Chinese authorities have continued to monitor an elderly Christian man after his torture.
In September last year, police picked up Zhang Qunyou (pseudonym) and seven other Christians from a religious gathering. Mr. Zhang was initially released on the same day.
However, five days later, the police showed up at his home and arrested him again. He was detained for seven days. Mr. Zhang is a man in his 70s and suffers from diabetes and tuberculosis. He is also hearing-impaired. Following his detention, he was required to show up at the police station every day. He would be allowed to go back to his home only after it was dark outside.
On September 22, he was again taken into detention. This time, however, he was interrogated at length and tortured brutally. His feet were tied to the legs of a bed, and he was beaten all over his body. His face and hands were numb as a result. He could not eat or even drink water for days. He had to rely on fluids to stay alive for a while.
Seeing his condition, Mr. Zhang’s family was in extreme anguish and demanded an explanation for his detention. The police had nothing concrete to offer and instead, only alleged that he had opposed the Party.
Mr. Zhang is a member of the “Shouters;” the Chinese authorities use this label for a variety of Christian communities, including the Local Church, for their practice of shouting the Lord’s name out loud. Today, the “Shouters” are designated as a xie jiao, which refers to heterodox teachings in China. Any kind of association with a xie jiao is punishable under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code and can lead to immediate detention.
Mr. Zhang’s family tried getting him out by paying 20,000 RMB in bribes, but it didn’t work. Later, however, when he was diagnosed with cerebral embolism, the police officials were worried he might die in detention, and they let him go in October for a mere 3,600 RMB.
The authorities haven’t released their stranglehold over Mr. Zhang. He is supposed to report to the police station every month and is prohibited from leaving the city for two years. He is expected to be available at all times and is under consistent surveillance.
Reported by Jiang Tao
Jiang Tao (uses pseudonyms for security reasons), aged 42, is from Henan Province. He previously served as a magazine editor and has long been concerned about vulnerable groups that are being persecuted in China. He has written a variety of commentaries probing human rights issues in China, and his articles have been published in international journals. After leaving his magazine job in 2015, he started visiting and interviewing persecuted religious groups and other vulnerable groups and gathering information about incidents. He joined Bitter Winter in 2018, and since then is dedicated to reporting the persecution incidents in Henan, Shanghai, Anhui, and other regions.