Zhang Meijuan (alias), a female born in 1973, was a resident of Zhejiang Province. She was a Christian from The Church of Almighty God (CAG). Because of her faith, she was arrested and detained by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in July 2017. During her custody, she was subjected to mistreatment including having to take cold showers for prolonged periods of time, which led her to develop lung disease and persistent cough. Due to the police’s disregard of her health and the grim conditions in the detention center, her cough deteriorated rapidly into advanced lung cancer, which caused her terrible agony. On November 8, 2019, she passed away in grievance at 46 years old.
Based on Zhang Meijuan’s description when she was alive, she was arrested by police officers of local national security brigade on the afternoon of July 2, 2017, with one cellphone and two computers confiscated from her home.
In August 2017, police officers with the city’s public security bureau arrested Zhang Meijuan on suspicion of using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law and detained her in the city’s detention center.
In the detention center, detainees have to take cold showers year-round and consequently, Zhang Meijuan caught a cold, starting to have persistent cough. In March 2019, she felt squeezing in her chest and unbearable pain all over her body. But the police denied her access to medical examination, only allowing her to take painkillers. The detention center is in horrifying conditions and Zhang Meijuan suffered long-term malnutrition. The police officers often scolded her and forbade her to speak freely. This made her feel very oppressed.
In April 2018, a court held Zhang Meijuan’s trial and didn’t issue the ruling until May 2019. She was sentenced to imprisonment of three years and six months and a fine of 100,000 RMB (about 15,000 USD) on a charge of using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law. From the beginning of her trial until her sentence, the court didn’t notify her family members.
On August 28, 2019, Zhang Meijuan was taken to a prison to serve her sentence. The next day, her husband received a call from a prison guard, who pressed him for payment of the fine without saying a single word about her condition.
Afterward, Zhang Meijuan’s condition continued to deteriorate. It was not until September 10 that the prison took her to a local cancer hospital for examination. She was diagnosed as having advanced lung cancer and taken to a prison hospital. Although she was seriously ill, she still was not released.
On September 14, Zhang Meijuan’s family finally saw her in the prison hospital. At that time, she was confined to her bed with a serious illness and was still under guard by two officers and surveillance even in the bathroom. Her son missed her so much and wanted to visit her. But the police refused his request on the excuse that he was under 18.
According to her family, Zhang Meijuan was originally in good health and rarely had a cold. Simply because of her faith, she was detained and suffered constant abuse, which directly caused her lung cancer. Seeing her tortured by illness, her family felt heartbroken.
On September 18, Zhang Meijuan was in critical condition because the malignant tumors had spread to multiple organs. With no other choice, the CCP released her on medical parole and she was sent to a local cancer hospital the same night. Her family questioned the prison guards indignantly, “She was fit as a fiddle before imprisonment. Why did you tell us her condition so late? Why didn’t we get any notification for her trial? Where is the verdict?” (Zhang Meijuan’s family didn’t receive her ruling until the beginning of October)
Because the lung cancer had spread throughout the body, Zhang Meijuan, who was ravaged by the torment and paralyzed on her right side, was in and out of consciousness during her hospitalization. On October 18, she got a fever with her heart rate reaching over 160 beats per minute. Her right eye was obviously bigger than her left eye and she raved from time to time. Any effort to turn her over would make her groan with pain. Because she had been bedridden for a long time, the skin over her tailbones became infected.
At 11:03 a.m. on November 8, Zhang Meijuan died in agony caused by cancer exacerbation. She was 46.