A house church leader from Anhui Province sentenced to 18 months after the police apprehend him while on the run to evade arrest.
The name of a house church leader, Wang Hui (pseudonym), from Bozhou city, Anhui Province, was put on the list of wanted persons after the arrest of five of his co-religionists in July 2017. The police tracked him down and arrested him when he was on the run to evade capture. He was sentenced to 18 months for “using a xie jiao (heterodox) organization to undermine the enforcement of the law” and remains in custody.
One night in July 2017, five or six armed officers from Bozhou suddenly burst into Wang Hui’s home. Not finding him at home, they began ransacking the place without showing any documentation to his family.
To evade arrest, Wang Hui left for Anhui’s Liu’an County in his private car to hide out on August 19. On the way, he used his ID card to check into a hotel in Mengcheng County, which alerted the local police. Officers from the National Security Bureau in Shangqiu city, Henan Province, took him to a detention center.
Wang Hui’s family, not knowing about his arrest, made many inquiries about his whereabouts and even reported him missing to the police. Only then were they informed that he was in detention. On August 22 and 23, they made two separate trips to the National Security Bureau to visit Wang Hui, but authorities refused. When inquired about the reason for his arrest, the police said that “Wang Hui believes in a xie jiao organization and is suspected of ‘using it to undermine the enforcement of the law.’”
In September, Wang Hui’s wife received his detention notice. The family consulted a lawyer on his case who said that Wang Hui did not have the right to appeal, stating that “if the government said he was guilty, he was guilty.” His family spent 110,000 RMB trying to free him through connections but were unable to secure his release.
In April 2018 when Wang Hui’s case was about to be heard, his relatives were notified by the court not to attend the trial. They only learned of his 18-month sentence after the trial and never received a copy of the sentencing.
It is understood that during this particular operation, the police arrested a total of 13 believers; some sentenced to five or six years.
Reported by Jiang Tao