Prison officials denied cancer treatment for Shandong lay pastor’s wife


(Shandong – August 10, 2019) ChinaAid has learned prison officials failed to provide cancer treatment for the wife of a Shandong pastor while she was behind bars.

According to information, Pastor Zhou Dixian and wife Li Ruizhen served time in jail after being arrested for ‘inciting trouble’ while protecting their land rights.

Zhou Dixian’s daughter, Zhou Mei, says Li was diagnosed with a malignant gallbladder tumor but did not receive treatment from prison authorities.

Zhou Mei says family members did not receive information about the cancer. Earlier this month, she sent an application to Shandong Women’s Prison to request information pertaining to Li’s medical reports, diagnoses information, and treatment records.

She argues prison authorities are obliged to make the information available because Li was sent to a public security hospital for a medical examination after being sent to prison.

Zhou Mei points out her mother did not suffer from any illness before detention. Aside from the cancer diagnosis, she says Li’s mind and body suffered while being imprisoned.

Currently, according to Zhou Mei, Li is in Beijing seeking treatment and faces numerous medical issues. Her doctor recommends hospitalization for at least one month, but the family does not have enough funds for treatment. Instead, Li visits the outpatient department each day and then returns home to rest.

Zhou and Li were sentenced to prison back in October 2018 after their arrest by Laixi police in March 2017. Zhou and Li had spent years working to safeguard their land rights after an incident in November 2012.

Amid efforts by officials to build the Junzhou Hotel in Qingdao without having to pay out any compensation, more than 100 gangsters stormed Zhou’s home, took him and his wife away, and destroyed orchards and buildings on the property.

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