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Tortured pastor’s life threatened, lawyers file lawsuit

Monday, June 13, 2016

China Aid
By Brynne Lawrence

(Guiyang, Guizhou—June 13, 2016) Documents from a lawsuit filed against authorities in China’s central Guizhou province allege that officers tortured a detained house church pastor and threatened his life and family. The pastor’s two defense attorneys issued the lawsuit after their client testified on May 11 about the abusive treatment he has received in police custody.

Human rights lawyer Chen Jiangang released an exclusive interview between himself and Yang Hua (also known as his legal name, Li Guozhi), a pastor of Huoshi Church who was arrested on charges of “divulging state secrets” on Jan. 22 after he attempted to prevent authorities from confiscating a hard drive belonging to the church.

Yang Hua
(Photo: China Aid)
In the interview, Yang describes two incidents, occurring on March 16 and April 15, in which three and five prosecutors respectively threatened his life and family. These prosecutors include Ke Jun, Zhang Wei, Zhao Yuanpeng, Tang Jing, and a man surnamed Han.

According to Yang, Ke said on March 16, “You’d better confess. Your life is in my hands. I’m here to meet with you because I see you as an ally. If you refuse to cooperate, I’ll treat you as a spy, as someone on the opposing side. In that case, we won’t treat you this nicely. I can make you disappear from the face of the earth. I’m a powerful man. Not one of the policemen [at this detention center] would stand if I asked him to get on his knees. [If you refuse to cooperate,) not only you, but your wife and your children will face problems. I’m a torture expert. I know how to beat you up without leaving a mark on your body for people to see. Doctors won’t be able to diagnose you. Even you won’t know what you died of.”

During the interrogation, the officials produced a transcript of what had been said and forced Yang to sign it. Then, they took him out of the room, forced him to re-enter, and videotaped another cross-examination, this time using less menacing language.

On April 15, the prosecutor named Zhang asked Yang to describe what happened on Dec. 6, 2015, when Huoshi Church refused to pay a fine the government inflicted on it for using office space that it purchased for religious services. When Yang refused to disclose this information, Ke became angry, stepped on his feet, and said, “No one here sympathizes with you. Do you know why the pigs on the pig farm behind this building are so fat? We can turn you into food for pigs, which is one way to die. There’s another way to kill you. I can take you to an isolated place and no one will find out how you died. We can make you experience something worse than death and then make you disappear from the face of the earth, or I can make arrangements with the detention center to have three or four guys locked here rape you and torture you every night. Suing me won’t work. I’m the boss here.”

Despite Zhang’s threats, Chen and his co-counsel, Zhao Yonglin, filed a lawsuit against the prosecutors.

In response to this information, China Aid’s president, Bob Fu, contacted the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Dutch government, including the Dutch Parliament, and urged them to communicate their concern about Yang’s treatment to Chinese authorities.

Translations of the interview and the lawsuit documents can be found below.

China Aid exposes abuses, such as the torture and threats experienced by Yang Hua, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. If you would like to get involved in supporting Yang Hua, please consider signing the petition for his release or visiting www.freeyanghua.org to learn more.





Yang Hua Interview

The Huoshi Church Religious Case: Prosecutor Threatened to “Turn pastor into Food for Pigs”

A written record of an interview with Li Guozhi

Time: May 11, 2016, morning

Location: Nanming District Detention Center, Guiyang

Interviewers: Attorney Zhao Yonglin & Attorney Chen Jiangang

Recorder: Attorney Chen Jiangang

Q: At our last meeting, you mentioned that the prosecutor came here to meet with you twice. Please tell us more about these meetings.

A: Okay. The two meetings happened on March 16 and April 15. Three people came to the first meeting, including Zhao Yuanpeng and a person surnamed Ke from the Anti-Malfeasance Infringement Department of Nanming District Procuratorate. The third person was here to videotape the meeting. Only Zhao Yuanpeng wore a uniform.

Q: What did they do to you at your first meeting?

A: They interrogated me in a room with nothing separating us and secured me on a metal chair. They all could approach me. Prosecutor Ke brought up a chair to sit next to me. At the beginning, Prosecutor Ke said to me, “You’d better confess. Your life is in my hands. I’m here to meet with you because I see you as an ally. If you refuse to cooperate, I’ll treat you as a spy, as someone on the opposing side. In that case, we won’t treat you this nicely. I can make you disappear from the face of the earth. I’m a powerful man. Not one of the policemen [at this detention center] would stand if I asked him to get on his knees. [If you refuse to cooperate,] not only you, but your wife and your children will face problems. I am a torture expert. I know how to beat you up without leaving a mark on your body for people to see. Doctors won’t be able to diagnose you. Even you won’t know what you died of.”

Q: What else did they say? Did they force you to make up a confession or beat you up?

A: The first time, they produced a written record and had me sign it. They threatened me first and asked me to cooperate, and then took me out of the room and had me re-enter it. Then, they turned on their camcorder to record the interview. When the camera was rolling, they restrained themselves from any threatening words.

Q: Could you tell us about the interrogation on April 15?

A: Five people showed up for this meeting, still in a room with no furniture. The five people were Prosecutor Ke, Prosecutor Zhang Wei, a prosecutor surnamed Han, two people who had a camcorder, and another person whose name I did not know. Ke brought up a chair to sit next to me and said, “It’s not my job to interrogate you today. That’s my friend’s job, but I have come to keep an eye on you. In a moment, we will videotape your interrogation. You need to honestly cooperate and not play [tricks] by being silent.”

Then he asked Zhang Wei to interview me, just to rehearse without videotaping.

Zhang Wei asked me what happened on Dec. 6, 2015. I was silent, which made Prosecutor Ke mad. He came over and stomped my feet. It hurt very badly.

Prosecutor Ke said, “There’s no use staring at us. No one here sympathizes with you. Do you know why the pigs on the pig farm behind this building are so fat? [Editor’s note: The detention center’s pig farm is right across from the interrogation room. Pigsties are right outside the hallway with many fat pigs in it.] We can turn you into food for pigs, which is one way to die. There’s another way to kill you. I can take you to an isolated place and no one will find out how you died. We can make you experience something worse than death and then make you disappear from the face of the earth. Or, I can make arrangements with the detention center to have three or four guys locked here rape you and torture you every night. Suing me won’t work. I’m the boss here.”

Then he lifted up my chin and made me look him in his eyes. He stomped on my feet very hard and said, “Not just you, your wife and two sons will be in trouble as well.” Then he yelled profanities at me and said, “I can kill you today!”

Q: Did he stomp on your feet all the time? In the presence of these other four people?

A: He did and he stomped my feet very hard, with the four other people present in the room. The person in charge of videotaping was in another room. After swearing at me, Ke left. Zhang Wei and Prosecutor Han told me to cooperate. Then they took me out of the room and made me reenter the room, and started videotaping from 10:10am to 2:45pm. At last, they made me sign a written record.

Q: Is what you told us all true? If it is, please read this record and sign it.

A: All I just told you is true.

I certify that this record is based on what I said.
Li Guozhi

May 11, 2016



An Indictment Against Ke Jun, Zhang Wei, Zhao Yuanpeng, Tang Jing and Others from the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang for Illegally Torturing a Suspect to Extort a Confession

Plaintiff (victim): Li Guozhi

The plaintiff’s representative: Attorney Zhao Yonglin

The plaintiff’s representative: Attorney Chen Jiangang

The plaintiff, Li Guozhi is Han Chinese and was born on March 28, 1977. He is the pastor of Huoshi Church in Guiyang. On Dec. 20, 2015, the Nanming District Sub-bureau of the Guiyang Municipal Public Security Bureau criminally detained him because he was falsely charged with “illegally possessing state secrets.” Because Li Guozhi was suspected of deliberately divulging state secrets, this bureau received approval to arrest him from the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang. He is currently imprisoned at Manming Qu Detention Center in Guiyang.

Zhao Yonglin, the plaintiff’s representative, is a lawyer from the Shandong Yueshou Law Firm. His phone number is 13905388077. He is Li Guozhi’s defense lawyer in the case in which [Li] is falsely accused of intentionally divulging state secrets.

Chen Jiangang, the plaintiff’s representative, is a lawyer from Beijing Qianqi Law Firm. His phone number is 133381367825. He is Li Guozhi’s defense lawyer in the case in which [Li] is falsely accused of intentionally divulging state secrets.

Criminal suspect Ke Jun is a prosecutor at the Anti-Malfeasance Infringement Department of the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang.

Criminal suspect Zhao Yuanpeng is a prosecutor at the Anti-Malfeasance Infringement Department of the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang.

Criminal suspect Zhang Wei is a prosecutor at the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang. He is a prosecutor in the case in which Li Guozhi is falsely accused of intentionally divulging state secrets.

Criminal suspect Tang Jing is a prosecutor at the Nanming District Procuratorate in Guiyang. He is an employee handling the investigation and prosecution of the case in which Li Guozhi is falsely accused of intentionally divulging state secrets.

Another suspect surnamed Han also participated in the crime, but his full name is unknown.

Facts on the criminal suspects:

Suspects Ke Jun and Zhao Yuanpeng are employees of the Anti-Malfeasance Infringement Department of the Nanming District Procuratorate and are members are the investigation team for the case in which the victim, Li Guozhi, has been framed with intentionally divulging state secrets. Suspects Zhang Wei and Tang Jing are employees of the Prosecution Department of the Nanming District Procuratorate who participated in handling the case in which Li Guozhi has been falsely accused of intentionally divulging state secrets. Zhang Wei is the prosecutor who endorsed the indictment paper. The above-mentioned four suspects all took part in the interrogation of the victim, Li Guozhi. Throughout the interrogation process, Ke Jun led, but all participated, torturing him to extort a confession. The facts are as follows:

1. On March 16, 2016, criminal suspects Ke Jun and Zhao Yuanpeng committed the criminal acts of threatening and extorting a confession from the victim, Li Guozhi.

On March 16, 2016, suspects Ke Jun, Zhao Yuanpeng and a cameraman entered the Nanming District Detention Center to interrogate the victim, Li Guozhi. The interrogation took place in a special [room labelled the] “Guiyang Municipal Nanning District Procuratorate’s Interrogation Room.” This interrogation room did not have welded barriers, such as the steel bars and iron wire in the lawyer visitation rooms. Suspects Ke Jun and Zhao Yuanpeng both had direct access to the victim.

When victim Li Guozhi was brought into the interrogation room by police from the detention center, the first step was to tie him to a metal chair. Suspects Ke Jun and Zhao Yuanpeng were both in the room. Ke Jun brought up a chair to sit next to the victim, and he threatened him, saying:
  1. “You’d better confess. Your life is in my hands.”
  2.  “I’m here to meet with you because I see you as an ally. If you refuse to cooperate, I’ll treat you as a spy, as someone on the opposing side. In that case, we won’t treat you this nicely. I can make you disappear from the face of the earth.” 
  3.  “I’m a powerful man. Not one of the policemen [at this detention center] would stand if I asked him to get on his knees.”
  4. “[If you refuse to cooperate,] not only you, but your wife and children will face problems.”
  5. “I am a torture expert. I know how to beat you up without leaving a mark on your body for people to see. Doctors won’t be able to diagnose you. Even you won’t know what you died of.”
While the suspect Ke Jun was insulting, threatening and intimidating Li Guozhi, Zhao Yuanpeng was at the side of the room and later produced a written interrogation record. He forced the victim Li Guozhi to sign it and stamp it with his fingerprint.

2. On April 15, 2016, suspects Ke Jun, Zhang Wei, Tang Jing and a person surnamed Han also committed acts of torture, intimidation and coercion against victim Li Guozhi.
On April 15, 2016, five people, including suspects Ke Jun, Zhang Wei, Tang Jing, [a staff member] surnamed Han and a cameraman, entered the Nanming District Detention Center to interrogate victim Li Guozhi. The interrogation was also carried out in the special “Guiyang Municipal Nanning District Procuratorate’s Interrogation Room.” By then, the case had already entered the prosecution stage, and Ke Jun from the Anti-Malfeasance and Infringement Department, who was in charge of investigation, had already handed over files of the case to the prosecution department. According to the law, Ke Jun was not supposed to come to the detention center to interrogate the victim, but he, as the person in charge of investigating the case, came with Zhang Wei, who is charge of prosecution, to interrogate the victim.

The same day, after the victim Li Guozhi was brought into the interrogation room and tied to a metal chair, criminal suspect Ke Jun pulled up a chair to sit next to him and said, “It’s not my job to interrogate you today. That’s my friend’s job, but I have come to keep an eye on you. In a moment, we will videotape your interrogation. You need to honestly cooperate and not play [tricks] by being silent.” Then, he allowed criminal suspect Zhang Wei, who is in charge of prosecution, to rehearse the victim Li Guozhi’s interrogation. After they finished rehearsing, they began videotaping.

When the victim Li Guozhi did not respond to questions regarding the fabricated charge against him, criminal suspect Ke Jun began to carry out interrogation under torture and threaten him.

Criminal suspect Ke Jun stood up, forcefully and violently stepped on Li Guozhi’s feet and threatened him as follows:
  1. “No one here sympathizes with you. Do you know why the pigs on the pig farm behind this building are so fat? [The detention center’s pig farm is right across from the interrogation room. Pigsties are right outside the hallway with many fat pigs in it.] We can turn you into food for pigs, which is one way to die.”
  2. “There’s another way to kill you. I can take you to an isolated place and no one will find out how you died. We can make you experience something worse than death and then make you disappear from the face of the earth”
  3. “Or, I can make arrangements with the detention center to have three or four guys locked here rape you and torture you every night. Suing me won’t work. I’m the boss here.”
  4. “Not just you, your wife and two sons will be in trouble as well.”
  5. “I can kill you today!”
  6. The suspect verbally abused the victim Li Guozhi for a long time while forcefully stepping on his feet, which caused the victim acute pain.
While the suspect Ke Jun tortured, threatened, intimidated and insulted the victim, Zhang Wei, Tang Jing and [an official surnamed] Han were at the side of the room ,and later they rehearsed the interrogation. Then, they took the victim out of the room and brought him back in a second time. At this time, they had already turned the camcorder on. On the video camera, criminal suspects Zhang Wei and Tang Jing interrogated the victim one more time for the purpose of recording it, produced a written interrogation record and demanded that we sign it to verify it.

3. Criminal suspects Ke Jun, Zhao Yuanpeng, Tang Jing and [the staff member surnamed] Han committed the crime of using torture to extort a confession and should be held legally responsible for their violations of the law when handling the case, according to the law.


Article 247 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China: Judicial workers who extort a confession from criminal suspects or defendants by torture, or who use force to extract testimony from witnesses, are to be sentenced to three years or fewer in prison or put under criminal detention. Those causing injuries to others, physical disablement, or death, are to be convicted and severely punished according to articles 234 and 232 of this law. 
Article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China: Judges, procuratorial personnel and investigators shall adhere to statutory procedures when gathering and obtaining evidence that may prove whether criminal suspects or defendants are guilty or innocent, or whether cases involve serious criminal offenses or not. They are strictly prohibited from extorting confessions by torture, collecting evidence through threats, enticement, deception or other unlawful means, or forcing anyone to provide evidence proving his/her own guilt. They shall ensure that all citizens who are involved in a case or who have information about the circumstances of a case can furnish all available evidence in an objective manner and, except under special circumstances, may ask such citizens to provide assistance in investigation. 
Article 95 of The Supreme People’s Court’s Interpretation On The Application Of The PRC Criminal Procedure Law: Use of physical punishment, covert physical punishment or use of other methods that cause severe physical or psychological pain or suffering, compelling a defendant to confess against his will, shall be understood to be the ‘use of torture to coerce confessions and other illegal methods” provided for in article 54 of the Criminal Procedure Law. 
Article 68 of the People’s Procuratorates’ Rules for Criminal Procedure: Where during the investigation, review for prosecution or judgment phases, a people’s procuratorate discovers that investigators collected evidence through illegal means, it shall promptly conduct an investigation, upon reporting to the chief procurator for permission. 
If a criminal suspect, his defender or agent ad litem reports a case, makes an accusation, or reports internally that investigators employed torture to exact confessions or other illegal methods of evidence gathering, and he provides materials or leads such as the personnel, times, location, means, and substance involved in the suspected illegal evidence gathers, the people’s procuratorate shall accept it and conduct an examination; If it is not possible to prove that the evidence was obtained legally based on the currently available materials, an inquiry and verification shall be promptly conducted, upon reporting to the chief procurator for permission. 
Where the people’s procuratorate at the level above receives a report, accusation or whistleblower report that investigatory personnel employed torture to exact confessions or other illegal methods of gathering evidence, it may directly conduct an inquiry and verification, or it may give it to a lower-level people’s procuratorate for inquiry and verification. For those that are transferred to a lower-level people’s procuratorate for inquiry and verification, the lower-level people's procuratorate shall promptly report the inquiry results to the higher-level people’s procuratorate. 
Where the people’s procuratorate decides to inquire into and verify a case, it shall promptly inform the case-handling organ. 
Article 197: During interrogation, investigators shall closely examine the criminal suspect’s defense. It shall be strictly prohibited to extort confessions by torture or gather evidence by threat, enticement, deceit, or other illegal means.

All the laws and regulations cited above indicate that our country strictly prohibits extortion of confessions by torture and other methods. Any law enforcement agent who committed such law-breaking or criminal offences shall be held legally responsible.

Criminal suspects Ke Jun, Zhao Yuanpeng, Zhang Wei, Tang Jing and [the staff member surnamed] Han [attempted to] extort a confession and injure victim Li Guozhi, inflicted physical pain on the victim, and threatened and intimidated the victim with threats such as torture, rape, death, being turned into pig fodder and fed to pigs, disappearing from the face of the earth, making his family guilty by association, harming the victim’s wife and children and other cruel methods. This caused the victim to lose psychological freedom in order to obtain an oral confession. These kinds of behavior fit the criteria of laws regarding the extortion of confessions and interrogation under torture to extort a confession. According to the laws, these kinds of illegal actions must be investigated.

Based on the above, we specially indict criminal suspects Ke Jun, Zhao Yuanpeng, Zhang Wei, Tang Jing, and [the staff member surnamed] Han. Please handle the case according to the law.

Zhao Yonglin

Chen Jiangang

Attached evidence: A duplicate and written manuscript of “A Transcript of a Meeting with Li Guozhi”


China Aid Media Team
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"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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