CAA Legal Defense Fund in Action

China Aid Association
On May 8, 2008 at 10:30 AM several house church members in Qingzhou City, Shandong Province, were gathered together with a pastor from Taiwan when their meeting was disrupted by Government officials. 5 different federal organizations took part in the house church raid, including the Municipal Security Bureau, the Public Security Bureau of Qingzhou and the Department of Religious Affairs.
The Government agents photographed the members and then forced them to register their names. After creating documentation of the members, the agents then proceeded to personally search the members. One house church Christian, Zhang Yongliang was taken to the police station. Upon hearing of his son’s arrest, Zhang’s father and mother rushed to the house church to confirm the news. Upon entering the house church Zhang’s father discovered the students sitting on the floor and the room a mess. Zhang’s mother tried to enter the room but policemen pushed her back outside. When Zhang’s father tried to intervene, 6 officers pushed him the floor and placed him under arrest. At the police station Zhang’s father was severely beaten by officials. After receiving severe trauma to the head, Zhang’s father was taken to the hospital where he was given several sutures to stop the bleeding. He remained in arbitrary detention until May 20.
On June 18 Zhang presented an appeal to the courts challenging the Government’s decision of the house church arrest and confiscation of property. The Executive Director of the Office suggested Zhang proceed through mediation rather than an official court filing. Zhang and his family were unable to advance in their appeal until June 8. With assistance from the CAA legal Defense Fund, Beijing lawyer Wu Chenglian was able to help Zhang file an appeal through mail. On June 18 a court official called Zhang and asked him about the appeal. The official threatened Zhang to not go through with the appeal but Zhang set a court date and proceeded with the appeal. Upon entering the court on the date of appeal, Zhang was greeted by members of the PSB and NSB who requested that he withdraw his appeal. Zhang told the officers that he would withdraw his appeal if the confiscated items were returned to the church. The officials promised to return everything but a laptop. After agreeing to the deal, Zhang received a verbal apology from the officials.
Through financial support from the CAA Legal Defense Fund, Zhang Yongliang was supplied with legal help throughout his trial. Attorney Wu Chenglian was able to help Zhang with assistance from CAA. Persistent legal representation and counsel were made possible through CAA’s direct intervention. Had it not been for the CAA Legal Defense Fund, Zhang would have had little hope of receiving a fair and just trial.
Zhang expressed his gratitude to the lawyers who had contributed to this case as well as the support of the house church members and other concerned Christians around the world.
Issued by CAA July 29, 2008

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

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