Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 16, 2018
In the afternoon of April 15, 2018, four members of The Church of Almighty God, a Christian new religious movement founded in China in 1991, in the city of Xinyi, Jiangsu Province, were having a meeting in the house of one of the believers, when six or seven policemen from the local police station suddenly rushed into the house. Without producing any credentials, they ransacked the house and confiscated all the religious books and some electronic devices. The four believers were arrested and taken to the police station.
Upon arriving at the police station, the police detained the four people in separate iron cages. At 5 p.m., the station director by the name Zang took one of them, Liang Guang (pseudonym, 50 years old) for interrogation. When asked for his name and address, worrying that he would implicate his family and other members of the church, Liang refused to answer. Infuriated and irritated, Zang scolded Liang and asked a policeman to cuff Liang’s hands behind his back with a pair of serrated handcuffs by pushing his hands through a small hole in the back of the chair. He even punched Liang’s thighs with his fist, making Liang scream. When the interrogation did not yield any result, Zang frustratingly threatened, “We have all the time we need. I don’t believe that I couldn’t make you yield! Don’t dream about leaving here if you don’t tell me what I want to know. I will lock you up until you rot!” He then escorted Liang back to the cage and ordered the guards not to let Liang sleep. That night, Liang’s thighs were swollen and aching from the beating. He stayed up all night and didn’t even dare to squat down when he used the toilet.
At 5 p.m. the next day, Zang interrogated Liang again, forcing him to give information about his church. Seeing that Liang still would not say anything, Zang took off his shoes, pulled out his stinky insoles, and slapped Liang a few dozens of times with them as he insulted Liang with some ugly expletives. He then punched Liang’s right thigh with his fist and viciously kicked Liang’s right leg near the ankle. Afterward, he raised his hand and slapped Liang hard on the cheeks ten to twenty times. Liang was bleeding from the corner of his mouth. It was very painful, but Liang just clenched his teeth and kept quiet. Seeing that the interrogation was not yielding any results, Zang put Liang back in the cage again and let the guards continue to torture him by forbidding him to sleep and depriving him of food. Liang was hungry and thirsty. He had to drink tap water to quench his hunger when he went to the bathroom. The same night, the police interrogated Liang again and ordered him to sign a statement, but he refused.
In the morning of April 17, the police photographed Liang Guang and collected his fingerprints, palm prints, and blood samples, recording his personal information in detail. They then intimidated Liang, “This is a nationwide network, so if we catch you again, we will send you directly to the detention center for incarceration.” In the end, the police charged Liang and the others with some unrelated offenses and sentenced them to the ten-day administrative detention. They were escorted to a detention center, and each of them was charged 300 yuan for living expenses.
On April 27, all four believers were released. Liang Guang was seriously injured during the interrogation, so after his release, he still suffered from pain in his thighs and only recovered after treatment.