After appearing on television to "confess his crimes" and spending six months under "house arrest", the lawyer was released. Together with activists for civil liberties, he defended the Christian churches against Zhejiang province authorities.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Zhang Kai, the lawyer who fought against the forced demolition of Chinese crosses has been released. The news was reported by national media, supporters and friends. According to some sources he was released from jail yesterday: he spent six months in "a supervised residence" and had no contact with relatives or lawyers. This type of detention is reserved to human rights activists and religious leaders.
He was shown on state television at the end of February where he was seen to confess and admit "disturbing social order", "endangering state security" and behaving in an unprofessional manner. Such TV appearances, which recall the people's courts of the Maoist era, are becoming more frequent: independent publishers, activists for freedom of speech and lawyers are paraded before the cameras and in return they get a reduced sentence.
Zhang, who has represented Christian churches who are fighting against the campaign of the Communist Party to take down their crosses, was seized by security officials in August 2015. The lawyer disappeared from the city of Wenzhou, nicknamed "the Jerusalem China" for its large Christian population.
He has organized a legal team of over 30 people to deal with religious cases in the province of Zhejiang. The law is 37 years old and was a lawyer of the Beijing law firm Xinqiao. At the height of the Zhejiang demolition campaign, Zhang was the most active and the most involved of all the lawyers for human rights in China.
Starting in August 2014 representing the pastor of the Salvation church in Wenzhou, the Reverend Huang Yizi, he began to live in Wenzhou and became a consultant in many cases related to the demolition of crosses.
The Christian lawyer is known for his defense in court of the churches that are threatened with demolition or removal of the crosses. He had “disappeared" for several months. Now he is accused by state media of organizing illegal religious meetings, accepting money and training from foreigners to overthrow the government, having disturbed public order.
Bao Guohua, his wife and 10 other Jinhua Protestant faithful guilty of "embezzlement, disturbing public order, illegal commercial activities, concealment of financial documents and bills." He had hired 11 lawyers to prevent the demolition of the sacred symbol from his church. Televised “confession" of lawyer Zhang Kai: "I wanted money and fame, I have used religion to make myself known. Foreigners incited me against the government. "
Zhai Yanmin is accused of "subversion of state power." Last year about 300 lawyers arrested. Dozens more in police custody. The authorities have never allowed the relatives of the detainees to visit them; They seized the wives and even small children of some to bend them to confess their "crimes". Wang Yu's "confession".
The authorities released Zhang Chongzhu, the official church pastor in Pyongyang in Zhejiang. He sent word outside China about the government's new campaign and invited them to "stand in a circle and watch" as the crosses are demolished in the Chinese province.