(Xinxiang, Henan—Dec. 20, 2019) Henan authorities have been making imprisoned pastor Zhang Shaojie take unknown medicine.
When Zhang’s family visited him on Dec. 13, they asked him to find a way to stop taking the pills. Zhang said the prison doctor told him he has high blood pressure and insisted he must take the medicine.
His mental state has deeply deteriorated, according to the family. He accused them of not caring for him, an act which is outside of his personality.
During their last visit, he blamed his wife for not sending the correct shoe size, even though she sent him the size he always wore. This caused the family to believe that officials tampered with his shoes.
Prison authorities often feed people targeted by the government unlabeled medication. Several attorneys who have served time behind bars for defending the rights of a client have been made to take similar medication, which resulted in health complications.
Zhang Shaojie served as the pastor of Nanle County Christian Church in Henan. On Nov. 16, 2013, officials took him into custody. They charged him with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” and fraud. Nearly eight months later, Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
Below, Zhang’s daughter, Zhang “Esther” Yunyun, describes her father’s ordeal