China Aid Association
(Zizhou County, Shaanxi—April 7, 2014) Another believer in Zizhou County, in China’s inland Shaanxi province, was placed under criminal detention on March 27 in relation to charges of “gathering a crowd to assault a state official” against three Christians from the Zhenzizhou house church.
The woman, 35, whose family calls her Dongduo, was detained two weeks after her sister, who has been called both Enrong and Tiaorong, was detained and placed under criminal detention on charges of “gathering a crowd to assault at state official.”
China Aid previously reported Enrong’s detention (https://chinaaid.org/2014/03/shaanxi-woman-goes-into-hiding-as.html). Police had told the younger sister that she could come to the police station and take her sister’s place in prison. Dongduo, after receiving warnings from other Christians, chose to go into hiding, fearing that the offer was a trap meant to lure her to the police station for her own arrest.
Both sisters were present when church pastor Feng Tiangdong led a group of believers to the Laojundian Police Station in Zizhou County on Nov. 15, 2013. At the police station, the Christians intended to ask police to return property that was confiscated from Feng when the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau raided a Christmas Eve celebration at his home in 2011 (see https://chinaaid.org/2013/12/families-of-detained-shaanxi-believers.html, https://chinaaid.org/2014/01/lawyers-meet-with-detained-shaanxi.html and https://chinaaid.org/2014/02/more-details-about-detained-shaanxi.html).
During the conflict, the public security bureau director tried to escape from the location by climbing a wall and running away. However, the group caught the man and forced him back inside the police station.
A Zhenzizhou Church member confirmed that police were primarily after Dongduo for her part in the confrontation. “Both sisters went there [to the police station]. When the younger sister grabbed the collar of a police officer, she accidentally caused a minor wound on his neck. The police stick to this evidence,” he said.
The detention of both sisters comes after the cases against Feng, Jiang “Mao” He and Zhang Baolin, who were detained and charged along with Feng for their part in the conflict, were returned to the Zizhou County Public Security Bureau because of insufficient evidence (https://chinaaid.org/2014/03/shaanxi-believers-cases-resubmitted-for.html).
The cases have been returned for the second time, making this the government’s last chance to find evidence against the men. If, once resubmitted to the Zizhou County Procuatorate, there is still insufficient evidence, the county will be legally required to drop the cases.
“April 3 is the due date for the return of the materials [for the case]. I have contacted Lawyer Liang Jiangzhou many times. The two of us will go [to Zizhou],” Lin Qilei, the lawyer representing Feng, said.
|Jiang “Mao” He
According to Zhang Fuli, Jiang’s wife, the public security bureau hadn’t resubmitted the cases as of March 31. “The time is due. We went [to the public security bureau] and asked them. They said the cases hadn’t been submitted to the procuratorate.”
There is currently no update on whether the cases were resubmitted to the procuratorate by the April 3 deadline and, if they were, whether or not they have been accepted. China Aid will continue to monitor the situation and update as more news becomes available.
Visiting their husbands
Lately, the detained men’s families have been denied visitation rights.
Xue Yuxia, Feng’s wife, tried to visit Feng on March 30, but officers refused to allow her to visit.
Zhang Fuli, Jiang’s wife, told China Aid that she hasn’t tried visiting because other church members who tried were turned away.
Zhang Fuli also said that Zhang Baolin’s family was able to visit him on Jan. 18, but that when she tried to visit Jiang around the same time, officers wouldn’t accept her request. “They gave me a good lecturing and wouldn’t let me see Jiang He,” she said.