|Yang Hua, second from left, poses
with his family. (Photo: China Aid)
By Brynne Lawrence
(Guiyang, Guizhou—April 21, 2016) A lawyer received permission to meet with an incarcerated pastor on Friday, despite previous government refusal.
Authorities granted Chen Jiangang permission to meet with his client Yang Hua, the incarcerated pastor of Huoshi Church, on April 22. This allowance comes after Chen and another lawyer, Zhao Yonglin, were repeatedly denied meetings with Yang. They last met with him on March 23.
Authorities took Yang into police custody on Dec. 9, 2015, charged him with “the crime of obstructing justice” after he deterred officials from destroying church data and sentenced him to five days in administrative detention. On Dec. 15, they claimed he “gathered a crowd to disturb social order” and held him for an additional five days. When his wife arrived at the detention center to pick him up on Dec. 20, however, she saw him wearing a black hood and being herded into a vehicle without a license plate.
She later learned that his charge had been changed to “illegally holding state secrets” and that he was being transferred to criminal detention. On Jan. 22, officials altered the charge once more to “divulging state secrets” and formally arrested him.
China Aid will update this story as more information becomes available.
China Aid reports on abuses, such as those experienced by Yang Hua, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. If you would like to get involved in supporting Yang Hua, please consider signing the petition for his release or visiting www.freeyanghua.org to learn more.