Nanle County pastor’s daughter violently thrown out of US Embassy in Beijing

Zhang Yunyun and baby Jesse in November 2014. (Photo:

China Aid Association

(Beijing—April 26, 2014) China Aid learned early Friday of an incident involving Zhang “Yunyun” Huixin, the oldest daughter of the detained Nanle County Christian Church pastor Zhang Shaojie, at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Details were limited, but Zhang Yunyun has written an account, below, of the events that occurred as she tried to obtain visas to travel to the U.S. for herself, her husband and the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Jesse. The events that unfolded left Zhang Yunyun hospitalized.

Edited and translated for clarity by China Aid Association

The whole story of the violent incident at U.S. Embassy on April 24

On April 10, my husband and I took our one-year-old daughter with us and left home for Beijing. We made an appointment with Mr. Dai Denian and Mr. Piao Zhongren, human rights secretaries at the U.S. Embassy, to talk about issues concerning our tourist visas to the U.S. This is because the situation I’m in is very precarious! Nanle County Public Security Bureau wrongfully accused me of colliding with a police vehicle. They took away my vehicle and may even arrest me.

In Beijing, we first stayed in the home of some friends, and we were stalked there. After I met with Mr. Dai and Mr. Piao, they didn’t give me a clear answer on the visa issue. My husband was invited by some people in Singapore to receive medical treatment there. He left Beijing and tried to go to Singapore. However, during the check at the border, he was barred from leaving the country on the reason that he may do harm to the security of the state. He stayed in Guangdong.

My friend no longer dared to let me stay at his place, so I went to live in a small hotel using someone else’s ID card. Because of this, I became more fearful than ever! I asked a visa agency to help me make an appointment for a visa at 10 a.m. on April 24, and I paid a fee of 1,000 yuan (US$160).

Mr. Piao called me and said he wanted me to come on April 25 for an interview. I decided to go to the embassy according to the scheduled appointment for the visa (on April 24), and if I had any problems at that time, I would talk with Mr. Piao. Little did I expect that my daughter and I would be driven away from the embassy with violence.

In the early morning, my friend brought my luggage, and after he saw me enter the visa section of the U.S. Embassy, he waited for me outside. After I went in, no one let me stand in the line because I was carrying my child. I easily went to stand at the first pass.

I was to submit the appointment sheet. The woman who received the appointment sheet didn’t think my baby was cute and lovely. She blamed me for not leaving the baby at home and for causing trouble here. I told her I have an important thing for which I would like to see the consul. She told me to go to the next window.

After I passed the passport number, I came to Window 14. I told the visa consul the purpose of my visit, and that what I wanted wasn’t only the visa because I wouldn’t be able to pass through customs with just the visa. I asked her if she could help me. Twice, she rejected my requests and said she couldn’t help me there. When I requested to see Mr. Dai and Mr. Piao, she allowed me to wait in the lobby. After I waited for almost two hours, an employee came and took me to room on the second floor that is for individual interviews. First of all, a woman came in and gave me a form for basic information and five questions. The first two questions were something about spying and doing harm to U.S. citizens. I didn’t understand these two questions, so I didn’t write anything there.

While I was filling in the form, we chatted. I told her that I was in a very dangerous situation, and I begged her to help me. I also told her that if I went out from here today, I would probably be imprisoned. She asked me where my husband was. I said my husband had tried to go to Singapore, but he was barred from going there on the reason that he would endanger the state. Therefore, neither I nor the baby can go to any country. Someone told me that the U.S. Embassy could help me. That’s why I came here. She asked me with a little anger whether I wanted to go to America or Singapore. I said I would like to go to the free America. She said someone would come to talk with me in a while.

I again waited for a while in the room. Now, it was already 12:30 in the afternoon. My baby was sleepy and hungry. In this little room, I lulled the baby to sleep. As soon as the baby went to sleep, an American male consul entered and talked in a loud voice. I turned around and told him the baby had just gone to sleep. When he saw it, he smiled and said sorry. We sat down face to face, but he was all serious and told me my mother needed someone to take care of her, and since the Shanghai Consulate had rejected my visa, I should go back to the Shanghai Consulate and that I should not have come to Beijing. He asked me to leave.

I answered: My mother indeed needs someone to take care of her as she is not very well in health. However, she said to her daughter she loves to go as soon as possible and the further away from China the better. I felt very bad about it and said the reason why I came to the embassy is not for the visa, but for protection for myself and my baby.

The visa consul told me that each day there are too many people who need help and that if everyone does as I did, they wouldn’t be able to work. I cried for a while. I had a statement of testimonies about my family that my father wrote in English. I gave it to him and after he read the topic and the last page, he threw it out.

Then, he called the security guards and told them to get me out of the room. He said if I didn’t go, he would call the chief security guard. After the security guards entered the room, they asked me to leave. I briefly told them my short experience. I saw he wouldn’t have the heart to further persecute me. He went out and came back with the chief security guard. The chief came in and seemed to be used to this kind of thing. He asked the security guard how someone like me could get into the room. Then, he said I’m a selfish person and that I had cost so much time from so many people just because of my own issue. Because of my case, he had canceled many appointments. I said I was not making a noise or disturbances and that I just wanted to get some help. He said if I didn’t go, he would hand me to the Chinese police.

Then, he got impatient and brought a woman staff member. There outside the door, they planned how to deal with me. After that, the woman grabbed the baby from my bosom, and the baby was so scared that it cried loudly. Then, several male security guards grabbed my arms, pinned my head and neck, and took me by force out of the embassy. Since it hurt a lot, I was struggling all the way, and I begged them to be soft with me. While I was struggling, my head hit something. By the time they grabbed me by the arm and threw me out of the door, I had completely lost consciousness and passed out at the gate of the U.S. Embassy.

According to passers-by, they threw me out and put my baby on my side. Then, my baby hugged me and cried. A woman who was waiting for the visa application there saw this and came up to take care of the baby for me. She looked for people who could help me and then she found three phone numbers in my document bag. They were the numbers of the embassy employees, Piao Zhongren and Dai Denian, and the phone number of the friend who brought me to the embassy.

She called the numbers. The two embassy employees were not in the embassy, so they didn’t come to the scene. When my friend learned I had passed out, he came over and found I was seriously injured, and there were police officers all around me. He really couldn’t help me, so he called for more help.

After the police called and brought over an ambulance, the ambulance people woke me up and I didn’t know what had happened or where I was or why I was lying on the floor. Besides, I had a severe headache. I couldn’t hold the baby at my bosom as my arms had been twisted from behind. I completely lost sensations in my left leg and there was a pain in my eyes. I begged the doctor to rescue me. Since the doctor didn’t have family members and I didn’t have money, he was not willing to help me. After they called the leaders at the scene, they brought me to a hospital.

On our way to the hospital, it was a bumpy ride, and I had a severe headache, so I passed out again. However, I was clear-minded and I tried with all my efforts to wake up. However, I could only move my fingers and none of them saw it. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctor saw me and asked me what had happened, who I was, and how old I was. I didn’t remember these at all. When I saw the first-aid equipment, they only reminded me of the surgical operation I had on the leg when I was 17. I also clearly remembered the doctor who treated me is Sun Shui. Other than that, I didn’t remember anything.

Then, the doctor did a CT on my brain and said there was nothing wrong there. I cried loudly and was very fearful because I couldn’t recollect anything before this because of my headache. They said they didn’t know what had happened before this, so they put me on observation and wouldn’t do further tests on me. Nor did they give me any medications. When they took turns to eat their meals, no one thought of me, the mother who was nursing a baby. I lay in bed groaning. Because of a severe headache, I vomited several times. They all said I should be OK after a while.

When I was conscious and certain that I was clear-minded, I looked at my watch, and it was 5:30 p.m. However, deep in my heart, I thought it was only 1-2 p.m. I realized that when I was not clear-minded, I was only conscious of pains and lost the concept of time.

When the police saw I had recovered a lot and my eyes looked differently now, they asked me what had happened in the U.S. Embassy and whether I could tell the story in details. They also asked me whether something had happened in my family. For all these questions, I said I don’t remember. They looked at the items in my bag and saw a Bible. They looked at the photos in the Bible and asked me who the people in the photos were. Besides myself and my father, I answered that I didn’t recognize other people.

When he saw he couldn’t get my answers and that we couldn’t continue to stay in the hospital, he wanted me to leave. I said I would like to borrow a cell phone from them, and they all said it was not convenient for them to lend me a cell phone. Finally, the police officer gave me 1.5 yuan (US$0.25) and told me to make a call on a public phone.

Later, I saw Piao Zhongren, the employee from the embassy. He bought a big loaf of bread for me and two bottles of fruit juice! This was the best bread I’ve ever eaten in my life.

He told me he wanted me to get a hotel room using my own ID and not to be afraid as they would help me. So I did as he instructed me. Since the time I went into the hotel until four o’clock in the morning, there were five power outages and I couldn’t make normal calls with my cell phone.

The experience of this day is the most terrible day my baby and I have experienced in our lives. I never thought that such persecution would come from the U.S. Embassy. When the Nanle County government tried to arrest me, I fled, and they didn’t pursue me to the end. When they interrogated me through the night, they didn’t take my baby from me.

Such a terrible thing that I thought could only happen in Nanle County happened in the U.S. Embassy in China. Now, after this day’s experience, my baby only has a sense of security when she sleeps touching my skin.

I still have a headache. Yet, compared with the pain right after I hit my head, it’s much better. Now, I can remember things clearly. However, there is numbness in my wrist and ankle. After a day of torture and sufferings, I’m still nervous and can’t go to sleep. There is a big swelling in my right arm, and there is still pain in the back of my hand from where it was run over by a foldable door.

Zhang “Yunyun” Huixin (Yunyun)

Written on April 25

China Aid Contacts

Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Scroll to Top