Arrested Xinjiang House Church Businessman Zhou Heng Case Returned to PSB for Insufficient Evidence

China Aid Associationimage
Photo: brother Zhou Heng
Arrested Xinjiang House Church Businessman
Zhou Heng Case Returned to PSB for Insufficient Evidence

(Midland, Texas — December 18, 2007) CAA learned that Xinjiang Christian businessman Zhou Heng’s
case was returned to the PSB by the Shayibake District People’s Procuratorate
of Urumqi city on November 22, 2007. Under heavy pressure from international
community, the prosecutors sent back Zhou’s case because of “insufficient
evidence” to indict Zhou.

China Aid learned that a well-known house church leader was
formally arrested on August 31 for receiving 3 tons of bibles. Mr. Zhou Heng is
also the manager of a registered bookstore which is called Yayi Christian Book
Room which is used to sell some Christianity related books published legally
and officially inside China.

His bookstore was already forced to close after his arrest by the local
authority.

Mr. Zhou Heng’s formal arrest’s notice was approved
by Shayibake District People’s Procuratorate of Urumqi city on August 31 and
sent to his wife Chen Jihong by Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau.
According to a copy of the notice paper (a scanned copy and its translation are
attached with this release) that CAA has obtained, Zhou Heng was accused of “illegal
business operation.” Zhou Heng is currently detained at Xishan Detention
Center.

He was jailed on August 3. He was detained when he went to
pick up three tons of Bibles at a bus station. The Bibles were reportedly donated
by South Korean churches and were intended for local believers free of charge.
However, the Chinese government only allows officially sanctioned (state)
churches to print and distribute a limited number of Bibles each year. If
convicted of the charges, he faces a 15-year prison sentence.

CAA China investigators spoke with a recently released
inmate who shared a cell with Brother Zhou. The inmate reported Brother Zhou
was beaten in prison severely by other inmates and prison guards.

CAA is helping the legal defense work for brother Zhou’s
case. A well-known Christian human rights defense attorney Mr. Zhang Xingshui
has visited Xinjiang to represent and defend Zhou Heng in the court. He was not
allowed to meet with Zhou in prison.



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