China Aid Association
Photo Zhou’s wife with their two daughters
Another House Church Leader in Xinjiang Detained for Receiving Bibles
(Midland, Texas — Oct 12, 2007) CAA learned one coworker of the arrested house church leader Zhou Heng was detained recently. Reliable source from family members told CAA that Tan Wen, a Christian who accompanied Zhou to pick up the Bible shipping, was arrested on Oct 9 2007, and there is no information about him at this moment.
Zhou Heng, a prominent Christian house church leader in Urumqi, Xinjiang, was arrested and accused of illegal business management. In August 3rd, Zhou received the delivery notice for a batch of printed Bibles someone sent to him. He was immediately detained without warrant by the Shayibake District Public Security officers, who were apparently anticipating his pick-up.
The PSB officers also interrogated Zhou’s other Christian friends and his wife, Chen Jihong. So far, Zhou’s family and his lawyer have made little progress through the legal battle despite their effort.
Zhou suffered inhumane treatment as a detainee in custody. The officers hand-cuffed Zhou on his back in the first day of his arrest. Zhou was forced to sleep on concrete floor in the first month, and was only provided a bed after CAA reported about his arrest. Zhou shared the cell with 14 other inmates, who were directed by the officers to beat up on him as an attempt to make Zhou testify against himself, which Zhou refused. In August 31st, a charge was formally issued against Zhou, and he was transferred to Xishan Prison in Urumqi.
At first, the Ministry of Public Security denied Zhou’s access to a lawyer, claiming that his case is classified due to national security reason. Zhou was finally assigned a lawyer in September 14. Zhou appeared to be emotionally calm, and he emphasized that he is innocent. He also asked for more legal assistance from outside Xinjiang. After learning that many people all over the world concerned for him, Zhou broke down in tears and thanked.
Zhou’s wife, Chen-Jihong, and his lawyer Zhang Jiunong, have been trying to bail him out of jail so Zhou can reunite with his family. There is no official response on that request.
Coping with the harsh family situation, Zhou’s wife and his two young daughters never gave up hope and proactively fought the fight that they could never win, hoping that one day it would make a difference. Although the children couldn’t understand the reason for their father’s arrest, they missed their father and prayed for him often.
© Issued by CAA on October 12, 2007
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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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