Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 30, 2018
A house church leader was forcibly arrested in Longxi County, Dingxi city, Gansu Province in April of 2015. He died in a detention center after prolonged torture.
Lin Suidan (45) was a house church leader in Longxi County’s Gongchang town, when, in February 2013, the local village cadres forced all believers to write statements giving up their faith and occasionally visited their homes to harass them. Lin Suidan and other believers were forced to resort to guerrilla tactics: have meetings and share the Gospel at different times and in different places, which angered the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police. In 2014, officers from the Xijiao police station of Longxi County arrested Lin Suidan, his elder sister, and brother-in-law and took them to the county detention center where the police interrogated and intimidated them. They were released after ten days, and Lin Suidan continued to share the Gospel.
One morning in April 2015, the police once again arrested Lin Suidan who was helping out at his elder sister’s house. According to Lin’s wife, she went to visit him at the detention center many times after his arrest, but the police would not allow her to see her husband, nor would they give her any information on him.
One day in December 2016, his wife received a call from the Longxi County Public Security Bureau and was told that Lin Suidan was sick: she had to bring him some food. She rushed over to the hospital and saw him lying in bed – his face was pale and puffy, and he had restraints on his feet. There were four or five officers keeping watch at the ward entrance. The police said that he was severely anemic and demanded payment for his treatment.
While he was in the hospital, Lin Suidan complained that his stomach hurt every time after he ate. After repeated pleas from Lin Suidan’s wife, the hospital staff gave him some medication. Although Lin Suidan was very weak, the police put handcuffs and ankle shackles on him and took him directly back to the detention center.
On January 4, 2017, Lin Suidan’s wife received news that her husband had passed away. After Lin Suidan’s death, the police told his wife to go to the County Public Security Bureau to handle his funeral affairs. When she went there, the staff made all sorts of excuses, would not take care of her matters and kept sending her around. This uncertainty added to the pain of the grieving widow who was physically and mentally exhausted; she nearly had a nervous breakdown.
Some relatives suggested that she lodged a complaint at the provincial capital. As she was preparing to do so, staff members of the County Public Security Bureau paid her a visit, warning her not to appeal to the court or to talk about it online. The police tried to settle the matter by giving her 150,000 RMB in compensation. However, she believed that her husband who had been in robustly good health suffered a wrongful death from long-time starvation and cruel torture, so she and her two children went to seek justice at the County government. Just as they got to the entrance of the government agency, they were picked up by a group of SWAT police officers and dragged into a room in the government compound where they were reprimanded and intimidated. A few people at the entrance were trying to take photographs, but the guard rushed at them, grabbed their phones, and detained them. Failing to seek justice, Lin Suidan’s wife had no choice but to take her husband’s body back to their village and handle his burial herself.
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