China Aid Association
(URUMQI, XINJIANG, CHINA (ANS) – April 9, 2008) In August of 2007 Zhou Heng was detained for possession of 5,184 copies of illegally published Bibles.
Zhou Heng reunited with his familyZhou suffered inhumane treatment as a detainee in custody. The officers handcuffed 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 China Aid Association (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. On 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 God.
Zhou has been in detention until this most recent court decision.
An official decision released by the court stated the following: “After reviews and additional investigations that were returned twice, this procuratorate still believes that the crime determined by Shayibake District Branch of Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau is not based on clear facts and do not have sufficient evidence. Therefore, their claims do not qualify for prosecution. Pursuant to Clause 4, Article 142 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, it is decided not to prosecute Zhou Heng.”
In a heartfelt thank you letter, addressed “To all sisters, brothers, and friends in China, America, Europe, and all around the world,” Christian leader Zhou Heng expressed his gratitude to the many supporters for their letters of encouragement during his incarceration.
He writes: “I heartfully thank you for the care and prayers for me during the time I was arrested and put into prison (August 3rd, 2007) for receiving a quantity shipment of The Bible. And I thank you for the love and the help you offered for my family. I’m proud of you. It also reminds me of something Lord Jesus says, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, … I was in prison and you came to visit me … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “
Heng continues: “According to the decision of the Shayibake District People’s Procuratorate of Urumqi city, Xinjiang China, I was declared not guilty, released from Xishan Penitentiary in February 19, and regained my freedom.
“I am now recuperating at home. Although I am still physically weak, my heart is filled with peace and light from the Holy Spirit. Let us, in Christ, continue to focus on Father’s kingdom and righteousness. Let us thank, praise and worship the great, almighty and loving God. Romans 8:26-30.”
China Aid Association
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]