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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Nanle County authorities release 2 from black jail

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Zhang Shaojie
China Aid Association

(Nanle County, Henan—July 8, 2014) After the Associated Press published an article, based on a China Aid press release, reporting the harsh 12-year prison term given to Pastor Zhang Shaojie of China’s central Henan, authorities in Nanle County released two other Nanle County Christian Church members, Zhao Guoli and Wu Guishan, on Saturday, July 5, Beijing time.

Both men had been held in an undisclosed location since their apprehension on Nov. 15, 2013. China Aid previously confirmed their detention in a black jail upon its discovery around Feb. 16; however, the men were moved during the night (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/black-jail-exposed-in-nanle-county.html).

Shortly after the discovery of the black jail in Nanle County, authorities allowed a lawyer to meet with Zhao Guoli on Feb. 20. Zhao disappeared into police custody once again after the meeting (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/missing-nanle-county-christian-meets.html).

Zhao Guoli and Wu’s release came days after the Nanle County People’s Court handed down a 10-year prison term for the church’s pastor for a fabricated fraud charge and a two-year sentence for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.” The pastor was also given a fine of 100,000 yuan (US $16,100) (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/07/court-sentences-three-self-pastor-to-12.html).

Lawyer Zhang Weiyu told China Aid that he plans to visit Zhao Junling, who is being held at the Nanle County Detention Center, and plans on helping Yue Lina, a local woman whom authorities forced into a mental hospital when she wouldn’t quit petitioning in Beijing. Yue is still being held in a black jail, but authorities told Zhang Weiyu they will release her and allow her to pursue other options to resolve her case if she stops petitioning. Two others, Zhang Cuijuan and Li Cairen, are still in detention.

Zhao Guoli, 38, was detained as he traveled to Beijing to petition authorities there for a better outcome to a land dispute between the church and local authorities. He and his wife, who have two school-aged children, run the church-organized orphanage.

Wu, 43, was detained along with Zhao Guoli as they traveled to Beijing. Wu is married to Zhao Xiping, who was detained Nov. 17, 2013, and released on Jan. 26, 2014. During the time Zhao Xiping was detained, the couple’s daughter dropped out of school to search for Wu, and their son was sent to live in the orphanage (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/exclusive-identity-of-12-detained-nanle.html).

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