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Update: Detained Beijing Christian meets with lawyer

Monday, February 17, 2014

Xu, left, with the rest of the group on their way to visit Zhang.
(Photo: ChinaAid)
China Aid Association

(Beijing—Feb. 17, 2014) A lawyer representing one of 13 detained Beijing Christians was able to meet with his client on Tuesday, after 2-1/2 weeks of detainment.

Liang Xiaojun met with Xu Yonghai at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Detention Center where the detainees were transferred to after being initially detained in Liyuan Police Station in the Tongzhou District of Beijing on Jan. 24 (http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/beijing-christians-detained-during.html).

The believers have been charged with “holding an illegal assembly.”

Liang said that Xu has been fasting and praying since he was detained, but that Xu remains in good spirits.

Liang also said that Xu denied the charges against him. Xu told Liang that the group visited Zhang Wenhe, who was suffering from heart problems. Less than 10 minutes after arriving at Zhang’s home, police showed up and took the believers into custody. It is unclear whether previous reports of Zhang being under house arrest are accurate.

Liang said he believes that these detentions are arbitrary and that authorities may release some detainees before official arrests are approved. In addition, he said that this case is likely an overreaction on the authorities’ part due to the current trials of members of the New Citizens Movement.

During the church’s 20 year history, it has attracted prominent political prisoners, dissidents and rights defenders. There are also many long-time Christians and foreign missionaries who attend Holy Love Fellowship.

The church has a history of supporting pro-democracy activists, making it a constant target of official harassment.

ChinaAid condemns the Beijing authorities for this obvious abuse of power and presses them to release these Christians at once. In the meantime, we ask that Christians worldwide lift the believers up in prayer.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Tel: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org | www.monitorchina.org

"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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