Mr. Li Min, 51, Heilongjiang
Name: Mr. Li Min (??)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: March 2005
Date of Death: May 23, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: 7th ward of Daqing prison
Li is just one of several family members who have been victims of severe rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese authorities because of their identity as Falun Gong practitioners. In 2007, Li’s brother-in-law died in custody at a labor camp after being tortured. Li’s wife is currently imprisoned in Harbin’s Women’s Prison and at risk of abuse.
Li Min, who began practicing Falun Gong in 1998, was arrested from his workplace – the Finance Bureau of Harbin’s Hulan District – in March 2005. He was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison for practicing Falun Gong. He was sent to the 7th ward of Daqing prison where, according to sources inside China, he was tortured by guards and his health deteriorated dramatically, causing him to suffer the symptoms of a stroke.
When his son visited him during the Chinese New Year in February 2009, Li was unable to walk on his own, but rather had to be carried into the visitation room. He also had difficulty breathing and talking. Despite his weak condition and his family’s appeals in April 2009 for him to be released on medical parole, the prison authorities insisted on keeping him in custody.
In mid-May 2009, Li was transferred to Daqing Hospital. He passed away at 8pm on May 23 at the age of 51. His death brings the total number of adherents known to have died as a result of persecution to 3,287. It also reinforces Heilongjiang’s infamous record as the deadliest province for Falun Gong practitioners – 411 adherents are documented to have died there from abuse since 1999 – as well as Daqing prison’s notoriety as a venue for systematic and brutal torture (for previous cases of abuse and death at the prison see: report).