Radio Free Asia: Parents hoped to see Zhang Kai, [who is held under] residential surveillance, but things turned out contrary to their hopes; Pastor Zhang Chongzhu’s charge has been changed to criminal detention

Radio Free Asia
Translated by Carolyn Song

■ The clergymen who were arrested in a large arrest movement in Zhejiang were released gradually before the Spring Festival, but there is still no news about the church consultant, Beijing lawyer Zhang Kai. His parents went to Wenzhou during the Spring Festival to inquire about his circumstances, but the police never replied (Reported by Hailian).

Lawyer Zhang Kai, who is under residential surveillance, still has 12 days until the half-year time limit [for being held under residential surveillance]. His parents went to Wenzhou before the Spring Festival, hoping to see their son and look into whether or not he could be released for the Spring Festival. Zhang Kai’s father explained on Friday (Feb. 12) that they asked the police [about Zhang Kai’s situation] and gave [Zhang Kai] clothes. In the end, their son was not released. The reply of every place they went to was that [they should] believe in the government, the law and the police. Furthermore, they were commanded to return to Beijing. [Zhang Kai’s father] and his family left Wenzhou on the fourth day of the beginning of the year. This year’s celebration of Chinese New Year was very confusing, perplexing and grievous [for them].

Zhang’s father said: “There isn’t even a little news. Lawyers are not allowed to meet with [Zhang Kai]. Our family members also cannot meet [with him]. We just wanted to see him and take a look at his circumstances, but, in the end, [he was] unable to be freed.”

He also pointed out that they stayed in Wenzhou for more than 10 days, during which time the police delivered their son’s letter. [The letter’s] contents said he didn’t need a lawyer and asked his parents to pay attention to their health, exercise restraint and not stir up their emotions. Their son will have served the full-term [allotted for] residential surveillance at the end of February. If there is news of his release, they can go to Wenzhou again to meet their son. For the time being, they have no news.

This reporter already phoned the Wenzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, but the call didn’t go through.

Very late at night on Aug. 25 of last year, Zhang Kai and his assistants, Liu Peng and Fang Xiangui, were taken from Xialing Church in Wenzhou by the police. On Aug. 27, Zhang Kai and his assistants were accused on suspicion of “gathering a mob to disturb social order” and of “stealing, spying on, buying and illegally providing state secrets and intelligence to overseas organizations” and put under residential surveillance. On Dec. 11 of the same year, Liu Peng and Fang Xiangui were released on bail.

Besides Lawyer Zhang Kai, there are still two other Wenzhou pastors under residential surveillance [from] the large arrest movement in Zhejiang, including Pastor Zhang Chongzhu, whose charge was changed to criminal detention last Friday ( Feb. 5). On the same day, Pastor Huang Yizi was released on bail.

Pastor Zhang Chongzhu’s wife expressed that she recently received her husband’s criminal detention notice, [which said] that the Wenzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau suspected him of “stealing, spying, buying or illegally providing state secrets for institutions and people outside the country” on Feb. 5 and is currently detained at the Wenzhou Municipal Detention Center. She also pointed out that her husband’s charge is just like residential surveillance, [since] lawyers cannot meet with him. As a result, he cannot hire a lawyer in the present stage [of the legal process]. If he is truly arrested, he will have the ability to commission a lawyer. She also pointed out that, at present, no one has seen her husband and the specific circumstances are unknown. Of course, [she is] worried about him. In addition, his church is still under the authorities’ surveillance.

Zhang Chongzhu’s wife said: “The notice that they [the police] gave me is similar to the previous charge of residential surveillance. They did not say specifically what it is. Right now, they are still in the stage of looking for evidence. Finding a lawyer will only be effective if it is like this: they say how they have convicted him, and I know what charge it is after they give me the certificate of arrest.”

Huang Yizi, who is responsible for the China Evangelistic Concern Group in Shenzhou and is the pastor of Fengwo Church, was released the day before the Spring Festival. Huang Yizi indicated to this radio station on Friday (Feb. 12) that he had been released on bail for one year. He is currently well. Due to [being held under] residential surveillance at a different [location], he does not understand Zhang Kai and Zhang Chongzhu’s situation, and he is unable to talk about them.

Huang Yizi went missing on Sept. 11 of last year. Zhang Chongzhu lost contact on Sept. 8. These two people were later confirmed to be under residential surveillance.

Because cross demolitions in Zhejiang gave rise to believers protesting, [the authorities] have carried out the seizure of clergymen and relevant public figures since the end of August of last year. More than 10 people have been put under residential surveillance, followed by some people gradually being released. Currently, Wenzhou Pastor Zhang Chongzhu and Lawyer Zhang Kai are still detained.

Beginning in February 2014, Zhejiang launched a cross demolition movement. The authorities demolished more than 1,200 crosses in the name of “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” and encountered the opposition of many churches. Some of the crosses have been re-erected.

Source: RFA (Boxun

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