Two Chinese human rights lawyers imprisoned for "subverting state power" have suffered horrific torture at the hands of authorities, including electrocution.
According to persecution watchdog China Aid, Wang Qiaoling, the wife of incarcerated human rights attorney Li Heping, confirmed that her husband and another lawyer, Wang Quanzhang, had been tortured using various methods, including electric batons, during their first six months in prison.
Due to the extreme nature of the torture, Li fainted several times, his wife told the outlet.
China Aid, which has been documenting abuses against Christian churches, pastors, activists, and human rights lawyers, earlier reported that Li, a Christian defense attorney who used his career to protect those targeted by the Communist Party, vanished into police custody in 2015. At the time, he was taken from his home as part of a nationwide round-up of human rights lawyers. He was formally arrested on Jan. 20, 2016, on suspicion of "subverting state power" and is incarcerated at the Tianjin Municipal Detention Center No.1.
According to The Guardian, a Chinese security agent once told him, in the eyes of Beijing Li had become "more dangerous than Bin Laden". Since Li's imprisonment, authorities have provided his family with little information, according to the South China Morning Post.
Chinese Human Rights Defenders reports that Wang, a lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing, was taken into police custody in 2015 after going into hiding when a nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers. In an article, Xinhua state media accused Wang's firm of running a "criminal syndicate" and serving as a platform for masterminding serious illegal activities to incite "social disorder" and gain "profits." Wang was arrested for "subversion of state power" in January of 2016, and also transferred to Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center.
Christian lawyers, human rights activists, pastors and churchgoers have all suffered as a result of the Communist Party's ongoing crackdown.
As earlier reported, Li Heping's younger brother, Li Chunfu, Christian human rights lawyer who was recently released by government authorities after being detained for 18 months in a jail cell, is suffering from severe psychological and physical trauma. Since returning home, he was shown signs of schizophrenia and was reportedly drugged and tortured by prison guards during his incarceration.
"Last night he was saying that he felt like insects were biting his body inside, that his heart had been eaten away by bugs bit by bit, and there wasn't much of it left," Li's wife said about her husband's mental state.
The report added: "Li Chunfu is still in a state of terror and confusion. When he saw his wife making a phone call, he shot his arm out and gripped her tight around the neck, growling: 'Who are you calling?! You want to harm me!'"
China is ranked 39th on Open Door USA's World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution.