitioner from Henan Province, passed away on August 30, 2018, after suffering years of homelessness, police harassment and imprisonment for upholding his faith. He was 47.
Mr. Yang was first arrested in 2001 for posting information about Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999. He was detained for two months and forced to pay 3,000 yuan before he was allowed to go home.
The local police kept harassing Mr. Yang upon his release, and he left home to avoid further arrest. He was seized again in 2004 after being found to have produced Falun Gong informational materials. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released in 2009 after he developed high blood pressure and other serious health conditions as a result of torture.
Mr. Yang again left home to avoid police harassment after being released from prison. In late 2011, he returned home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with his family. The police raided his home and confiscated most of his savings and belongings, worth more than ten thousand yuan.
Due to his high blood pressure, Mr. Yang was released after being forced to pay 20,000 yuan of bail. He wasn't allowed to leave town for a year.
Mr. Yang was arrested again in 2013 and sentenced to four years in prison. He was diagnosed with brain atrophy, and the prison declined to admit him.
Upon his release, the police ordered him to report to them every week and also threatened to take him back to prison once he recovered.
As he was in and out of detention, Mr. Yang wasn't able to find a job and lived in poverty. The police's frequent harassment resulted in the further decline of Mr. Yang's health.
He became incapacitated and also suffered from mental disorder and other ailments as a result of brain atrophy. Despite being in his 40s, the CT scan of his brain was similar to that of someone in his 70s. He died five years after his second prison sentence.
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