On April 25, 1999, Li Chang, participated in a peaceful Falun Gong protest outside the central Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
Li, a retired PRC Ministry of Public Security, was coercively summoned by authorities on July 20, 1999, two days before the official ban of Falun Gong, and put under residential surveillance for three months until his official arrest on Oct. 19, 1999.
Amnesty International reported that Li had confessed to his involvement with Falun Gong and expressed remorse. However, a lack of transparency concerning the conditions of his detainment causes speculation about the validity of the confession.
On Dec. 26, 1999, Li was tried alongside three other former government officials, who were suspected of Falun Gong involvement, including Wang Zhiwen. The trial, which was nationally broadcast, lasted nine hours and included confessions from the defendants.
The four were charged with “organizing and using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law,” “organizing and using a heretical organization to cause death,” which was a charge applied to alleged activities perpetrated by Falun Gong as a whole, rather than activities committed by the defendants, and “illegally obtaining state secrets.” Li was accused of setting up “39 command posts, more than 1,900 training centers, and more than 280,000 contact posts.”
Li was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to 18 years. He is currently serving his sentence in Qianjin Prison in China’s northern Tianjin Municipality.
Li was born in 1939. He became a Falun Gong practitioner in 1992.