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-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Lawyers meet with detained Shaanxi believers

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Xia Jun protests outside the Nanle County
Public Security Bureau about a different case
he is defending. (Photo: ChinaAid).
China Aid Association

Information in this report was collected by a ChinaAid reporter stationed in Hong Kong.

(Zizhou, Shaanxi—Jan. 16, 2014) The lawyers of three detained Christians in inland Shaanxi province were allowed to meet with their clients over the past week.

Lawyers Xia Jun and Liang Jiangzhou, who replaced the previous lawyers on the case, were allowed to visit their clients Zhang Baolin and Jiang Mao, respectively, on Tuesday. In addition, lawyer Lin Qilei was able to meet with his client, Feng Tiandong, on Jan. 8.

The three men have been detained since early December on charges of “organizing and using an evil cult organization to obstruct the law” (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2013/12/christian-father-detained-for-unknown.html, http://www.chinaaid.org/2013/12/families-of-detained-shaanxi-believers.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/public-security-bureau-submits-arrest.html).

Xia reported that police officers monitored the meetings, which were held separately. In their meeting, Jiang denied the charges against him, Xia said. Xia visited the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau after the meeting to negotiate the charges.

“I looked for the director of the [Zizhou County] Public Security Bureau and the head of Domestic Security Protection Squad, but they were not there… I left a letter for them. The letter’s rough idea is that I demand that they release the people by the Spring Festival [which begins on Jan. 31],” Xia said.

Jiang Mao
“I said they are innocent people, and I listed all the reasons for them being innocent. I wrote in the letter that if they can solve this problem, I won’t make the content of the letter public,” Xia said. “[Jiang’s] family’s opinion is that if they release the people now, they will no longer pursue the case.” Xia added that he would let “bygones be bygones” in the event that the detainees are released.

Liang declined to answer questions regarding the case or Zhang’s well-being, asking the reporter to wait until he could confer with Xia. However, Zhang’s wife, Han Haixia, told ChinaAid that Zhang’s health has diminished in the time he has been detained. “He doesn’t have very good food there. They punish him inside their facility. Since he was taken in, our family has spent more than 2,000 yuan (US$330),” Han said.

Han also said that all three lawyers have proposed posting bail pending trial.

On Dec. 24, 2011, Feng was holding a Christmas service in his home when more than 20 police officers entered the home and confiscated Feng’s property.

During the raid, several dozen believers were taken into custody. Fourteen of those believers were placed under administrative detention. Feng’s wife, Xue Yuxia, who was detained in the raid, and another believer, Liu Xingxing, were sentenced to 1-1/2 years in a re-education through labor camp for being members of a “cult.”

Feng Tiandong
Feng fled to another province, where he hid for almost two years to avoid being detained. It was after his return that a group of believers from Zhenzizhou Church, including Feng, a pastor at the church, Jiang and Zhang, visited the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau on Nov. 15, 2013, to retrieve the property that had been seized and to determine the Public Security Bureau’s reasoning for wanting to arrest Feng at the time of the raid.

Xia told ChinaAid that when the group arrived at the Public Security Bureau, the director tried to escape by climbing a wall. Group members caught the director and forced him back to the building. “The Public Security Bureau said that was assaulting a state employee, so they placed the three of them on criminal detention,” Xia said. So far, no assault charges have been filed.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Website: www.chinaaid.org