May 20, 2019, | By a Minghui correspondent in Jilin Province, China
Mr. Zhang, a resident of Shulan City, Jilin Province was extremely fit and won a national martial arts competition. He could easily climb over a wall of 6 feet high or fight several people at the same time. By the time Mr. Zhang Hongwei was released from a 13-year prison term in 2014 for not renouncing Falun Gong practice, the once-energetic martial arts champion was merely a shadow of his former self.
On March 6, 2002, Mr. Zhang was transferred to Jilin Prison. In order to force him to renounce his practice, the guards ordered him to sit with his back upright, his arms behind his back and his legs lifted to parallel the floor. Only five minutes into the awkward posture, the pain became excruciating.
Even though Mr. Zhang had strong personal combat skills, he never fought back no matter how hard the guards or inmates tortured him.
During Mr. Zhang’s imprisonment, his father-in-law, Mr. Song Wenhua, was tortured to death while detained at Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp, also for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Zhang’s wife struggled to make ends meet and raise their son, who was less than one year old when his father was given the lengthy prison sentence.
Mr. Zhang’s wife took him to see a doctor after he was released. The doctor said that Mr. Zhang had a brain cyst that pressed against his vision nerve system. It would cost them more than 100,000 yuan for brain surgery.
One and a half years later, Mr. Zhang completely lost his vision.
Mr. Zhang was arrested again in 2015 for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.
With his health completely destroyed during the imprisonment, Mr. Zhang’s conditions kept deteriorating. After years of suffering, he passed away on May 3, 2019. He was 52.