In March 2012, a tragedy occurred when a Christian from The Church of Almighty God was arrested and secretly murdered because of helping his fellow Christians to buy and exchange electronic goods.
Victim Mr. Ye Aizhong, 42 years old, was from Yuelai Town, Shuyang County, Suqian City, Jiangsu Province. He joined The Church of Almighty God in 1999 and had been a preacher in the Church before his murder. Below is the full story of Ye Aizhong’s arrest and brutal murder at the hands of the Chinese police.
Killed After Arrest at Computer City
Sources have said that Ye Aizhong was a warmhearted man who loved helping others. He had attracted the attention of the Chinese police because he often helped other Christians buy and exchange MP5 players used for listening to hymns and sermons.
At a little past 8:00 a.m. on March 26, 2012, Ye Aizhong and another Christian from the same town, a 48-year-old man with the surname Feng, went to Shuyang County Computer City to help Christians have their MP5 players repaired. The two men were arrested outside the Computer City by two plainclothes policemen (who were about 30 years old) from the Nanguan Police Station in Shuyang County. Without presenting any official credentials, the policemen bundled Ye and Feng into a black car and, their eyes blindfolded, took them to the Shuyang County Detention Center. They also took an MP5 player and RMB 5,000 belonging to Ye Aizhong.
At the detention center, in attempt to force them to provide information about the inner workings of the Church and the church money, the police denied Ye and Feng anything to eat or drink for two days and a night.
At around 10:00 p.m. on March 27, the policemen took the two men to the second floor of the Shuyang County Public Security Bureau’s Crime Squad, where they were interrogated separately. According to Feng, three pairs of policemen took turns at interrogating them throughout the day. The policemen repeatedly struck them with electric batons on their chest, shoulders, back, waist and feet, ultimately causing Feng to feel numb all over and lose consciousness. Soon after, another group of officers ordered Feng to sit on the 26 floor with his legs sticking straight out. They then placed an unelectrified baton across his legs and stomped to and fro on it for a full half hour, leaving the skin raw and bleeding. Afterwards, they used electric batons to deliver electric shocks to Feng’s head until he fainted. When he regained consciousness, they wouldn’t let him close his eyes; as soon as he did, he was beaten or shocked with an electric baton. This carried on until 4:00 a.m.
While Feng was being tortured, the officers took the electrified chair from the room he was in to the adjoining one, where Ye Aizhong was being held. Soon after, there came the sound of Ye’s excruciating screams. His cries of agony lasted for an hour or so, after which they gradually died down.
On the evening of March 28, Feng—who was chained to a chair at the time—vaguely heard, from the room where Ye was being detained, the sound of the police officers interrogating and beating him, and his screams of pain.
At daybreak on March 29, the police took Feng outside. As he passed the doorway to the room where Ye was being held, Feng saw him sitting motionless in the electrified chair, his head hanging down. Feng called out to him twice, but Ye gave no response. The same day, the police took Feng to the Shuyang County Detention Center and detained him there for 15 days on the charge of “suspicion of using superstition to undermine the law.”
On March 30, the officers from the Shuyang County Public Security Bureau’s Crime Squad informed Ye’s family that he had died on March 29. Despite their grief, one of Ye’s younger brothers tried to reason with the police after hearing this terrible news, saying that Ye had not been breaking the law by believing in Almighty God—so why had he been arrested and beaten to death? “He wasn’t beaten to death!” An officer in his thirties replied with conviction, “He fell ill and died after being given a blood test!” When Ye’s family asked the police for a diagnosis from the hospital, the police were evasive and incapable of producing anything. This increased suspicions among Ye’s family that he had been beaten and tortured to death by the police, because his family knew that Ye had never suffered ill health; how could he suddenly die because of a blood test? It led to an impasse between the two sides.
To Cover Up Their Evildoing, the Police Forced Ye’s Family to Sign a Disclaimer
Afraid of the negative consequences if the incident became widely-known, the police threatened Ye Aizhong’s family, saying, “Sign this or we won’t let you see his body.” They also threatened several of Ye’s cousins and relatives who operated timber factories, saying that their factories would be closed and they’d be put in prison if they tried to protest on 27 Ye’s behalf. Under this pressure, Ye Aizhong’s family had no choice but to give in and sign the disclaimer tearfully.
They weren’t allowed to see his remains until April 5th. The sight of Ye, who had always been so lively and active when alive, lying unmoving in a yellow body bag in the funeral home, covered in welts, not a single part of his body unblemished by signs of injury, filled his family with intense grief and indignation. They couldn’t stop themselves from crying out with heart-rending sobs of anguish.
At about 12:00 noon on that day, the remains of Ye Aizhong were cremated in the Shuyang County Funeral Home. His ashes were brought back by his family and buried in his family’s cemetery.