The 80-year-old man from Liaoning province had spent years in prison and was repeatedly tortured.
by Yang Meixiang
Liu Xiyong, an 80-year-old Falun Gong prisoner of conscience, died suspiciously in Dalian’s No. 3 Prison, in Liaoning province, on December 29, 2021. His family and co-religionists believe he was persecuted to death.
Liu was born in the Jinzhou district of Dalian city, Liaoning province, in 1941, and worked as a farmer. He joined Falun Gong in 1997. He was arrested at his home in the village of Shihe, Liaoning province, for the first time in April 2002. He later reported that the police suggested that he paid 10,000 or at least 5,000 yuan, and they would release him. Since he had no money, he was formally arrested, committed to trial, and sentenced to two years in a labor camp.
During his detention, he was repeatedly tortured, and beaten with sticks and with the police officers’ shoes. To protest the torture, he went into a hunger strike, and was brutally force-fed, including with salt water that caused further health problems.
He was released after two years, and quietly resumed his Falun Gong practice. On April 24, 2006, the police raided his home again. They found Falun Gong books and Falun Gong files in Liu’s computer. They arrested both Liu and his wife. Liu was badly beaten, went into a hunger strike again, and was released after 28 days and kept under surveillance. His wife had also been released after 24 days of detention.
Since he continued practicing Falun Gong, Liu was arrested for the third time on July 24, 2008, committed to trial, and sentenced to three and a half years in jail by the Jinzhou District Court of Dalian city. He was frequently beaten by other inmates, common criminals incited by the guards, and was released on Christmas Day, 2011.
Liu’s determination as a Falun Gong practitioner only increased. He started distributing Falun Gong flyers at the market of his village of Shihe. For this reason, he was taken to the police station of Shihe on February 26, 2017, and arrested for the fourth time five days later.
On October 24, 2017, his case was tried again by the Jinzhou District Court of Dalian city, and he was sentenced to 3 years under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code for having been active in a xie jiao (i.e., a banned religious movement). Due to his poor health conditions, he was not immediately detained, pending the appeal to the Dalian Intermediate Court. The latter confirmed the verdict, and he entered jail on April 9, 2018.
He should have been released from prison on April 9, 2021. However, since he refused to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong, the police sent him to the Sanli Detention Center in Jinzhou district of Dalian city, and he was sentenced by the District Court to spend another four years there.
His health, however, continued to deteriorate. On September 3, 2021, he was sent to Jinzhou District Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital for treatment of a pleural effusion. On September 28, he was transferred from the hospital to Dalian No. 3 prison. His family has been told that he died on December 29, 2021.
They do not believe that Liu’s death was due to natural causes. Even if this was the case, Liu’s health had been destroyed by years of persecution and torture, and the CCP is morally responsible for his death.