Zhang Shikui, male, born on September 16, 1954, lived in Shangqiu City of Henan Province and joined The Church of Almighty God in 2007. In 2012, Zhang Shikui was arrested by the CCP police for preaching the gospel and was kept in detention for over 40 days. During that time, he was subjected to cruel torture and was beaten by the other inmates, and he was physically and spiritually tormented. Upon his release, his condition went from bad to worse: He suffered from slow cognitive responses, his face wore a blank expression, health conditions from which he had previously recovered flared up again, and he was left almost paralyzed. The CCP, however, continued to harass and threaten him, people from his village discriminated against him, and his family kept him under close watch and tried to force him to give up his faith. All of this placed him under tremendous mental pressure, until finally he was driven to take his own life by ingesting pesticide.
Zhang had previously suffered from hemiplegia brought on by hyperlipidemia and hypertension. After undergoing treatment, he more or less recovered from these conditions and was able to walk normally, engage in daily activities, and go out to attend church gatherings and preach the gospel.
At around 9 a.m. on December 10, 2012, Zhang Shikui was preaching the gospel together with other Christians from the church on the Chengbeihuan Road in Ningling County, Shangqiu City, when they were surrounded and seized by agents from the Ningling County judicial agencies, police from the local police station, village cadres, and some hired local ruffians. Several of the policemen seized him by the hair, and pinned him down on the ground with his arms twisted behind his back. They surrounded him and began to punch and kick him, before forcibly taking him to the police station in Chengguan Town, Ningling County.
At around 6 p.m. that evening, police from the Ningling County Public Security Bureau (PSB), together with the Police Chief of Zhaocunxiang Township Police Station, searched Zhang’s home under the pretext that he had “created a disturbance by holding public gatherings.” They confiscated a bag containing some faith-related books and then took Zhang to the Ningling County Detention Center, where they kept him locked up for over 40 days. Around January 22, 2013, Zhang’s family managed to pull some strings and spent nearly 10,000 RMB (about 1,400 USD) before he was finally released.
During his time in the detention center, Zhang Shikui was subjected to over 40 days of torture and abuse, and he was physically and spiritually tormented. After he was released from the detention center, it became apparent that he was greatly changed from how he had been before his arrest. He took to always locking himself in his room and became unwilling to speak to his family. His health deteriorated, his cognitive responses were slow, and he wore a blank expression on his face. At only 58 years of age, he looked more like a man of 80, feeble and old, and the health conditions he had previously more or less recovered from flared up once more.
According to Zhang’s own account before he died, while he was in the detention center, the police forced him to sit on a tiger chair, they washed him by throwing freezing water over him every day, and they incited the other inmates to beat him up. He was not permitted a blanket at nighttime and would become so cold that he would shiver uncontrollably, and could only huddle in the corner of the cell.