The Case of Zhang Mengling, a Christian From The Church of Almighty God Persecuted to Death by the CCP Government

The Church of Almighty God (CAG) Christian Mr. Zhang Mengling was unlawfully arrested, tortured and imprisoned by the CCP police for believing in God and preaching the gospel. During incarceration, he was denied medical attention when he fell seriously ill. Less than five months after being released from prison, he died of illness at the age of 53.

Mr. Zhang Mengling (alias Zhou Ping), born in 1963, was a native of Siyangzhai Village, Taiqinggong Town, Luyi County, Zhoukou City, Henan Province. He started believing in the Lord Jesus in 1993, and accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days in 1999. He was an honest and dutiful person who loved to help people. When he was alive, he was happy to witness for God and preach the gospel.

In August 2012, Zhang Mengling went to preach the gospel in Sichuan Province.

On April 2, 2013, at about 7 p.m., when Zhang was at the home of Christian Wang Zhongzhi (alias, male) in Beishan Village, Hualong Sub-district Office, Shuanghe Town, Huaying City, Sichuan Province, nine policemen broke into the house, arrested Zhang and conducted a search on the premises, confiscating books about believing in God, evangelical materials, two SD cards, mobile phones, etc. Immediately after, the police handcuffed Zhang and brought him along with Wang Zhongzhi to the Huaying City Public Security Bureau.

On arrival at the Huaying City Public Security Bureau, the police ordered Zhang to sit on an iron chair and cuffed his hands and feet inside the iron rings on the upper and lower parts of the iron chair. The city’s state security brigade policeman Hu Yong and policeman Deng Jie (both male in their 30s with Deng Jie being the captain of the traffic police brigade and Hu Yong a regular policeman) interrogated Zhang twice without success.

On April 3, Hu Yong and Deng Jie escorted Zhang to the forced conversion base in Wusheng County, Sichuan Province.

During that period, Hu Yong and Deng Jie slapped Zhang on the face, gave him a punch in the chest and cuffed his hands asymmetrically behind his back. They interrogated Zhang four times, including questioning him about the number of people Zhang had preached the gospel to in Sichuan, who those people were, where they lived, and how to contact them. Zhang refused to answer.

When Hu Yong and Deng Jie saw that they could not get any information from Zhang, they dragged him to an iron chair, restrained his feet in shackles, and tightly cuffed his hands behind the back of the chair with a pair of handcuffs. The handcuffs sank deeply into his flesh, causing Zhang’s fingers to swell rigidly and unable to bend. His feet were so swollen that he could not put on shoes.

Zhang was cuffed on the iron chair for more than half a month, during which the police did not let him sleep. His body was extremely debilitated.

Deng Jie threatened Zhang, “As long as you tell us the names of the people here that you have preached to, how to contact them, who your leaders are, we will immediately let you go home. If you keep refusing to tell us, your suffering will be even greater!” Hu Yong also threatened Zhang, “You don’t have to speak. But I tell you, even with zero confession, you’ll still be sentenced!”

On the afternoon of May 10, Hu Yong and Deng Jie transferred Zhang to the Huaying City Detention Center, confining him in No. 21 cell.

On June 14, Zhang was formally arrested and transferred to No. 15 prison cell on the same day. In the prison, he mopped the floor, cleaned the toilets and so on every day. He was hungry all day long. For breakfast, he was only given a dilute rice soup so thin that he could see his own shadow in it. Both lunch and dinner were a small scoop of steamed rice with a spoonful of vegetable consisting of a few leaves and mostly water. Zhang was often dizzy from hunger. When the conditions were serious, he could not get up, and he needed two people to carry him to the toilet. Even so, he still had to be on work duties for two hours every night. One night, Zhang passed out while on duty. He was unconscious for more than four hours before coming to.

On September 9, the Huaying City Court heard Zhang’s case. Zhang refused to admit that his belief in God was against the law. No sentence was imposed on that day.

On November 18, 2013, Zhang was taken outside the gate of the Huaying City Detention Center. A policeman read out the verdict to him directly: Pursuant to Article 300 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang Mengling is sentenced to three years in prison on the charge of “sabotaging the implementation of the laws by utilizing evil religious organizations.”

On December 18, Zhang was sent to the Jiazhou Prison’s Fifth Prison Unit in Leshan City, Sichuan Province for imprisonment and labor reform. During the period of labor reform, Zhang not only had to endure heavy labor, he also suffered from the verbal abuse of prison guards, which exacerbated his illness. On one occasion, he collapsed after a surge of blood pressure. He was sent to the hospital where he stayed unconscious for 24 hours. When he regained consciousness, he was taken back to work by prison guards.

When Zhang’s wife learned about his conditions, she sent medication to him. However, the prison did not allow medicine sent from outside the prison. His family could only send money for him to buy drugs to control the disease. A total of 15,000 RMB was sent in three years. During that period, his family had visited him twice. He had obviously lost much weight and aged a lot.

On May 9, 2016, Zhang was released upon completing his sentence.

On that day, Zhang’s wife, son and village party secretary picked him up from prison. On the way home, Zhang’s blood pressure was so high that he could not walk. Dizziness caused him to vomit three times in the taxi. He stayed on medication after returning home, but his blood pressure never dropped.

On September 22, Zhang suffered a cerebral vascular rupture (cerebral aneurysm) due to high blood pressure. He was sent to the First People’s Hospital of Shangqiu City for emergency treatment. Since medical treatment was ineffective and he died on October 5, 2016.