Li Zhu (pseudonym), born on May 16, 1979, in Zhaodong city of the Heilongjiang Province, a believer since 1991, joined The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement, in December 2007. She was always enthusiastic about spreading the gospel, and for this reason, has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government. In order to maintain her belief, she was forced to flee to South Korea.
In June 2013, Li Zhu returned from South Korea to the Liaoning Province to renew her visa and attracted the attention of CCP authorities. On June 22, while Li Zhu was attending a religious gathering, police surrounded the building of the meeting place, and more than ten officers forced entry into a locked room. Flashing an arrest warrant, the officers handcuffed Li Zhu and forcibly escorted her to a local police station for interrogation.
At the station, the police chief interrogated Li Zhu about her church, at one point hitting her in the face with his fist, knocking two of Li Zhu’s incisors loose, and causing her face to swell with bruises.
The next day, police blindfolded Li Zhu with a hood and continued to torture her after taking her to an interrogation room specially designed for members of The Church of Almighty God. Multiple police officers bound Li Zhu to a “tiger bench” torture rack, questioning her in turn about her route to South Korea, religious assembly places there, and who else had been to Korea with her. Officers then showed her pictures of other members of The Church of Almighty God who had gone to Korea and asked Li Zhu to identify them. None of these tactics yielded success, and the officers responded with aggression, saying, “This time Xi Jinping issued orders that we primarily target people from The Church of Almighty God; we’re going to capture the lot of you, and put you all in prison!”
Then they used an attractive man to scam her, and when that did not work, they sprayed Li Zhu in the face with an unknown chemical liquid, causing her face to burn and leaving her unable to open her eyes. Li Zhu then had a sudden outburst of peripheral polyneuritis, and over the next few days, her legs and feet became swollen as well, making it difficult for her to move when going to the bathroom. The interrogation yielded no results, and police later escorted Li Zhu to a detention center.
At the end of June, the court accused Li Zhu of “using a xie jiao organization to disrupt public order” and sentenced her to a limited sentence of five years. In October of the same year, she was transferred to a women’s prison. Prison guards attempted to intensely indoctrinate Li Zhu on multiple occasions, forcing her to write various types of guarantees, confessions, statements of repentance, exposure and criticisms, as well as a statement of intention to break off her relations with the Church, all to no avail. During this time, Li Zhu contracted ocular hypertension, with multiple onsets, and her intraocular pressure reached over 20-30 mm Hg. At the same time, she was running a fever of 39 degrees Celsius.
Li Zhu’s sentence was eventually reduced by five months, and she was released in January 2018.