(Photo courtesy of
By Rachel Ritchie
(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Jan. 21, 2015) Lawyers for a detained pastor in China’s coastal Zhejiang Province are submitting three administrative lawsuits against the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau and the Pingyang County Government of Wenzhou on Jan. 26.
Huang Yizi, the pastor of Fengwo Church in Pingyang County, Wenzhou was placed under criminal detention by the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau on Aug. 2, 2014, for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.” Officials took Huang from his home after he refused to answer repeated summons by local police, which began after he went to the Pingyang County police to inquire about a bloody conflict at Salvation Church.
“We have three cases [for the administrative lawsuits],” Zhang Kai, the lead lawyer of the delegation defending Huang, said. “Case number one is [that] Pastor Huang will sue the government and the public security bureau for violating his rights. While the case was still in the process of being investigated, a netizen wrote a letter to the governor of the province. Later, the government wrote a letter in reply. The letter was signed by the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau and listed many circumstances that are not true.
“Case number two is that police officers tricked Pastor Huang into dismissing his lawyers. They promised at the time that they would release Pastor Huang in one month’s time if he dismissed the lawyers,” Zhang said. “Case number three will be submitted by the wife of the pastor. The police tricked her into dismissing the lawyers.”
“The police not only told [Huang], but they also told the family members that once the lawyers were dismissed, they would release Huang,” Huang’s wife said. “However, they didn’t honor their words and were tricking us. They never wanted to release Huang from the very beginning. Their purpose was to make us dismiss the lawyers.”
“After they made Huang dismiss the lawyers one month ago, the police told him that they needed time and that they would release him in two weeks,” said Wen Yu, another lawyer on the delegation of nearly 10. “Yet, more than a month has passed, and they still haven’t released Huang. When his family members negotiated with the police, they recorded their conversation, including the promise that Huang would be released after a certain period following the dismissal of the lawyers. Now, Huang and his family have re-hired the lawyers to sue the police for violating the law.”
Zhang said that the delegation would not rule out suing other relevant agencies.