Zhang Shaojie, a pastor in China, has served almost four years of a 12-year sentence at Xinxiang Prison of Henan Province. Shaojie has endured various methods of torture, including starvation and sleep deprivation, causing him to go into a deep depression. He is barely alive, suffering physically and mentally. Shaojie’s daughter, Esther Zhang (her English name) lives in America where she is desperately advocating for her father. Esther explained that her father filed for an appeal, but was denied because he would not plead guilty. Shaojie has very little contact to his daughter and the rest of his family. Under “strict supervision”, family members are permitted to visit Shaojie once a month for 30 minutes. However, if Shaojie’s case or conditions in the prison are discussed, the family has to leave immediately.
06/26/2017 China (China Aid) – An imprisoned Christian pastor is struggling to stay alive after his prison was ordered to torture him using various methods, including starvation and sleep deprivation, ChinaAid learned recently.
Zhang Huixin, who currently lives in America under her English name, Esther Zhang, sent ChinaAid a desperate appeal on behalf of her father, Nanle County Church pastor Zhang Shaojie. He has been in Xinxiang Prison of Henan Province for almost four years, serving a 12-year sentence.
Nanle County Church was an officially sanctioned branch of China’s government-run Protestant Churches, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Zhang Shaojie was one of the first Three-Self pastors to be sentenced like this since the time of the Cultural Revolution.
When Zhang Shaojie’s church became involved in a land dispute with the county government in 2013, he led a group of Christians to Beijing to file a petition. The trip angered local officials, who conspired to have him detained on November 16, 2013 and eventually charged him with “swindling” and “assembling a crowd to disrupt the public order” on July 4, 2014.
Recently, after an unsuccessful attempt to appeal his sentence in August 2014, Zhang Shaojie began the appeal process again, a move which brought the wrath of his prison down upon him.
“My father applied to file an appeal,” Esther Zhang said, “but the government officials said that they would not process the appeal unless he would plead guilty. They are treating him harshly in order to bend him.”