Yang Hua (Photo: China Aid)

Yang Hua (Photo: China Aid)

(Guiyang, Guizhou—June 13, 2016) Documents from a lawsuit filed against authorities in China’s central Guizhou province allege that officers tortured a detained house church pastor and threatened his life and family. The pastor’s two defense attorneys issued the lawsuit after their client testified on May 11 about the abusive treatment he has received in police custody.

Human rights lawyer Chen Jiangang released an exclusive interview between himself and Yang Hua (also known as his legal name, Li Guozhi), a pastor of Huoshi Church who was arrested on charges of “divulging state secrets” on Jan. 22 after he attempted to prevent authorities from confiscating a hard drive belonging to the church.

In the interview, Yang describes two incidents, occurring on March 16 and April 15, in which three and five prosecutors respectively threatened his life and family. These prosecutors include Ke Jun, Zhang Wei, Zhao Yuanpeng, Tang Jing, and a man surnamed Han.

According to Yang, Ke said on March 16, “You’d better confess. Your life is in my hands. I’m here to meet with you because I see you as an ally. If you refuse to cooperate, I’ll treat you as a spy, as someone on the opposing side. In that case, we won’t treat you this nicely. I can make you disappear from the face of the earth. I’m a powerful man. Not one of the policemen [at this detention center] would stand if I asked him to get on his knees. [If you refuse to cooperate,) not only you, but your wife and your children will face problems. I’m a torture expert. I know how to beat you up without leaving a mark on your body for people to see. Doctors won’t be able to diagnose you. Even you won’t know what you died of.”

During the interrogation, the officials produced a transcript of what had been said and forced Yang to sign it. Then, they took him out of the room, forced him to re-enter, and videotaped another cross-examination, this time using less menacing language.

On April 15, the prosecutor named Zhang asked Yang to describe what happened on Dec. 6, 2015, when Huoshi Church refused to pay a fine the government inflicted on it for using office space that it purchased for religious services. When Yang refused to disclose this information, Ke became angry, stepped on his feet, and said, “No one here sympathizes with you. Do you know why the pigs on the pig farm behind this building are so fat? We can turn you into food for pigs, which is one way to die. There’s another way to kill you. I can take you to an isolated place and no one will find out how you died. We can make you experience something worse than death and then make you disappear from the face of the earth, or I can make arrangements with the detention center to have three or four guys locked here rape you and torture you every night. Suing me won’t work. I’m the boss here.”

Despite Zhang’s threats, Chen and his co-counsel, Zhao Yonglin, filed a lawsuit against the prosecutors.

In response to this information, China Aid’s president, Bob Fu, contacted the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Dutch government, including the Dutch Parliament, and urged them to communicate their concern about Yang’s treatment to Chinese authorities.

Translations of the interview and the lawsuit documents can be found below.

China Aid exposes abuses, such as the torture and threats experienced by Yang Hua, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. If you would like to get involved in supporting Yang Hua, please consider signing the petition for his release or visiting www.freeyanghua.org to learn more.

For additional information on this story visit the China Aid web site.

Source: China Aid