China Aid Association
(Linfen, Shanxi province – May 25, 2011) One of the 10 house church Christians sentenced in late 2009 to jail and labor camp terms related to the government suppression of a vast house church network based in Shanxi province has been released on medical parole due to her seriously deteriorating health, church sources told ChinaAid.
Yang Caizhen, whose husband was one of the senior leaders of the Linfen Church, was transferred in February from a prison hospital to a local hospital where test results showed her to be in seriously declining health. Due to the high cost of long-term hospitalization at the prison’s expense, the prison director decided to release her into her family’s care at their own expense. Ms. Yang is now at home, being cared for by her mother, brother and sister-in-law.
Yang, formerly a medical doctor, was given an extra-judicial two-year re-education-through-labor term which she was serving at the Shanxi Women’s Prison in the capital city of Taiyuan. She is the wife of Yang Xuan, who has served as a pastor for the churches in Linfen since 1994, shortly after the churches split from the government’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement. (More details about the couple and their ministry is available here: http://www.helplinfen.com/2011/04/daughter-of-linfen-prisoners-appeal.html.)
Yang Caizhen’s health problems no doubt were related to the heavy work demands imposed on her by the labor camp. She was forced to work every day from 6 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m., for which she received the equivalent of $20 per month, with 77 cents for medical care and $1.38 for pocket money.
In February, Yang began to feel ill, started to run a high fever and complained of pain throughout her body. The prison clinic gave her a course of antibiotics, and two days later, the fever was gone. But she had no appetite and then experienced recurring fever that did not respond to three days of antibiotic drip in the prison hospital. She was transferred to an outside hospital, where a chest x-ray and test results from routine blood work showed her to be in poor health, including a high fever and liver inflammation. Treatment would require long-term hospitalization.
When she was released into her brother’s care three days later, Yang was barely able to speak. After paying her hospital bill, which the prison did not pay, her brother transferred Yang to a hospital in Xi’an, nine hours’ drive away. When they arrived, doctors there said her condition was so serious that any further delay in treatment might have resulted in her death.
Yang remained hospitalized for more than two weeks before going home.