Aili Zhang

Name: Aili Zhang   

Country/Area of Origin: Shengli Oilfield, Dongying City, Shandong Province, China  

Background: Female, 65 years old, worked as a nurse at Shengli Oilfield Central Hospital before retiring. Her son, Yi Zhang, currently resides in Flushing, New York City.

From May 16 to May 26 in 2017, Ms. Zhang was detained by the Binhai Public Security Bureau’s Shengli Police Department. After being released from the detention center on May 27, she was immediately taken to the Jishu Brainwashing Center at the Shengli Oil Field and was detained there for the next 20 days.

On November 16, 2017, Ms. Zhang was again arrested and detained in the Jishu Brainwashing Center at the Shengli Oil Field until being released 45 days later on December 29, 2017. The police also threatened her verbally, saying that they would surely arrest her son, Yi Zhang, once he returns to China. They also forced Ms. Zhang to turn over 20,000 yuan (about 2,973 USD) to her workplace as a guarantee that she would not cause any so-called “trouble” for three years.

Reason for Arrest:

On November 25th, 2018, Aili Zhang was arrested by officers from the Domestic Security Protection Bureau (a department of the Ministry of Public Security that specifically deals with dissidents, activists, etc.) and was detained at the Dongying City Detention Center. On December 29th, 2018, she was officially charged with “organizing and utilizing a cult organization to destroy national law enforcement.”

Latest Updates:

  • According to a call on March 17, 2019 with Ms. Zhang’s son, a lawyer met with Ms. Zhang a few days prior. Ms. Zhang’s file is currently being sent from the public security bureau to the procuratorate. Ms. Zhang is able to do some exercises in the detention center and does not have to perform labor work due to her age.
  • On December 24, 2019, Zhang Aili was sentenced by Dongying District Court to a two-year-ten-month prison sentence and a fine of 8,000 yuan.