Octogenarian Serving Three Year Term, Denied Family Visits
Mr. Li Peigao, an 86-year-old retired engineer from Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to three years in Yunnan Province First Prison in 2019 for his faith. Since then, he has been denied visitations.
Li retired from Yunnan Construction Installation Company as a senior engineer in 1994 and lived alone. Shortly after he learned Falun Gong in March 1996, his chronic diarrhea of over 20 years and the swelling and inflammation of his prostate disappeared.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, Li’s ordeals never stopped. He was held in a brainwashing center three times, arrested a dozen times, and had his home ransacked seven times. When he was not incarcerated, the police monitored and followed him, tapped his phone, and summoned him.
Li’s latest arrest took place in January 2019 (when he was 83 years old), and he was subsequently secretly sentenced to a three-year prison term. When an officer from Yongchang Police Station called his family to provide an update about his case, he was already in Yunnan Province First Prison.
While the police promised that his family could visit him after three months, over two years have passed and the prison authorities still have not allowed his family to see him. The family is very worried about his safety and health.
Early Interrogations and Arrests
On July 24, 1999, a few days after the persecution began, three officers took Li to Xiba Police Station after they saw him practicing the Falun Gong exercises outdoors. As he refused to renounce Falun Gong after an officer from Kunming Police Department warned him, officers forcibly took him home and ransacked his house, confiscating his Falun Gong books and exercise tapes.
Li would be interrogated on multiple occasions between October 1999 – November 2000. These interrogations were often preceded or followed by officers arbitrarily ransacking his home.
The most severe case was when two officers from Kunming City Police Department broke into his home in May 2002. They issued a search warrant on the spot and proceeded to ransack his home for the next three hours. They confiscated his Falun Gong books and literature, a notebook computer, and a walkman audio player.
The officers then took him to the police department and two doctors took his blood pressure. His blood pressure became extremely high and he passed out while using the restroom. The police, however, insisted that his blood pressure was stable and interrogated him until midnight. He went home that day but the next few days the officers continued coming to his home to harass him and search his home.
An official from his former employer came to his place and arbitrarily announced that he’d take “temporary custody” over him. Li had to report to the official if he wanted to leave home. This lasted for over a year.
The officers from Binchuan County Police Department in Dali City then arrested Li when he told others about the persecution on March 27, 2001. The officers interrogated him, ransacked his place, and locked him in Binchuan County Detention Center for a month. He was only released after his family paid the officers 2,000 yuan.
Brainwashing Centers and Later Arrests
Li’s former employer, officials from the residential commission, and officers from Wuhua District Domestic Security worked together to put him in a brainwashing center in Hangkong Nursing Home in Kunming City three times.
The Wuhua District 610 Office ordered Li’s former employer to take him to the nursing home in August 2001. The head of the 610 Office held a ten-day brainwashing session in the nursing home, and twelve Falun Gong practitioners were forced to attend. The practitioners were forced to watch videos that slandered Falun Gong.
Li’s former coworkers worked with people from the Zhuantang Residential Commission to take him to the nursing home again in August 2003. The practitioners there all attended the previous brainwashing session and refused to renounce Falun Gong.
The 610 Office, Wuhua Procuratorate, and Wuhua Domestic Security Office held a nine-day brainwashing session in the nursing home in July 2005. They coerced Mr. Li to attend.
When Li gave out DVDs with information about Falun Gong in May 2012, he happened to give one to a plainclothes officer. The officer took him to the Chongren Police Station to interrogate him, while other officers ransacked his place. He was released one hour later.
Li handed out Falun Gong calendars and pamphlets to others in late November 2018. Officers from Jinbilu Police Station arrested him on November 24 that year. He was released the same evening after the officers from Xishan Domestic Security Office ransacked his home.
Previous Prison Terms
Prior to his latest prison term, Li had served two other terms, one in 2008 and 2015.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese communist regime launched a mass arrest of Falun Gong practitioners.
Officers from the Daguan Police Station and Wuhua District Domestic Security went to Li’s home on the evening of June 21, 2008. One officer dragged him into his bedroom, while the other officers called in a dozen more officers to ransack his place.
They confiscated his Falun Gong books, computer, two printers, paper cutters, an e-book reader, and a mobile hard drive. A prosecutor then indicted him, and a judge in the Kunming City Intermediate Court sentenced him to three years in prison in 2009.
Li was sentenced again to four years by the Xishan District Court, following his arrest on November 26, 2015, for distributing Falun Gong fliers. Due to his hypertension, the judge allowed him to serve time outside of prison.
Based on an original report from Minghui.org