China Aid Association
A believer from the church told ChinaAid that the wife of one detainee, Zhang Baolin, contacted him on Monday, telling him that the case was being submitted to the procuratorate and asking that the man consult with Zhang’s lawyer to see what actions could be taken. Lawyer Lei Xiaodong, who represents another detainee, Jiang Mao, confirmed to ChinaAid that the request was submitted prior to the New Year.
At this time, it is unknown if the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau will move forward with charges against a fourth man who was detained at the same time as the other three. The only information known about the fourth man is that he is 70 years old and has very few, if any, relatives in the area.
The detainees, including Zhang, Jiang, the elderly gentleman and Feng Tiandong, Zhenzizhou Church’s pastor, were all previously placed in criminal detention on charges of “organizing and using an evil cult organization to obstruct the law” (https://chinaaid.org/2013/12/families-of-detained-shaanxi-believers.html). The charge spawned from events on Nov. 15 when a group of 40 believers from Zhenzizhou Church, including Zhang, Jiang, the elderly man and Feng went to the Laojundian Police Station to ask Liu Xiaofeng, the director, why police wanted to arrest Feng.
ChinaAid has also learned that the families of the detainees may be experiencing threats authorities. Zhang’s wife, who only gave her surname, refused to speak to ChinaAid’s reporter about the case. “I can’t talk about it. In the past, some reporters called me at home, and I was threatened by the authorities,” Ms. Han said.
The above-mentioned believer reported that Jiang’s lawyer had told him that authorities at the prison where Jiang is held wanted 2,000 yuan (US$330.50) and two cartons of cigarettes for his release. The believer said that no move to meet this demand has been made.
Jiang’s family has repeatedly said that Jiang went missing on Dec. 1, and that they learned of his whereabouts on Dec. 10 when the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau notified them of his detention (https://chinaaid.org/2013/12/christian-father-detained-for-unknown.html). However, other sources report that Jiang and Feng were both taken from their homes on Dec. 9. (ChinaAid has confirmed that Jiang was taken into custody on Dec. 1, and his family learned of his detention on Dec. 10, one day after they began asking officials to investigate his disappearance. We can also confirm that Feng was taken from his home on Dec. 9. Updated Jan. 3)
Another local pastor familiar with the situation reported that a young man from the church, Xue Zhuang, was detained for approximately five days, only to be released on Sunday when his family “bought him out of jail” for 10,000 yuan (US$1,652).
ChinaAid has also learned that the Zizhou County Party Committee has appropriated funds specifically for this case and founded the “1115 Special Team,” in reference to Nov. 15, in response to requests from the provincial government to increase investigations concerning those involved.
ChinaAid condemns the suppression of Christians by the Shaanxi authorities. We call on Christians worldwide to express their concern for this case. We will continue to monitor the case as it evolves.
China Aid Contacts