Christian Chen Yanling Dies After Police Intentionally Delay Medical Treatment While in Custody

Chen Yanling, female, was born in 1972 and lived in Yanzi Township, Qian’an County, Songyuan City, Jilin Province. She started believing in the Lord in 1997 and joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in 2000.

One day in the middle of May 2003, after learning that Chen Yanling believed in Almighty God, the Political Security Section of Qian’an County, Songyuan City immediately dispatched six or seven o cers to force entry into Chen’s home, and take her to the Qian’an Country Detention Center. During her time there, Chen was interrogated once: the police tried to force her to sign a document denying God, and she refused.

As described by Liu Fang, another Christian who was detained in the same cell as Chen, Chen had been healthy at the time of her arrest. All she worried about was that there was no-one to look after her two young children (a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 10), and would sob loudly with anguish each night.

On the morning of June 19, Chen Yanling told Liu Fang that her head really hurt. She said she felt nauseous and wanted to throw up. As she did so, she couldn’t stop herself from vomiting, her face ushed. The other prisoners in the cell asked the warden for help, but the warden only gave Chen a painkiller and made no attempt to find a doctor to treat her. As a result, there was no letup in Chen’s symptoms: she threw up three or four times that morning, vomiting nothing but liquids. By 5 o’clock that afternoon, Chen’s condition was getting worse. The vomiting was now accompanied by convulsions, and when there wasn’t even any saliva left in her stomach to throw up, all that remained were the frequent convulsions. At the beginning, Chen would regain consciousness when somebody pinched her philtrum, but afterward the illness came at increasingly short intervals, occurring less than every ten minutes. Chen fell unconscious and not even pinching her philtrum would wake her. The warden didn’t come despite calls from the prisoners throughout the day.

At 7 p.m. in the evening, seeing how bad the situation was, Chen’s cellmates repeatedly shouted for the warden seven or eight times. Only then did Prison Deputy Li, three male wardens, and a female doctor slowly make their way to the cell. The doctor took Chen’s temperature and, seeing it wasn’t high, gave her a shot of an unknown drug and prepared to leave. A warden named Zhang Bo kicked Chen a couple of times and said she was pretending. He and the others turned to leave. At that moment Chen gave started convulsing. A warden picked up the used syringe and viciously stabbed Chen in the heel twice. Her heel twitched, and then she immediately started convulsing again. Deputy Li pinched her philtrum, and seeing her stop convulsing, strode away together with others. Afterward, Chen kept convulsing. After being pinched, she’d regain consciousness for a couple of minutes and then start convulsing again. Chen’s cellmates were upset by her condition and started to cry. But no matter how much they called out, the warden didn’t come.

They had shouted to the warden at least 20 times that day, but the guards refused to take Chen to the hospital for treatment.

Only at 9 p.m. that evening, when Chen had been unconscious for several hours, did head of the detention center Wang Hui send her to the Qian’an County Hospital.

The next day, a female warden warned each of Chen’s cellmates separately that someone would be coming the following day to ask if Chen had been given an injection and medicine. They were all to say she had. Afterward, Liu Fang disobeyed the warden and gave a faithful account of Chen’s deteriorating condition to the o cer taking notes that day, which earned her a rebuke from the warden.

According to an insider, Chen’s family was informed by the Public Security Bureau after she was hospitalized. After hurrying to the hospital, they found her lying on the bed, her face swollen and covered in bruises, breathing with di culty, barely alive and unable to speak.

The police’s reluctance to spend money meant they had only allowed Chen to have two days’ treatment; on the third day, they stopped paying for her medicine. After hearing this, Chen’s family demanded that her treatment be continued—but no one agreed.

On the evening of June 24, Chen Yanling passed away. She was just 32 years old.

Following her death, the police lied and said that she had died from congenital cerebrovascular disease. But Chen had been healthy, and didn’t have this disease. She had clearly su ered from a brain hemorrhage caused by concern for her two children. The police of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), however, had only reluctantly tried to save her, and she had died as a result. They can hardly be excused from blame.