Gong Fengqiang, a 48-year-old man in Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province, was forcefully taken to a COVID-19 quarantine ward in a local hospital not for any suspected symptoms of the coronavirus but rather for his spiritual belief in Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa),  according to Minghui.

Gong reportedly was subject to severe abuse in the custody of the local detention center, only because he had been practicing Falun Gong, an ancient Chinese practice persecuted by the Chinese regime since 1999.

The media reported that he had been arrested on Dec. 27, 2019. Twenty days before, Gong and his wife, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner tried to escape being arrested. Yet, their attempt failed and his wife fell to her death, and Gong was placed under arrest before long.

Li Yanjie (L) and her husband Gong Fengqiang. (Minghui)

Gong went into a coma on Jan. 27, 2020, (the third day of the Chinese New Year) and was sent to the hospital without his family’s permission or knowledge. 

His family is now calling on the international community to help rescue him.

The couple has been repeatedly harassed and abused by Chinese authorities for the past 20 years as they refused to renounce their faith in Falun Gong. 

Gong’s employer fired him on the orders of the authorities. He was sentenced to two years at forced labor and five years prison in 2001 and 2007, respectively. The torture and force-feeding deteriorated his health with a mental breakdown and loss of hearing. 

When released on medical parole in 2008, he had collapsed. He had completely lost his memory and could not take care of himself. 

After resuming the practice of Falun Gong, he gradually recovered and regained his memory. Yet, he could not escape the relentless persecution Falun Gong adherents face at the hands of the CCP.