Mr. Dong Yuexiao fell into a coma three days after he appeared in court for practising Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Mr. Dong, from Zhucheng City, Shandong Province, passed away five weeks later, on September 7, 2019.
Mr. Dong and two other locals, Mr. Jiang Shisheng and Mr. Wang Pingsheng, were arrested while they were distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in Qingdao City, about 70 miles away, on April 20, 2018.
The police ransacked their homes the next day and held Mr. Dong and Mr. Jiang in the Huangdao Detention Center in Qingdao.
Although Mr. Wang was denied admission to the detention centre due to his physical condition, the police refused to release him and detained him in the Haiqing Police Station.
Chen Yonggang, the police chief, told Mr. Wang’s family to pay him 5,000 yuan in exchange for his release.
Mr. Wang’s family took photos of the police but were then forced to delete them.
Both Mr. Wang and Mr. Dong were later released on bail.
Mr. Jiang remained in the detention centre and was denied family visits. When his daughter went to the detention centre to inquire about him, the security person stopped her at the gate and said, “I can ask around for you if you pay me.”
The three practitioners were indicted by the Huangdao District Procuratorate in December 2018.
They appeared in the Huangdao District Court on August 1, 2019. Mr. Jiang’s lawyer entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf.
Mr. Dong was carried into the courtroom by his family because he had been suffering from high blood pressure since his arrest in 2018. He and Mr. Wang returned home after the hearing.
Mr. Dong fell into a coma on the morning of August 4 and was taken to a hospital, where he remained in an intensive care unit for a month and never regained consciousness. He died on September 7, 2019.
Two months later, the police took Mr. Wang to the courthouse, where he was told that he had been sentenced to four years in prison. He refused to acknowledge the sentence and demanded that the police take him home. The police forced him to have a physical, only to find that he had many medical issues. The judge reversed his decision and released Mr. Wang on bail.
Mr. Jiang was sentenced to three years in prison. He was also fined, the amount of which remains to be investigated.
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