Two Shanxi Province residents were detained for printing religious material and books.
Zhong Hao (pseudonym), in his fifties, used a part of his income to print Christian hymns for a family church in Shanxi. He also helped a friend who ran a bookstore that sold Christian books and other reading material.
Mr. Zhong was arrested in 2012 and sentenced in May 2013 to five years in prison for “illegal book operations.” When his family appealed against the sentence, the court dismissed the petition and upheld the original conviction. He was taken to a prison in Shanxi that December and kept there until his release three years later in 2016.
Despite being released earlier than he was supposed to be, his nightmare has not ended yet. He is still under constant police surveillance, and every once in a while, they call to inquire about his whereabouts.
On the day of Zhong Hao’s arrest, Zhou Wen (pseudonym) was also arrested in 2012. He was a manager at a well-known bookstore, and after being detained for a year, he received a two-year prison sentence.
As per analysts, these incidents fall in line with what happened with Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong-based Swedish national, who was arrested by the Chinese government for publishing books exposing the Chinese Communist Party in 2016. He was subsequently released in 2017, but as of January 2018, he is back in detention.
Reported by Feng Gang