Western media and NGO had protested against the first-degree sentence in September 2020. The appellate judge confirmed Chen should remain in jail.
by Zhong Jingguo
Several Western media and NGOs reported in 2020 that on September 27 Chen Yu, the head of the “Wheat Bookstore” in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, had been charged with “illegal business operation” for selling Christian books, and sentenced to 7 years in prison and fined 200,000 yuan by Linhai City Court.
Family and co-religionists have now learned that the decision has been confirmed on appeal.
Chen Yu, who sometimes used the pseudonym Zhang Mai on social networks, was popular with Christians in Zhejiang and beyond. He had clients in Henan, Shandong, and other provinces. He had been left comparatively undisturbed until September 2019, when he was arrested.
At trial, the prosecutor claimed that he had sold more than 20,000 Bibles and Christian books, and that 12,684 books had been found at his premises and destroyed.
Reportedly, what enraged the police was that he sold thousand of books by Pastor Wang Yi, of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, who was sentenced to nine years in jail in 2019. Not coincidentally, it was when the trial against Pastor Wang Yi was being prepared that bookseller Chen Yu was arrested.
The prosecutor characterized Chen’s bookselling operation as an “anti-Chinese conspiracy,” because some of the Bibles and books he sold were printed in Taiwan and the United States, and claimed that Chen had more than 10,000 customers.
Chen remains an inmate in Linhai City Detention Center, Zhejiang Province.