A 57-year-old man was sentenced to a three-year term and sent directly to prison 15 days after his arrest on February 18th, 2014. When his family went to see him on October 13th, 2014, he was incoherent and didn't recognise them. The “crime” he was sentenced for was distributing literature that exposed the persecution of Falun Gong.
Mr. Zhang Wenlong (张文龙), from Yushu, Jilin Province, went on a hunger strike in protest when he was transferred to Hulan Prison in early March. When his son saw him at Harbin Hospital on April 30th, 2014, he was handcuffed, and six prison guards were watching him. He was just skin and bones, and had no strength even to talk. In addition, his blood pressure was abnormal.
The prison told the son to bring 5,000 yuan1 to cover Mr. Zhang's medical costs. When the younger Zhang handed over the money, he was told the fee had gone up to 8,000 yuan. The guards never provided a receipt for the money received.
The prison refused the son's request to have Mr. Zhang released on medical parole, saying that cancer would be the only diagnosis warranting parole.
When his family visited him in prison on May 7th, he was still emaciated due to the two-month-long hunger strike, but otherwise in good spirits.
However, things went downhill shortly afterwards. When the family visited Mr. Zhang on October 13th, they noticed that his front teeth were almost all gone, he was speaking incoherently to his son, and didn't recognise any of his family members.
Mr. Zhang's family couldn't comprehend what had turned him into such a totally different person in just five months. Having heard accounts of other practitioners being “treated” with psychotropic drugs and suffering mental collapse in the same prison, the family suspects that the same thing happened to Mr. Zhang, because the guards were intent on making him stop his hunger strike and give up his belief in Falun Gong.
Officials with the Heilongjiang Forestry Bureau detention centre responsible for Mr. Zhang's arrest and initial detention:
Nan Haiqi (南海旗): +86-13804618519
Liu Yanping (刘彦平): +86-13763430091
Fu Guoxun (付国勋): +86-13234993880
Zhang Zhonghui (张忠辉): +86-13804618421
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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