Zhan Hongmei, female, was born in 1970 and was from Dongmiao East Village in Jiudian Town, Pingdu City, Shandong Province. She believed in Jesus along with her parents since she was small. In the fall of 1998, she joined The Church of Almighty God (CAG). She honored her parents-in-law, was very reasonable, and very well-liked in the neighborhood. She was arrested by the police of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2003 for believing in Almighty God and spreading the gospel of the kingdom, and was brutally beaten to death at the age of 33.
At about 8 a.m. on October 29, 2003, when Zhan Hongmei went to the home of Zhou Xiangshan in Jiudian Town’s Jiulikuang Village to share the gospel, she was reported by the Zhou family. The security director there, Jiang Xiangang (male, 41 years old) brought three other male security o cers—Sheng Chunxiang, Zhou Fenggang, and Zhou Lei—to the site to apprehend her.
Zhan Hongmei did her utmost to escape but she lacked the physical stamina—the four men caught up to her, pushed her down onto the ground, and rained blows and kicks down on her. Jiang Xiangang and the others confiscated her gospel literature, dragged her back to Jiulikuang Village Committee with her feet dragging on the ground, and then started their second round of beatings.
Around 11 a.m., Jiang Xiangang and his sta made a report to the police, and upon hearing the news Jiudian Town police officers rushed to detain Zhan Hongmei and escorted her to the local police station. Local police chief Li Linzhi, police o cer Yang Zhilei, and the driver Zheng Shantang beat her once again (it is said that they clipped her with iron plates).
That afternoon Zhang Fayun (male, 58 years old at the time), an officer with the Jiudian Town Police Station, went to ransack Zhan Hongmei’s house with several other o cers. They found a Bible.
The next morning (October 30) Zhan Hongmei’s mother and mother-in-law rushed to the Jiudian Town Police Station but the police would only allow her mother-in-law to see her. She later revealed that she saw Zhan Hongmei in handcu s and shackles, restrained on a tiger bench with a chain. Her hands and feet were swollen, her face was black and blue and swollen from beatings, her ears were purple, and her pants were soaked with urine. She saw that her daughter-in-law’s life was in danger and begged the police to release her, but Zhang Fayun said she was playing it up, and also said: “She believes in Eastern Lightning. We’ll let her go for 3,000 RMB, otherwise she won’t get out!”
Zhan Hongmei’s family learned on October 31 that she had been beaten to death by the police.
To escape liability, the police later lied, saying that she had died from a sudden heart attack, but then changed their story to say she committed suicide by taking poison.
In order to seek justice, her family demanded an autopsy. According to them, the autopsy was conducted at Pingdu People’s Hospital, which determined: there was extensive bruising all over the body, no part of the body was unscathed, the entire body was purple and blood had welled up under the skin in many places; the cause of death was a rib puncturing her lung from being broken which led to a massive lung hemorrhage, inducing terminal heart failure.
The Zhan family wanted to petition for the sake of justice, but the Pingdu City government mobilized the Anti-riot Squad to threaten and obstruct them. They con scated the car for the purpose of making appeals rented by the petitioners, didn’t allow her family to leave the village, and monitored the family’s phones. When her family managed to get around the police blockades and tearfully knelt down to plead their case to the Pingdu municipal government, one o cial there scolded them, saying: “Who let her believe in Almighty God? That is something that must be handled!”
They continued to try to seek justice through legal means, but the Jiudian Town police obstructed their lawyer’s investigation, sealing up relevant information. The police also lied, saying that Zhan Hongmei had been politically active and was anti- Party and anti-society, that she was a political criminal.
The case of Zhan Hongmei being beaten to death by the police remains shelved to this day.