A CHRISTIAN died in Hunan province after police hung him by his ankles, beat him and refused him a doctor, according to a report by the United States-based News Network International (NNI). The victim, Zheng Musheng, was among 21 Protestants held on January 5 during a raid by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials on a prayer meeting in the village of Moyan, Dongkou county. While the others were later released, Christian sources said Zheng was falsely accused of raping 70 women and taken to the Huangni River PSB station in Shanmen district. NNI said it first learned of Zheng's fate in January from a letter sent by Hunan Christians to a Hong Kong church group, but published the news only after it had had confirmation from religious sources in China. According to NNI, prosecution of Christians in Hunan has been rampant and police have often arrested underground Christians for ''disturbing public order''. The letter said Zheng was beaten by three officers at the police station while other officials raided his home and seized all valuable belongings. Zheng was transferred to Dongkou County PSB Centre the following day and died as a result of his injuries. Throughout his detention, PSB officials refused to allow him medical attention. ''It was not until the eighth day after Zheng Musheng died that his family was notified,'' the letter said. ''When the family and friends went to view his body, they noticed there was a deep rope burn on his ankles, which proved he had been suspended from the air and beaten. ''There were many deep fingernail scars evident on his neck, and on his arms were countless knife wounds - cuts that covered a quarter of his arms.'' The letter said when family members asked how Zheng had died, the PSB officials claimed he had been beaten by other prisoners. Meanwhile, three Henan Christians who had been arrested for their association with American preacher Dennis Balcombe have been released, sources said. The three men - Zhang Yongliang, Tian Mingge and Zheng Xintai - were freed early this month.