July 2017: There are fresh reports about Chinese prison authorities using offically santioned torture methods – including starvation and sleep deprivation – against imprisoned Christian leader Zhang Shaojie, 52, in Henen province, central China. On 7th July 2007, his sister, Zhang Cuijuan saw him and described him as “barely alive… [that he is]like a bag of bones” as a result of the prison’s “strict supervision”.
She said: “It’s painful to see such a good person being persecuted. I don’t know how long he can persist.” She added: “He was in a terrible mental state… He said that he is forbidden to sleep during ‘strict supervision’. He was depressed, and I had no way to help him.” He was convicted in July 2014 by a court in Henan province for fraud and “gathering crowds to disturb public order”.
The USCIRF 2015 report states that he “was convicted on trumped-up charges and sentenced to 12 years in prison”. China Aid said the authorities are trying “to cover up religious persecution with fabricated criminal charges against an innocent church leader”.