By Ava Collins
(Guiyang, Guizhou—Aug. 26, 2015) A church deacon and her husband were forcibly taken to the local public security bureau by police in China’s inland Guizhou province in late July. While the husband was released after two days of interrogation, criminal charges have been filed against the wife.
Zhang Xiuhong, the chairman of Guiyang’s Huoshi Church’s deacon committee and staff member in charge of church finances, and her husband Chen Zukai were both were taken into custody for “illegal business operations” on July 28. Though Chen was released, Zhang is still being held and attempts to see her by family and legal counsel have been unsuccessful.
A Huoshi Church member named Mr. Luo told China Aid’s reporter that the husband and wife were taken to the public security bureau. “They were taken between four and five o’clock. Zhang Xiuhong was taken first.” According to Luo, Zhang was intercepted by police in a parking lot outside the church building after exiting her vehicle, which a police officer then drove away. Soon after, Chen was detained near their home, after returning from a walk with the couple’s children.
Upon Chen’s release, he was not allowed to see his wife. Later that evening, public security arrived at the couple’s house with a search warrant and confiscated a computer hard drive and USB flash drive. They left an official notification of Zhang’s criminal custody.
When lawyer Xiao Yunyang, attempted to visit Zhang on July 30, he was told he would not be allowed to see her because her data had not been entered into the computer system yet. The next day, the station claimed she would be interrogated and no visitors would be allowed.