Family of imprisoned human rights activist Guo Hongwei, who died day April 9 After having surgery while serving a 13-year prison term in northeastern China’s Jilin province, said that there were many unanswered questions surrounding his illness and death.
“We are not convinced,” Guo’s father Guo Yinqi told RFA above Tuesday. “He must not be cremated until the cause of death is known.”
“Need to have proper process and [the cause of death] must be identified. “
Guo Yinqi said the family wanted to take pictures of Guo Hongwei’s body when they arrived for identification.
“We wanted to take pictures of him … after he died, but some guards were there, and they didn’t let us,” he said.
Guo Yinqi said the family had doubts surrounding the prison authorities refusing a parole order for Guo even though his systolic blood pressure reading has remained around 260 over the past two years.
“He was persecuted [to death]”Guo Yinqi said.” Not allowing a seriously ill patient with a systolic blood pressure of 260 to get out of medical parole is the same as killing them. “
Guo Yinqi said Guo Hongwei was transferred to Gongzhuling Prison after his family reported that he was being tortured at the Songyuan Prison near Jilin City.
“We were not allowed to see him after we moved to Gongzhuling Prison and we were also unable to call him,” said Guo Yinqi. “AhAnd after being transferred to Gongzhuling Prison, he will not be allowed to meet. , And phone calls are not allowed. We want to take pictures when we are in the funeral after we die. Some guards were there and were not allowed to take pictures. “
Guo Hongwei died day April 9 after undergoing two operations for an upper brain hemorrhage April 4 and 5.
Guo Yinqi said that, although there was no sign of external physical attacks on his son’s body, the family wanted a full investigation of his death to determine responsibility.
“We suspect, because the problem of killing him is in his brain, and they won’t release him. [remains] for us, nor scan [of his brain], “he said.
“They say this must be handled in a ‘unified’ way, and so it cannot be handed over to the family,” said Guo Yinqi.
Request an autopsy
Rights advocate Xie Yanyi said he plans to support the family that requested an autopsy and questioning about Guo Hongwei’s death.
“More investigation is needed, as well as the autopsy issue, and have access to surveillance footage and medical records,” Xie told RFA.
“Prisons have an obligation to cooperate under the Criminal Procedure Law and the Prison Law,” he said. “Guo Hongwei should have been on medical parole to protect himself once his health deteriorated up to that point.”
His family reported that Guo was tortured and held in solitary confinement in a small cell with no lighting or sanitary equipment during his time at Songyuan Ningjiang Prison in Jilin.
In May 2020, guard Lu Jiaxun locked him in a cell filled with peracetic acid, causing him to suffocate, they said, but the guard received only a small deduction from his bounty as punishment. .
Guo Yinqi filed a complaint with the Jilin Provincial Prison Administration at the time of the incident, but has yet to receive a response.
Guo was transferred to Gongzhuling Prison on November 26, where he was detained without permission, with authorities citing pandemic restrictions as the reason for the visit ban. However, phone calls are also not allowed.
Finally, when he was admitted to Jilin Hospital in early April, police told one of the surgeons for him that he had been in the same condition for more than two months. They told RFA that he was in a coma at the time of his admission.
Guo Hongwei’s mother, Xiao Yunling, said Guo used to be a strong 1.73 meter tall man and had never been troubled by illness.
Whatever treatments were given to him in prison left him unable to walk and had life-threatening hypertension.
“Calm down, son. I will avenge you,” Xiao said. “Why are they framing my son? I won’t be able to rest for another day until I find out.”
“Why did he have a cerebral hemorrhage? This happened suddenly in April,” she said. “Why is he so thin? Why don’t they feed my son more?”
Human rights activist Wang Jing said hospitals often operate political prisoners, using them as a case of teaching inexperienced surgeons.
“I almost died during the outpatient medical assessment and consultation,” Wang said. I was hospitalized, and four people in that ward died one after another.
One of them is a detained member of the forbidden Falun Gong spiritual movement, Wang said. “One person is a Falun Gong practitioner with a fracture in his arm and he has completely lost the ability to use the arm after the surgery.”
“The government hates political prisoners,” Wang said. “It’s much easier to take their lives through medical negligence; we are just like meat on a cutting board.”
Guo lost his job at the Songdianhe Power Plant and was jailed for five years after he accused Xu Wengui, an official at the local state prosecutor’s office, for misappropriating state funds.
He was sentenced to five years in prison, and continued to fight human rights and demanded his release.
He was unable to walk at the time of his second imprisonment, which started in 2016, for “blackmailing” and “causing quarrels and stirring up trouble,” after he pursued lawsuits. and petition for rights and public support for the 2014 democracy movement in Hong Kong.
His mother was serving a six-year sentence, while his sister Guo Hongying is still serving a five-and-a-half year sentence, both on similar charges including “arguing and disrupting”, a common charge. is often applied against peaceful critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“Three members of our family have been jailed for trying to protect state property,” said Guo Yinqi. “Marriage has broken and families destroyed.”
“The prosecution and law enforcement services in Jilin province were in there; they all protected each other, and they attacked our family,” he said. “The lawyers were too scared to accept our case because they could lose their livelihoods.”
Guo Hongwei’s defense lawyer, Huang Hanzhong, told RFA that the family was instead controlled by the CCP-controlled media as a disgrace for being accused of “blackmailing” the local government.
“The case is a complete fabrication, a betrayal of justice,” Huang said. “This so-called 300,000 yuan they are said to have extorted, and all they get is a patient with severe high blood pressure who can’t even walk.”
“How was he supposed to blackmail from more than 5,000 police officers? It was a joke.”
Xue Xiaoshan’s Report for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.