After some seriously ill Christians are arrested and detained because of their faith, they are not only deprived of rights to medical care, but are subjected to maltreatment and forced labor.
“One day in 2014, I was arrested on my way for a visit. Before being taken to the detention house, I was diagnosed with renal cysts,” said Ye Wen (pseudonym), a Christian from The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in the southern province of Guangdong. She recalled that the doctor then repeatedly told the officer that her renal cysts became very large and her condition was grave. But the police just ignored that and still placed her in the detention house.
“In the detention house, they never gave me any medicine for kidney cysts. When those cheaters, robbers and other inmates fell ill, they had access to medical care. Only we believers in God had no such access. Also, we would face severer punishment when failing to do the labor as the guards wished. There are no human rights at all,” said Ye. In the detention house, the police interrogated her every day to extract from her information on the CAG and other Christians. They also forced her to study Xi Jinping thoughts and sing praises to the Party, indoctrinating her with contents of blaspheming God.
In her custody, Ye heard the cell boss telling other inmates that the guards designated them to torment believers in God as their main duty. “After the cell boss knew I had developed serious kidney cysts, she made things difficult for me in every possible way, limiting my use of the bathroom to once a day,” Ye remembered.
The cell boss demanded her to report for permission before using the toilet to restrict her use of it. When she couldn’t but report for the use of it, the cell boss would sternly reprimand her. Even when she had severe diarrhea in her period, she still had to follow the restriction. “I often felt weakness in my limbs and broke out in a cold sweat because I could not relieve myself. Left with no choice, I had to poop my pants,” Ye said angrily.
To reduce her use of the bathroom, Ye had to eat and drink less, which led to her increasingly poor health and deteriorating condition. In less than a week, she had a severe weight and hair loss. The large amount of hair falling out was just like a black fishing net on her.
Besides, the cell boss forced Ye to overwork at the guard’s instruction. Sometimes when she worked, she had to dip her feet in a certain kind of soap water with abrasive contamination, which caused her feet to be rotting. With the rotten skin attached to the shoes, she had to walk on her heels to reduce the great pain. The cell boss then required her to clean bed boards and indoor walls in standard backward frog jump position. About ten days later, her heels began to rot too. “Also, I had to do the foot drill and walk every step hard every day. I felt enormous pain when the foot skin was detached from the shoes,” said Ye.
Moreover, Ye was asked to perform night shift duty from 2 to 5 a.m. and was often woken up as soon as she fell asleep. With no time to sleep at night, she had to work, take part in the military training, and memorize the detention house rules during the daytime. If she failed in the exam of the rules, she would get punished handwriting the rules repetitively and even deprived of food. Due to the torment, Ye often felt dizzy and weak in the limbs.
After 37 days of mistreatment, she lost over 30 pounds in weight.
The Church of Almighty God is a new Christian church most persecuted by the CCP. During their custody, CAG Christians are generally subjected to various tortures, maltreatments, and heavy forced labor, including those who are seriously ill. They are deprived of rights to medical care and subjected to forced labor. Some CAG Christians died from lack of treatment.
Zhang Yi (pseudonym), a CAG Christian from the northeastern province of Liaoning, had suffered from illnesses including diabetes and high blood pressure. Because of the sequelae of acute cerebral infarction, she can only move her left leg and hand to a limited extent and has difficulty in taking care of herself in her daily life. In 2018, she was arrested due to her faith. Afterward, she was sentenced to two years in prison with a two-year probation. In her custody, she was subjected to mistreatment, forced labor, and the deprivation of medications.
Every day during her custody, Zhang was asked to memorize the prison rules for six hours while sitting cross-legged, which caused great pain in her neck and dizziness in her head, as well as an increase in the deformity of her left leg with a tumor.
Despite that, Zhang was demanded to come up with 500 pieces of flat paper by using a stamp hammer. Unable to use her left hand, she had to use her right hand alone to finish the quota. After a day’s hard labor, she became too tired to lift her head or arm and couldn’t stretch her fingers and legs straight either. If she didn’t finish her assignment, she would get punishment. As a result, she was always under enormous mental tension. “I often felt a heart palpitation and an increase of blood pressure. Every night, I suffered from such severe pain that I found it hard to fall asleep. Sometimes I was too exhausted to climb up to my bed,” she said, adding that she fell unconscious in the bathroom for three times.
After over 300 days of incarceration, she was allowed to serve her sentence outside of the prison. However, she had to visit the police station daily for a report and receive forced indoctrination as well.
After the torment of one year’s imprisonment, Zhang lost over 40 pounds in weight and suffered serious deterioration in health including a significant memory and vision loss.