A Chinese man died a day after appearing in court with his wife for their belief in Falun Gong, a Buddhist spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999.
On June 6, the family of Guo Zhenfang, from China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia, were informed by the local police on the phone that Guo had died. They told Minghui.org that the day before, they saw Guo jump out of the car and walk into the court by himself.
When they arrived at the hospital, dozens of plainclothes police were guarding the body of Guo and barred the families from approaching him. Despite this, they were able to see blood on his nose, bruises covering his lower back, and injuries on the inner side of one knee, according to the report.
A doctor revealed Guo had no vital signs when he was brought to the hospital, according to Minghui, a website dedicated to documenting Falun Gong’s persecution.
Local authorities did not provide any explanation for his sudden death in the Songshan District Detention Center, but his family believes that he was tortured to death at the Songshan District Detention Center.
The day before his death, Guo and his wife, Feng Yuhua, stood trial in the Songshan District Court, after the judge ordered the prosecutor to re-evaluate certain evidence against the couple in a previous trial on April 8.
The family hadn’t seen Guo and his wife since the police arrested them on the morning of Nov. 25, 2020. The police ransacked their home and took many of their personal belongings.
The report did not record a reason for the couple’s arrest, but they are both practitioners of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, which involves slow moving exercises and teachings based on the core values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, which Chinese State media has said is incompatible with the CCP’s communist, atheist ideology.
The CCP launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in 1999, subjecting its tens of millions of adherents to harassment, detention, forced labor, torture, and forced organ harvesting.
According to Minghui.org, Guo’s death is the 42nd known death of this kind in 2021. Concerning the highly effective information blockade in China, they estimate the actual number of Falun Gong deaths is far higher than the recorded.