Shanxi Christian Subjected to Forced Indoctrination, Burning, Scalding and Sexual Abuse by Police

Zhao Liang (alias), male, 20, a resident of Shanxi Province, is a member of The Church of Almighty God (CAG). In May 2014, Zhao Liang was surrounded and seized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police on his way to a church meeting venue. He was then taken to a transformation through education base of the Provincial Prevention Office (the Office of the Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Xie Jiao, also known as 610 office) for secret interrogations. To extract information about the church and his personal data, the captain of the local National Security Brigade Cheng Fei used cigarette butts to burn his index finger, nipples and genitals, poured four pots of boiling water on his body, and even went as far as to pour boiling water on his genitals. As a result, all skin was scalded off his private parts, and his whole body was covered in blood blisters. He was later assessed as having suffered moderate burns by the hospital.

Below are the details of the persecution Zhao Liang suffered at the hands of the CCP police:

At 8 a.m. on May 26, 2014, Zhao Liang had just walked into a meeting venue in Taiyuan City when he was besieged and arrested by Chief Wang of the local National Security Brigade, and 7 officers from the local criminal police brigade, the national security brigade and police station. Accused of having no identification card, Zhao Liang was forcibly taken to a local police station. Around 4 p.m. the same day, he was then transferred to a transformation through education base of the Shanxi Provincial 610 Office.

In the ensuing three days, the captain and deputy-captain of the criminal police brigade with two tutors questioned Zhao Liang on his personal information as well as information on the Church, and indoctrinated him with heretical fallacies which distort the truth.

May 29 around midday, Captain Cheng Fei of the National Security Brigade in Shanxi’s Yuncheng City interrogated Zhao Liang. He gave Zhao paper and a pen, asking him to write down his name and home address. Zhao Liang refused for fear of causing trouble to other CAG Christians. Cheng Fei then ordered Zhao Liang to stretch out his hand, flicked cigarette ash on his palm and then stubbed out the burning butt on the root of his index finger, which made Zhao break out in a cold sweat from the intense pain and resulted in a blister. The torture didn’t stop until Zhao Liang told them his home address.

At noon the next day, Cheng Fei played videos discrediting the CAG for Zhao Liang and forced him to write down his impressions. At around 9 p.m., Cheng Fei saw that what Zhao wrote was to testify to God, then the beast in him was released. He viciously gave Zhao slaps in the face, repeatedly yanked him up and threw him down. He then forced him to strip naked, and poured two glasses of boiling water down his belly without stopping. As if this was not enough, he asked a tutor to boil a pot of water, sneered and threatened Zhao, “Humph, I’ll let you taste a shower of 100℃ (212ºF) boiling water.” While waiting for water to boil, Cheng asked the two tutors to press Zhao Liang on the bed, burned his nipples with the butt, which even caused smoke, and then burned his genitals, trying to pry out of Zhao information on the Church. Zhao felt an excruciating pain that made him tremble all over and drip with sweat. After a tutor fetched the pot with boiling water, Cheng Fei forced Zhao Liang to stand by the bed and pressed the spout against his body. Seeing that Zhao was still unwilling to confess, Cheng Fei held his genitals and poured three consecutive glasses of boiling water over them. Zhao Liang immediately felt a sharp pain as if countless needles were jabbed into his flesh, and the unbearable pain made him scream involuntarily. The skin of his genitals was all scalded off with liquid dripping down, and his whole body twitched and trembled continuously. Disregarding all of these, Cheng Fei more frantically poured glasses of boiling water over Zhao’s body. When the water was used up, he asked the tutors to boil more. When four pots of boiling water were all used up, Zhao Liang’s whole body had been covered with blood blisters of different sizes. Some blisters were as big as an apple, even the smallest ones were not smaller than an egg. The sight was so horrible that even the two tutors present were unbearable to witness. Zhao Liang said nothing till the end of torture.

On the morning of May 31, after seeing that Zhao Liang was injured so seriously and might die in custody, a section chief of the local Prevention Office was afraid of being held responsibility and had to send him to Taiyuan Iron and Steel General Hospital for treatment. He threatened Zhao Liang, “If the doctor asks about the causes of your burns and scalds, you just tell them you broke a flask and got burned. If you say something wrong, you should know the consequences.” The medical examination classified his burns as moderate and concluded that he would die if not hospitalized for treatment. However, the police authorities refused to have him hospitalized lest he get in contact with other people to have the truth of their brutality exposed, only promising to take him to the hospital every day to have the dressings changed.

Half a month later, when Zhao Liang had not recovered from the burns and scalds, the police arranged for eight people, including a postgraduate in psychology, a university professor in the philosophy of materialism, a pastor and a university lecturer, to indoctrinate Zhao Liang with atheism, materialism and other philosophies and ideologies. They forced him to watch videos that discredit the CAG and told him to speak blasphemous words. The forced indoctrination lasted up to two months with a stick and carrot approach but was ultimately unsuccessful.

On August 1, 2014, Zhao Liang was released.

It is learned that Zhao Liang was kept under surveillance by the police after release and had no freedom. He was required to present himself at the local police station every week for an “ideological report” and be available on demand 24 hours a day. One month later, the village secretary visited his house to warn and threaten him not to believe in Almighty God any longer.