October 22, 2003 (Voice of the Martyrs) -- Mrs. Gou Qinghui, wife of imprisoned house-church Christian Xiao Bi-guang, finally received official notification of her husband's arrest at 5 p.m. today. Chinese law states that the families of arrested persons will be notified within 24 hours of arrest; Xiao was arrested September 26.
Mrs. Gou needed the official notification to hire an attorney to represent her husband. She has now done that, and attorneys plan to visit the Detention Center of Lushan County in Henan Province, where Xiao is being held, later this week.
The official document included the charge against Xiao, "subverting the national government." It also included a hand-written note explaining the delay. According to the note, signed by officers Zhang Dang Yi and Li Hai Tao, they received the wrong address from Xiao during his interrogation, and therefore could not meet the deadline established by Chinese law.
"This is a clear result of pressure put on by Christians around the world," said VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton. "They had to come up with an excuse for why they didn't follow their own law. Beijing PSB officers know where Brother Xiao lives. In fact, they have been monitoring his wife's activities. They could have delivered this notice at any time during the past month, but they didn't until international pressure mounted."
Sister Gou has been told to notify the PSB before traveling. She hopes to visit her husband soon.
For another house-church Christian in China, the investigation is ongoing. Liu Feng Guang was arrested some time last week in Xiao-Shan, Zhejiang Province. His apartment in Beijing was searched last week, and police confiscated computers, cameras, an address book and other items.
The Voice of the Martyrs has learned today that PSB officers are now calling all of the people listed in the address book or stored on Liu's cellular phone. Liu's wife, Bi Yu-xia, was told that he would be charged with "leaking state secrets," but she has not received the official notification required by Chinese law. Police also told her that he was being held under "soft detention," rather than criminal detention.
VOM has learned the phone and fax numbers for the Xiao-Shan PSB office, which is believed to have ordered the arrest of Brother Liu. American Christians are encouraged to send a fax on his behalf, and Chinese-speakers are encouraged to call. The phone number of the office, when dialed from the US, is 011-86-571-82622514. The fax number is 011-86-571-82377550. VOM has also learned the cel-phone number for the officer in charge of the case, Mr. Chen Feng, the director of the Domestic Security Protection Division of Xiao-Shan PSB. That number is 011-86-13819116336. Christians are encouraged to call Chen to protest the treatment of Brother Liu.
"Please pray for this Christian brother," said Nettleton, "and for his wife and four-year-old son. The Chinese government doesn't want the world to know how they treat people of faith, and this case shows how far they will go to silence those who speak out."