Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.
(Tianjin, China—Jan. 25, 2016) China Aid learned from an anonymous source on Tuesday that officials in China’s northern Tianjin denied a lawyer’s request to meet with his client, an arrested church elder, due to a failure to confirm the relationship between the defendant and the family member who hired the attorney.
According to the source, Chinese law contains no legal statute requiring proof of kinship between a family member who elects to hire the defendant’s lawyer and the incarcerated person. Government officials said that, even if a family member hired a lawyer, the prisoner would dismiss him because he already has government-provided lawyers working on his case. The source insisted that, since the lawyer could not meet with his client, the authenticity of the pastor’s decision to choose state-selected attorneys could not be confirmed.
Chinese police refused to discuss the situation further.
China Aid exposes religious freedom abuses, such as those experienced by the church member and his lawyer, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.