Detained Since: July 20, 1999.
Charges: Organizing and using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law, organizing and using a heretical organization to cause death, and illegally obtaining state secrets.
Sentence: Sixteen years in prison with four years' deprivation of political rights.
Biography: Wang Zhiwen is a former Peoples Republic of China Ministry of Railways engineer, who was seized from bed on July 20, 1999 for his involvement and leadership in Falun Gong. Falun Gong promotes the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. The movement was banned two days after Wang’s arrest, and those who continue to practice are now considered to be dissidents of the state. On December 26, 1999, Wang was sentenced by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court to 16 years in prison and four years deprivation of political rights on the charges of, “organizing and using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law,” “organizing and using a heretical organization to cause death,” and “illegally obtaining state secrets.”
On October 18, 2014, he was released from a Chinese prison after serving 5,475 days in jail. While incarcerated, Wang developed diabetes and high blood pressure, and suffered from a stroke immediately prior to his release. Upon Wang’s release from prison, he was immediately sent to what his family describes as a “brainwashing center” for 10 days, and on October 24 he was released to house arrest. Wang Zhiwen’s family is still pursuing his release from in-home detention, so that he is allowed to leave the country.
Wang Zhiwen is believed to have been RELEASED.
Wang Zhiwen has been under intense surveillance since his release. He has obtained a Chinese passport and U.S. visa through legal means to visit his daughter. But the Chinese government has internally revoked his passport and will not let him leave the country (August 14, 2016, Falun Dafa).