Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.
(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—March 3, 2016) Following the detention of human rights lawyer Zhang Kai on Friday, his parents wrote a letter on Sunday morning calling for authorities to lawfully manage their son’s case.
“We believe Zhang Kai is innocent, and we hope the government can respect his rights, which the law has guaranteed,” they said in the letter. “We hope Wenzhou’s law enforcement authorities can handle this in accordance with the law.”
Zhang, who was originally taken into police custody on Aug. 25, 2015, and placed in a “black jail,” became the latest in a series of televised confessions on Feb. 25. Afterwards, Chinese authorities criminally detained Zhang.
“He looks like he was under duress while making those ISIS/North Korea-style, scripted remarks about his confessed crimes of ‘endangering national security’ and ‘gathering a mob to disturb social order,” China Aid president Bob Fu said in a statement regarding Zhang’s confession. “ … I do believe he is innocent.”
Zhang wrote a letter to his parents on Nov. 12, shortly after the dismissal of his lawyer, saying, “I believe everything we have encountered, whether a blessing or a curse, is all controlled by the Lord’s hands. Therefore, we need not worry.”
The letter from Zhang’s parents, as well as the statement from Fu and Zhang’s letter to his parents, can be read in full below.
China Aid will continue to follow Zhang Kai’s case in order to expose religious freedom abuses and promote freedom of religion and rule of law in China.
Zhang Kai’s [legal status] was changed to criminal detention at 9 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2016. It is not clear what’s going to happen to him next. We commit all this to the control of the Lord. As parents, we are very anxious to hear about the handling of [Zhang Kai’s case], but we believe Zhang Kai is innocent, and we hope the government can respect his rights, which the law has guaranteed. We hope Wenzhou’s law enforcement authorities can handle this in accordance with the law. We hope Zhang Kai can come back home to reunite with family members as soon as possible. We thank all [the] friends who have [expressed their] care for Zhang Kai.
Zhang Kai’s parents on the morning of Feb. 28, 2016
Zhang Kai was seen on official TV in Wenzhou on Thursday for the first time since he was detained and put into a “black jail” six months ago. He looked like he was under duress while making those ISIS/North Korea-style, scripted remarks about his confessed crimes of “endangering national security” and “gathering a mob to disturb social order,” of which he has been accused simply for his organized, legal defense work against the forced cross demolition campaign, which still continues.
I am proud of being Zhang Kai’s close friend and fellow Christian brother. I do believe he is innocent. Although I was sad as I painfully watched him condemn me and China Aid on the CCP’s official TV broadcast, I know he must have been going through enormous suffering and torture in the past six months (little did the evil authorities know that he and I actually made a pre-arranged agreement before his imprisonment that he will never compromise nor betray us in any way, unless he faces insurmountable hardship). We are always proud of you, and we love you, dear brother Zhang Kai. Keep up a good spirit, and may the comfort of the Holy Spirit be with you and heal you after you are free from physical bondage.
Although my name and China Aid are mentioned as an “overseas force supporting Zhang Kai’s legal defense work,” which is the shameful propaganda of CCP, we will never be intimidated, nor will we cease to continue to promote religious freedom for all in China.
Feb. 26, 2016
On Nov. 23, 2015, Zhang Kai’s lawyer received a letter lawyer Zhang Kai wrote to his parents. The letter’s contents are:
Mom and Dad,
We cannot avoid all the misfortunes in life. The correct way to face them is by looking ahead. I believe everything we have encountered, whether a blessing or a curse, is all controlled by the Lord’s hands. Therefore, we need not worry. Here, I am communicating positively with the police, and I am hoping good will arise out of it. Thanks for commissioning lawyers for me. Zhang Lei is a lawyer of good character and will spare no effort for my matters. Thank him for reaching out his hands to save me during my hour of misfortune. Because of communication with the police, I am temporarily dismissing him. I hope you take care of your health, be optimistic, and face today’s matters correctly. Things can always get better.”
Signed: “Your son, Zhang Kai Nov. 12, 2015