China: Christian Stands Trial for ‘Picking Quarrels and Provoking Trouble’

November 18, 2022

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Christian Stands Trial Today for ‘Picking Quarrels and Provoking Trouble,’” by Yu Bing, ChinaAid, November 16, 2022:

(Gansu, China—November 16, 2022) Long Kehai, a Christian from Gansu Province, will be in court today for the crime of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” Lawyer Zhang Keke received the notice to appear in court on November 15. The letter requires lawyer Zhang to attend the trial at the No. 1 Trial Chamber of Hui County People’s Court of Gansu Province at 9:00 am on the 16th.

Chen Zijuan is the wife of another detained human rights lawyer in Shaanxi Chang Weiping. She appealed to everyone on social media to take notice of Long Kehai’s case, who was arrested following the trial of her husband. Long Kehai used to be an employee of a railway company and was previously sentenced to one and a half years in prison for his remarks online. Before being arrested this time, he was working in Sichuan. Longnan Political Security Bureau forcibly took him back and gave him two administrative punishments totaling 20 days. A few days after his release, they took him again because Long checked into a hotel in Fengxian County the day before the trial of Chang Weiping. He was then criminally detained a few days later.

Recently, the court hastily urged Long Kehai’s defense lawyer to open a court session for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” But it is unclear how following Chang Weiping’s case was “picking quarrels” or “provoking troubles.”

On March 4, 2019, Long Kehai was arrested by the State Security Bureau of Baoji City, Shaanxi province on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” He was placed under residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL) until May 15 of the same year, and authorities formally arrested and transferred him to the Weibin District Detention Center in Baoji City, Shaanxi province. After being sentenced, Long Kehai was removed from the company he worked for.

According to Long Kehai’s social media posts during his term of RSDL, 12 guards tortured him and kept him up, continuously interrogating him in a state of fatigue. They would place him on a tiger chair, a stress position, for seven days and six nights. Only after he passed out from exhaustion was he brought down from the tiger chair. When Long Kehai was transferred to the detention center, he was tortured in various ways.

Even after Long Kehai was released from prison on September 20, 2020, he still faced various inexplicable disturbances. First of all, because of his work location, he lived in Baoji City for a long time. However, the local state security bureau forced him to leave. Long also had trouble getting access to his social security benefits and medical insurance. He tried many avenues to fix his situation but to no avail. State Security monitored and harassed him for a long time, even implicating his wife and children. Eventually, his bank account was suspended.

On July 6, 2021, Long Kehai was summoned by the “National Security Brigade” of the Public Security Bureau of Hui County, Gansu Province for “spreading rumors and deliberately disturbing public order.” His two cell phones (an Apple and OPPO phone) were confiscated in the name of “evidence preservation.” Long Kehai was also detained for ten days.

Last November, the local state security office called to interview him. Two state security officials drove a police car to the town where he lived. Their reason for interviewing him was Long’s involvement in a WeChat group named “Church Planting,” a group for Christians to connect and study together….