Released Zhejiang pastor taken into custody less than 2 months after completion of prison sentence

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pastor Huang Yizi led a church
worship service after his Aug. 1, 2015
release from prison.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
By Brynne Lawrence

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Sept. 17, 2015) Local police in China’s eastern Zhejiang took Huang Yizi, pastor of Fengwo Church, into custody a second time on Sept. 12 for unknown charges. Huang was released from jail last month, following the completion of a one-year prison sentence.

Huang was at home when police came and took him away. According to a member of Fengwo Church, “At that time, he was … with his two children. His wife had already been out for a few days. Now, the two children are at home in the police’s care.”

Huang’s first detainment occurred on Aug. 2, 2014—12 days after he and other Christians organized a protest against the demolition of Salvation Church’s cross in the town of Shuitou, Pingyang County. Originally, he was charged with “gathering a crowd to assault a state agency,” but the charge was changed.

After his March 2015 sentencing hearing, Huang’s lawyer Zhang Kai said “ … the entire trial violated procedures. Outside the court, there were almost 1,000 people, but the trial was conducted in a small court that could only seat 40 people. The court issued six visitor passes to the client, which violates the basic legal principle that the trial should be public. During the trial, police conducted investigations outside the court, which also violates the law. The judge refused to accept the evidence the defense presented, and other times, he wouldn’t even allow us to present specific evidence. We provided video footage from the incident on July 21, 2014, but the judge refused to allow us to play the video.”

The judge administered a one-year prison sentence, which was completed on Aug. 1. Subsequently, Huang was freed and allowed to return home.

Following his release, Huang penned a letter in which he thanked God for his “one year sabbatical in prison” and described the details of his life behind bars. While he joyously noted the many prisoners who converted to Christianity after meeting him, he also stated that he was interrogated 100 times, with each session lasting between one to 6 1/2 hours.

Currently, the length of time officials intend to keep Huang in custody remains unknown.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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