FREE YANG HUA

YANG HUA

Yang Hua, one of the pastors of Huoshi Church in Guiyang, the capital of China’s southwestern Guizhou province, has been held in police custody since December 9, 2015, after he resisted the authorities’ attempts to confiscate church property. Officials accused him of the “crime of obstruction of justice” and “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” and sentenced him to five days in administrative detention for each charge. On December 20, the day he was scheduled to be released, his wife received an official notice stating that he had been transferred to criminal detention on suspicion of “illegally holding state secrets.

After a month of detention, during which he was unable to meet with his lawyers, Yang Hua was arrested for “divulging state secrets” on January 22, a crime that the Chinese government often imposes on pastors who publicly oppose government attempts to restrict religious practice. [Read More]

Recent News About Yang Hua View all

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wife of imprisoned pastor constantly monitored

Wang Hongwu, left, pictured with her
two sons. Photo: China Aid
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—Aug. 29, 2016) The wife of a prominent imprisoned pastor reported that police began monitoring her constantly on Aug. 12.

After Wang Hongwu, the wife of house church pastor Yang Hua who is currently accused of “divulging state secrets,” refused to comply with a summons to the police station on Aug. 12, officers arrived at her home, complained that they were tired from patrolling and stayed until dinner time. Officials from the neighborhood committee also came claiming they wanted to collect evidence.

In an interview, Wang said that officials have been persistently following her and surveilling her house. “They keep watch at the door to my home for 24 hours [a day]. At night, they all sleep in the car. Last Saturday, many [officers] were at the gate to our neighborhood … They wanted to check the identity cards of friends that came to my house. I said, ‘Why are you checking my friends’ identity cards? Is it illegal to come to my house?’ There was one friend that came, and they were still blocking the gate. They wouldn’t let him into my home … That day, a foreign friend whom I don’t really know came. Another friend said that [the officials] saw there was a foreigner at our neighborhood’s gate, and they did not let them in.”

A member of Huoshi Church, where Yang is a pastor, told a China Aid reporter: “A while ago, public security officers from the police station came to find Hongwu and tell her that a foreigner wanted to interview her. On Sunday [Aug. 21], a person called and arranged to meet with me, but personnel from the national security [department] stopped me and said that foreigners came to interview me, and [the officials] commanded me not to meet with them.”

Officials scheduled a pre-trial meeting for Yang’s case on Aug. 16. However, when one of the judges presiding over the case returned from visiting him, she was involved in a car accident and suffered a miscarriage. As a result, the court has postponed the meeting.

Another Huoshi Church pastor, Su Tianfu, said that the police have followed him every day since Dec. 19 of last year, even forcing him to use government-arranged transportation for outings such as shopping.

China Aid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by Su Tianfu, Wang Hongwu and other members of Huoshi Church in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Chinese Christians.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

8 months in prison, tortured pastor writes he is ‘brought closer to God’

China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—July 21, 2016) A pastor imprisoned in China’s central Guizhou province on a falsified “divulging state secrets” charge penned a letter to his wife on June 30, thanking God for the chance to rest after serving as a pastor for 23 years.

“This is a good place to rest, where I am cut off from the rest of the world and brought closer to God,” Li Guozhi, a pastor at Huoshi Church who goes by the pseudonym Yang Hua, wrote of his jail cell. “I can no longer hear the clamorous noise, but can better listen to the Lord’s voice.”

Government personnel took Yang into police custody on Dec. 9, 2015, after he attempted to prevent them from confiscating one of the church’s hard drives. They sentenced him to five days in administrative detention a day later for “the crime of obstruction of justice.” On Dec. 15, authorities charged him with “gathering a crowd to disturb social order” and extended his sentence five more days.

When his wife came to collect him on Dec. 20, she saw officials herding him into an unlicensed vehicle as he donned a black hood. Upon inquiry, she learned that his charge had changed, and that he was being transferred to criminal detention for “illegally possessing state secrets.” On Jan. 22, his relatives received a notice that he had been formally arrested for “divulging state secrets.”

In an interview with his lawyers, Chen Jiangang and Zhao Yonglin, Yang disclosed methods the prosecutors used to torture him when he refused to confess to his charges, including standing on his toes and threatening to kill him and bring harm to his family. As a result, Chen and Zhao sued the prosecutors for “using torture to extort a confession” and asked that they be dealt with according to the law.

Despite these circumstances, Yang writes, “Genuine rest has nothing to do with the environment. No matter if the waves are quiet or the sea roars, our hearts rest in [God], just as a weaned child sleeps in its mother’s arms. I want to thank God for using this special method to give this special gift to our household. Let us accept and enjoy it with a thankful heart.”

A full translation of the letter can be read below, with breaks added for legibility.

China Aid launched a campaign to free Yang Hua to confront the unjust incarceration and expose abuses he and his family have suffered. To learn more about Yang’s case, sign the petition for his release and donate to support the persecuted and their families, please visit www.freeyanghua.org.
______________________________________________________________________________

Dear wife: Everything’s fine!

I received your letter on June 30. I am thankful. Suddenly, I thought of a song, but I couldn’t recall all the lyrics. There’s a part that goes like this: “The path we walk has laughter and tears; this is the Lord’s grace.” You can sing it. [It’s] Sheng Xiaomei’s “Marks of Grace.”

The first page of Yang Hua's letter to his wife.
(Photo: China Aid)
About our friends’ concern and desire to establish a website to write articles, I don’t think they should consider it at this time. You can tell them that it’s my opinion. Thank them for being so caring and concerned. I remember a section from the Bible that even the young, strong lions are still starving.

You don’t have to go to photo studio since I have already got your photos. It is not necessary [for you to go].

Don’t be too thrifty. Buy some meat, chicken and fish for our sons to eat. They are currently growing; buy some suitable snacks for them. The money I have can support me until October. There are many newly-built convenience stores near me. I have enough to eat. I just received 800 Yuan [U.S. $120]. You don’t have to come to the detention center twice a month. Once a month is enough. Don’t transfer too much money. 600 Yuan [U.S. $90] a month is more than enough. Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” You should copy the whole chapter.

I want to share what I’ve received with you. God has given me a year of rest after 23 years of hard work. Previously, when I was out of [jail], things were always coming down incessantly, because there were many different kinds of affairs [to attend to]. The Israelites worked every year for six years and rested on the seventh. This is a good place to rest, where I am cut off from the rest of the world and brought closer to God. I can no longer hear the clamorous noise, but can better listen to the Lord’s voice. “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever” [Psalm 29:10] (“You Sit on the Throne,” a hymn). Genuine rest has nothing to do with the environment. No matter if the waves are quiet or the sea roars, our hearts rest in [God], just as a weaned child sleeps in its mother’s arms. I want to thank God for using this special method to give this special gift to our household. Let us accept and enjoy it with a thankful heart.

After this period of time, my spiritual life will be even more distinctive from the song that says “A crowd flooded into my kingdom, but they did not want to bear the cross.” You can sing the song.

The second page of Yang's letter to his wife.
(Photo: China Aid)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]. You must always pray. Think of when Peter called out in John 21. Three times the disciples showed their weakness and three times they answered Jesus. The apostles were full of the Holy Spirit and witnessed for the Lord, leading people back to him. Do not live in weakness and confusion; this is Satan’s scheme. Be full of the Holy Spirit and leave spiritual predicaments. Seek [to fulfill] all of the Lord’s decrees. Remove all of the negative thoughts and voices from your life. Amen.

Listen to more of Pastor Wang’s preaching. It will help a lot. Let the words of God make you stronger. This is incomparably good; that you encourage each other with the words of God. Thank my mother and aunt for me. They are our family’s angels, always helping us. Say hello to everyone for me. God’s decrees will certainly be fulfilled. Let’s talk next time. Keep the letters. Don’t throw them away. In regards to Xiangen practicing his musical instrument: he should study lightly. He shouldn’t have pressure, either from you or from himself. Don’t participate in any examinations. Any amount of studying is fine. He can improvise an accompaniment. Let Mu’en practice his instrument half an hour a day after school ends so as not to forget. You can eat and have fun with Xinde’s mother. Be happy. Good night! Mail a photo of my aunt. It’ll be useful.

Jehovah-nissi, Emmanuel [Editor’s Note: These two phrases are Hebrew for “The Lord is my banner” and “God with us”]

Your husband, who received the favor of God with you: 
Li Guozhi

The evening of June 30

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Imprisoned pastor's letter to wife: ‘Pray and leave other things to God’

China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song. Edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—June 29, 2016) A house church pastor in China’s central Guizhou province, who has been in detention for more than six months, recently wrote a letter to his wife from prison on June 6.

Li Guozhi, also known by his pseudonym Yang Hua, wrote to his wife from the Nanming District Detention Center about their family and his time in detention. He tells her not to worry and reminds her to trust that this is part of God’s plan.

A translation of the letter can be found below, with spacing added for legibility.

In an effort to combat the unjust incarceration of Yang Hua, China Aid is currently spearheading the campaign #FreeYangHua. For more information on Yang’s situation and ways to show your support, please visit www.freeyanghua.org.

China Aid supports prisoners of conscience such as Yang Hua in an effort to combat inhumane treatment by the Chinese government and expose human rights and religious freedom abuses.



To my dear wife:

I’m well!

I’ve received your letter from June 3. I wrote back to you on around May 10; maybe it’s being held at the security room of our community. The phone number of Shentong Express is 95543; the serial number is (###########). The number I left is our home phone number; the intended recipient is you.

Regarding Mu’en: You should listen to him more, try to understand him, lead him and speak to him. Try not to scold. Regarding Xiangen: I don’t think he should participate in any level of examinations while learning a musical instrument. The goal is improvisation with accompaniment. His studying should be light. We shouldn’t pressure Xiangen; it doesn’t matter how well he learns. It is not suitable to gua sha [a popular treatment for sunstroke which involves scraping the patient’s neck, chest or back] too often. Please pay attention to this. The children’s physical capabilities will not be good in the future if they receive this kind of treatment too early.

It must be the result of everyone’s prayers that my lower back pain is no longer an issue. I sleep soundly at night. Don’t worry. I’ve adjusted to other aspects of life well. As the Book of Isaiah says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” [Isaiah 30:15]. It’s also a kind of rest, staying inside.

You shouldn’t be too anxious. It is best to remain peaceful and wait for God. God is omniscient. I believe that he never makes a mistake. If it is convenient, please send me a (recent) picture of you and our sons. Let’s pray and leave other things to God. Thank you for investing everything in this family. I am grateful for what God has given me; let’s carry the cross and hasten down the road to heaven, until the day we meet the Lord.

Use the two credit cards. You can use it in super markets. You can use dozens of yuan. The annual fee will be exempt if you use it for at least three or five times. Save some money in case you forget to repay the debt. Give my regards to all of our family members. Always be happy and peaceful. Never stop praying. Be grateful, because that’s God’s will conveyed through Jesus Christ.

Amen! Emanuel!

Love, your husband:
Li Guozhi
6/6


China Aid Media Team
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: media@chinaaid.org
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Tortured pastor’s life threatened, lawyers file lawsuit

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.





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
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: media@chinaaid.org
For more information, click here

Friday, June 10, 2016

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Anonymous Christian describes persecution in exclusive interview

China Aid
By Brynne Lawrence

(Midland, Texas—June 10, 2016) China Aid conducted an exclusive interview on May 12 with a member of a serially targeted house church in China’s central Guizhou province. The church member, who requested anonymity, described the church’s current against persecution and detailed how the international community could help.

The interviewee, an attendee of Huoshi Church, disclosed that the church currently faces the trial of six separate cases, five of which involve church members Wang Yao and Zhang Xiuhong, pastors Yang Hua and Su Tianfu and a non-Christian named Yu Lei, who, together with Wang, leaked a confidential document that revealed the existence of a state-run command and control center dedicated to persecuting the church.

Officials raid Huoshi Church.
(Photo: China Aid)
“At the beginning, I just thought it was just at the city-level, but this document suggests that there must be some provincial level [government body] or an even higher on the operation. It’s not just a single case,” the anonymous church member said. “There’s a big plan, and our church is just part of the plan.”

Additionally, the church member said that authorities recently began visiting Yang Hua’s wife at home and monitoring her when she leaves the house. Similarly, Pastor Su Tianfu and his wife have experienced increased government surveillance.

According to the Christian, Huoshi Church’s ability to survive the crackdown on its religious activities depends on its staying in small groups. Repeated raids from government personnel and the imprisonment of church members have forced the church to disperse into smaller gatherings meeting in private residences. However, the interviewee fears the leaders of these groups lack the training needed to oversee them and grow their attendance.

When asked how the international society could help churches experiencing persecution, he emphasized the importance of pressuring Chinese officials and legislating an international law that would punish human rights violators.

A transcript of the interview can be read below.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by Huoshi Church, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.



Interview Transcript

Q: I just want to start out with some questions about the situation with Huoshi Church. What do you think was the most unexpected incident?

A: I didn’t expect the confidential document. I knew [the government was] going to do something about the church, but I didn’t expect it to be so serious. If they have a [command and control center] they can mobilize all their resources. At the beginning, I just thought it was just at the city-level, but this document suggests that there must be some provincial level [government body] or an even higher on the operation. It’s not just a single case. There’s a big plan, and our church is just part of the plan.

Q: Was it pretty overwhelming when you found that out?

A: Yeah. When I first saw that, I thought, Wow. They used the way they treated the Falun Gong many years ago to target a Christian church [Editor’s Note: Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline in China that is heavily persecuted].

Q: What would you say are some of the church’s current struggles?

A: There are so many. A case is going to be tried soon. We have four victims in jail. One pastor, Pastor Su, was released, but he is on bail and is still considered to be a criminal, so there are five cases [involving people]. We also sued the [Urban] Management Bureau. This is another case. So, we have six cases. If we put them all together, there are six cases.

Q: How soon are those going to be tried?

A: I have no idea.

Q: The four people incarcerated are currently Zhang Xiuhong, Yang Hua, and then the two people who leaked the confidential document, correct?

A: Yes. Of course, we want the people to be released, and of course, we want to still keep the space. We want to get our money back, but I have no clue [about the trials].

Q: Do you have any updates about the church space? What is the latest that you’ve heard?

A: The latest is that a lawyer wrote a defense statement to the judge, but the judge mailed it back to him.

Q: So, there has been no progress?

A: No.

Q: What are some of the church’s current needs, and how would you like to see the international community reach out to help Huoshi Church?

A: There are many different ways. For instance, now it is very difficult for us to pay the mortgage, but the mortgage is roughly $5,000 a month. During this month, we’re going to run out of all our money. If we cannot pay the mortgage, it’s another good excuse for the government official to take it away from us, so [providing money] is a practical way to help. Another way to help is to support the lawyers who are still brave enough to stand up and defend the six different cases. Now, there are already 12-14 lawyers involved in this case. Three or four of them have been hired by the family members [of the incarcerated], not by the church, including Yu Lei’s lawyer and Wang Yao’s lawyer [Editor’s note: Yu Lei and Wang Yao were responsible for leaking the confidential document]. Wang Yao’s stepfather is trying to reach Pastor Su. He wants to include his stepdaughter’s case [with our cases], so that means that our lawyer could also defend Wang Yao as well at some time, but Yu Lei’s wife hired a lawyer by herself. Therefore, supporting lawyers is another way to help. Additionally, Pastor Su feels really unsafe at this moment, and his wife and three children want to move out as well.

Q: Do you mean they want to move out of the country?

A: Yes, they want to move out of the country to a safe place, and Yang Hua’s children and his wife want to do the same. Yu Lei’s son is in Lynchburg right now at Liberty Christian Academy. I hope that he can apply for asylum or something like that and be safe. If they have some financial problems, I hope people will help them out.

Another thing is right now, we have divided our church into small groups. There are many groups, but most of the leaders of the small groups frankly do not have any experience to take responsibility and lead the people, so they also need training on how to [get more people to join the] group or build a small group into a small church. They need some kind of campus building or financial support when they start the group, because they either need a place [to meet] or need some kind of training.

Of course, the international community can put some pressure on the Chinese government from all different angles as well. For instance, Congress or different states could write some joint statements. I don’t know which state is the sister state of Guizhou province, but it must be some state. For instance, maybe [China Aid] could find out [if it is Texas] and then push a little bit. Additionally, I bet there are many connections in the business sector with Chinese state-owned companies or the Chinese government. Maybe, if they dare, they can do something about it.

International organizations such as [China Aid] and NGOs might be able to do something as well.

Congress already has a database [of human rights abuses in China], but the legislative body could pass a law that makes sure that, if the Chinese government or any other country [persecutes people], they will be punished in some way, like the law against Russia, called the Malinsky Law. The government can do something about it, not just protest or send over a statement but also do something more holistic. This is what I can think of.

Q: Those are a lot of good options. What are some of your concerns for the church’s future?

A: … If the small groups can survive and grow, I don’t think there’s anything I should worry about. Definitely, all this poverty we have [is concerning], and all the people locked in jail should be free, but in terms of the church, if the small group can stand firmly and grow, [the church will be fine].

Q: I think it will grow. God is more powerful than the Chinese government, right?

A: Yes, definitely! According to the Bible, the church grows even faster under persecution. [For instance], you can see that in Europe and the United States—maybe not in Texas, however, but in Germany—the church is shrinking. This is a very free country, and the government and people respect religion, but even still [the church shrinks]. In China, even though there is so much persecution, the church still grows. Personally, from my perspective as a Christian, I don’t think all this persecution is totally a bad thing [since it helps the church grow].

Q: You told the China Aid staff how Huoshi Church didn’t expect to have to use digital communication as much. How can the Chinese churches be better equipped for the persecution they face?

A: This is a very basic issue. You have to make sure communication between the church, the church members and the outside world is going through secure channels. Later on, I found a way to convince people to communicate using these secure tools. I said, “We are not bad guys, but it’s just like when we send letters; we seal them instead of just leaving them open. There are no secrets that we have, but we still want to be respected. It’s not about bad and good. We just want to be respected. We don’t want all of our personal dialogue to be heard or watched.” This is one way they can be more prepared.

Then, maybe they can build up some kind of connection with the outside world. They cannot just say, “Okay, our church is just a group of people that lives isolated from the rest of the world.” They could [say this], but that also means that when they are in danger, nobody will know, and nobody will help them. To build the connections, they should probably know different churches and media sources and work with international organizations in case an emergency happens, so that they can spread the news through different channels, including NGOs, media, other churches, lawyers, etc. How can we help them to build up this kind of network?

Q: Do you have any ideas on how to help them build that kind of network?

A: Yes, because I went through all these things, I think I do. For instance, you guys hosted a lot of training in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but this kind of networking could be more focused. For instance, how can we safely exchange information or use our mobile phones or computers? Maybe all the house church pastors and leaders can set up a regular plan to meet with one another once or twice a year. Maybe they can talk about their situation or meet each other face-to-face to build up a certain kind of bond, like a band of brothers. It could also be a kind of retreat for them, since all of the house church leaders in China are under a lot of pressure and are very busy. Most of them are not paid well. This kind of get-together could also be a retreat for them to take a break and relax for a little bit and then learn and share things together.

Q: They’d be encouraged, too. There’s other people, since there would be other people with them who have experienced similar things.

A: Definitely….

In order to prepare yourself [for persecution], your financial system should be invincible. You don’t want to leave any back door through which the government can hunt you down, like what happened in Wenzhou. They’re a couple. They were arrested and sentenced to 12 and 14 years [in prison]. That’s terrible! Just because there are some [factual errors] in their financial ledgers. Maybe [Huoshi Church] can also train them. Even though we don’t exist legally, our financial records are good. They are clean—very clean. You cannot say anything bad about them. So, this is something that would be very helpful. It’s kind of a process to build up your own accountability to your [church] members and to your donors and to international society.

Q: It really can’t hurt. It benefits you and it doesn’t leave a back door open, as you were saying.

A: Yeah, so this is also a very important thing, and another thing may be related more to spirituality. If some of the house church’s younger generation, can get more opportunities to be trained as future, it could be wonderful. They are many young people now who are becoming Christians all around China, but there’s no sufficient resources and help for them to grow. Maybe we can launch some kind of youth program for leaders of the next generation. For the young people, it’s really easy to learn finances and the digital things and the new ideas because they’re just open to learn….

If I think of any other things, I will tell you. At least, we can do these kinds of things, and it’s a lot of things to do, right?

Q: What have you found to be the most encouraging throughout this entire process? You’ve already given advice on how to help, but how can we as other Christians encourage the Chinese church?

A: For instance, the international society had actually made a lot of effort, and some [of their efforts] were very costly and difficult. For instance, a journalist visited my place herself. Unfortunately, all these stories are being covered in English, so my people cannot read or understand what’s going on in the outside world. The Chinese versions of the stories about how the international society is responding to our situation are very important, even critical, to encourage the people who are suffering from persecution—not only at my church, but also generally all churches. They can be encouraged. They will see “Okay, we are not alone! There are some people, organizations and states that are concerned about our situation. They will try their best to help us. So, we need some kind of newspaper, like China Aid. You can function like the media as well as translate the information from the outside world [specific to persecution cases] into Chinese and distribute all this information through all means—not only through your website, but also through social media, WeChat, Weibo, the telegram group or whatever we can use. This is a thing through which we can really help them to feel encouraged.

Q: Next, I’m going to ask a couple of questions about Yang Hua, because we just started our FreeYangHua campaign, and I think we have people interested in Yang Hua. Has anyone had any recent contact with Yang Hua?

A: I contact his wife almost every day. The last lawyer visit to Yang Hua was around 10 days ago. [I know this] because the lawyer, Chen Jiangang, told [China Aid president Bob Fu] right after the visit. I’m not sure of the exact date, but it was around 10 days or two weeks ago. That was the last time that lawyers visited Yang Hua. Recently, they increased security measures against his wife. Actually, they increased the security measure not only against Yang Hua’s wife, but also towards Su Tianfu (Pastor Su) and Pastor Su’s wife. I don’t why. Maybe some [important person] was going to visit Guiyang. I don’t know what’s going on, but just, all of a sudden, they increased the security level. [This happened] a couple of days ago, [maybe] five days ago. I don’t why. There is no reason. I cannot figure it out.

Q: We just got a report in from Wang Hongwu [Yang Hua’s wife] talking about how she was summoned to the police station for questioning, and I was starting to wonder if there was something more they were doing to her. They’re obviously watching her.

A: Yesterday, she told me that, in the past two days, the police have visited her house everyday … in the past couple of days, they started to follow her around wherever she goes.

Q: So she’s definitely being tracked?

A: Yes, definitely.

Q: Does anyone know how Yang Hua is doing?

A: Chen Jiangang is the only one who met Yang Hua face-to-face and talked to him in person.

Q: So, otherwise, there’s been no news about Yang?

A: Right. All the information about Yang Hua is coming through Chen Jiangang.

Q: How has the detention of Yang Hua and the persecution of Huoshi Church affected local attitudes towards Christianity in Guiyang?

A: Many smaller churches are very, very unsafe. Some of them must have compromised [with the government]. Still, I know there are churches that think Huoshi (Living Stone) is the only one the government hates, but what they hate is Christianity, not specific churches. The problem is, not everyone interprets the incident like that. Some of them say that [we experience persecution because] we are too radical, grew too fast and didn’t keep a low profile. Some people will say these things, but some people will say, “Okay, it’s not a single case. It’s part of the whole plan. If Living Stone can be shut down, then each one of us can be shut down at any time.” Anyway, I still see people come to [believe in] Jesus Christ.

Q: That’s awesome.

A: Yeah, that’s very positive. No matter how a certain pastor thinks, thought, or projects the situation to be, ordinary people just keep coming to Jesus Christ, so overall, nothing can stop [Christianity]. Maybe from time-to-time there is some setbacks, but, in general, people still go [to church].

Q: Is it usually a struggle for non-Christians to become Christians because of the persecution?

A: Yeah, definitely. Because after all of this, they know that to become a Christian means that the police might visit you regularly, or your boss might talk to you.

Q: I don’t think Americans understand what a life-changing decision that is, so it’s so inspiring to hear about people who choose to follow Jesus despite the hardships. Huoshi Church is the largest house church in Guiyang, is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you know if non-Christians, in Guiyang, know about the situation?

A: It’s a big thing. Even some of my classmates who are not Christians know from somewhere. A lot of people know about this situation, because, as you can imagine, [Huoshi Church] has about 700 people, and a special [government] office has been set up to target them. There might be even more. I don’t know, because we don’t keep a list of the names. It could have been very dangerous, so we didn’t count how many people [attend the church]. That means the government doesn’t have a clue who is a member of the church and who is not, so they just boldly collect names and the contact information of the place the church members work and then talk to the boss of your workplace and talk to the community leader of where you live. So, a lot of people—tens of thousands—have heard about this news.

Q: It’s not necessarily being reported in the media, but people are hearing it from other places.

A: Yeah. For instance, I have three brothers and sisters, and I’m the only Christian. My brothers and sisters are going to be invited for tea [Editor’s Note: The Chinese police often invite someone for tea when they wish to interrogate them]. So you can imagine, if I am a Christian, they will not only talk to my parents but they will probably also visit my grandparents.

Q: So people will just find out by word-of-mouth?

A: Yeah. As you can imagine, that is huge.

Q: Hearing about what happened to Huoshi Church, have any non-believers in Guiyang expressed support? Either by sympathizing with you, or they’re otherwise demonstrating that they care.

A: Okay, Yu Lei could be a typical example. He is not a Christian. He hasn’t been baptized yet, but when he saw the [confidential] document and realized that the church was in danger, he took action without any hesitation. This endangered his life. Now, he has left [his home]. His mother is very old. His wife has to take care of his mother and their youngest son, who is only five years old, so it’s a very difficult time, but this guy is still [strong] … I believe he will become a very strong Christian in the future.

Q: What would you like people outside of China to know about religious freedom in China?

A: In general, I would maybe like to see more media coverage. I don’t know if it will work … [It would be great if] we can get some celebrities, for instance from Hollywood, like Tom Cruise [to become spokespeople for Christians in China]. I know that Tom Cruise is not a Christian, but there must be someone there, right?

Q: Right. Well, I know that Christian Bale supported Chen Guangcheng.

A: Yeah, like Chen Guangcheng’s [case]. That’s got to be huge. That would get the headlines of the newspapers.

Either that or, in some major international event, some people could talk about the religious situation in China. For instance, during the Olympic Games, the gold medal champions could say something. Like, if Jeremy Lin says something about freedom of religion in China … That’s exciting! Just imagine.

There must be a lot of Chinese students in the United States or in Europe—all over the world. Maybe we can talk to them. Most of them may not be Christians, but no matter what, if they stay in the United States, sooner or later some people will teach Christianity to them, no matter where they are or what kind of school they go to. Maybe we can go through some channels so that most of the overseas students can get involved in distributing all this news….

Q: I know a lot of Chinese students are resistant to the idea that there’s religious persecution in China. They believe that it’s just U.S. propaganda, and even some Americans think that it’s not that bad. What would you suggest as a way of convincing Americans and international students that religious persecution in China is real, and it’s bad?

A: For instance, if we can get Jeremy Lin to say something … it must be real, right? He’s like a hero! He’s like a superhero to some people! So, [their understanding of] the situation will be different. Maybe you can work on that and send some letters or do a little research about which Hollywood stars are Christians. For instance, some Hollywood stars, like Richard Gere, are Tibetan Buddhists. That’s major! We don’t have some kind of spokesman for Christianity in Hollywood, at least at the moment, but there must be someone who is a very good Christian there, like [Ronald] Reagan was, many years ago.

Q: I think it’s a great idea to contact celebrities, because they have influence among people across political parties, so it’s less divisive. Is there any other information that you would like to share?

A: I do not fully understand what the mandate of your job is, but I think it could be great if something could be covered by China Aid. That would be wonderful. I know that for instance … some Chinese government-controlled, so-called “professors” are running for the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. Come on, that’s totally [wrong] … So maybe you should do something about that. I know that Bob already did a lot of things in Congress, the EU and the UN, but maybe we should put more energy in not only working on individual cases, but also changing laws, such as international or American law. For instance, there was a law in the 1980’s that if you were a victim of persecution, you cannot easily travel to the United States. Then, [later] in the 1980’s, a law passed that victims of religious persecution can apply for a certain kind of [visa]. A law can better help the situation. It could be any kind of law, for instance, if we can make an international law and the U.N. says that, if any country sets up a law that violates human rights, the international society will consider that law illegal in the framework of the international law. If you sign the human rights treaty, you have to recognize the international law first, then your national law, then your regulations. So, if we can mobilize the international society to do these kinds of things, or if we can do them nationally, or in the future, [says that U.S. government will] hunt them down if they do something really bad. We not only have a duty to report the individual cases, but we also have a broader mission to enforce the law or contribute to the legal system.


China Aid Media Team
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: media@chinaaid.org
For more information, click here

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Updated: Guizhou pastor possibly tortured in detention; church group evicted

China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Rachel Ritchie.

Updated at 9:32 a.m. on May 20, 2016.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—May 17, 2016) The lawyers for an incarcerated house church pastor in Guiyang, the largest city in China’s inland Guizhou province, expressed their belief that their client was tortured in prison. This revelation comes on the heels of the announcement that the pastor’s case has been transferred to the court for trial and that a small group from pastor’s church was evicted.

Yang Hua, the pastor of the recently persecuted Huoshi Church, was first administratively detained on Dec. 9, 2015, then criminally detained for “illegally holding state secrets,” and arrested for “divulging state secrets” on Jan. 22.

One of Yang’s lawyers, Chen Jiangang, told China Aid that when he and his co-counsel, Zhao Yonglin, visited the pastor on April 22, they saw the prison official threaten Yang. Chen said they suspect that Yang has been subjected to inhumane treatment during his detention and reported that Yang was in low spirits. The lawyers are currently attempting to determine to what extent Yang has been mistreated.

The person from the Procuratorate office who is in charge of this case had coerced Pastor Yang Hua [to confess to his crimes],” Chen said on April 24 after meeting with Yang. “Now, Yang Hua is somewhat afraid. Since Yang Hua has not made any oral confessions, he has not done anything criminal. He neither understands the affairs of other people nor will speak irresponsibly about them. When the time for the decision came, the authorities extended his detention another three months.”

Yang Hua preaches to a crowd on Jan. 8, 2011.
(Photo: China Aid)
“We’ve gotten the files. ... He has been persecuted and made notes,” Chen said following the lawyers’ May visit.

Yang’s wife, Wang Hongwu, told China Aid that Yang’s lawyers also visited the pastor at the detention center on May 11. Wang said that shortly after, it was announced that her husband’s case had been transferred to the Nanming District Court in Guiyang after three months of review and that no trial date had been announced.

Authorities also summoned Yang’s wife in April. “The Nanming District Procuratorate summoned me to make a report. They asked some questions about my family situation and my activities dating from my time in elementary school to now,” Wang said. “Then, they raised questions about Yang Hua, asking me if I have seen the national secrets he posted on WeChat. They had a document clearly marked with the word ‘secrets’ … I said I don’t know anything about this matter. They mainly asked about these things. Besides that, they also asked if I ever let someone else use my cell phone.”

Additionally, China Aid learned that a small group from Huoshi Church was forced to relocate last week after the landlord renting apartment space to them evicted the group.

“Congregations are still held as small group gatherings. At least seven to eight people would attend, although not a large number of attendees,” Wang said after one such group was forced to move. “Many people joined different groups at different locations. Even so, the Jinyang group had to change locations several times because the police pressured the landlords, forcing them to revoke the lease.”

Since July 2015, four individuals—including two non-Christians who helped the church—have been arrested on varying charges. Authorities later banned the church from meeting and froze the church’s bank account, which contained 640,000 Yuan (U.S. $98,100). A fine of 20 Yuan (U.S. $3) per day per square foot was imposed on the church on Nov. 22, resulting in a total daily fine of 12,960 Yuan (U.S. $1,980) for the 648 square meter (6,975 square foot) space. Three church meeting places have been sealed, believers have been followed or surveilled, and some Christians have been interrogated and warned not to rejoin small worship groups.

Wang said that after Yang’s arrest, the burden of raising the family fell on her. “Just myself and two children—God’s grace is sufficient for us to live. God is gracious. God is watching over us.”

China Aid reports on human rights violations such as the incarceration of Yang Hua and the persecution of Huoshi Church in order to expose abuses committed by the Chinese government and promote rule of law and religious freedom in China.




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

Thursday, April 21, 2016