Lawyer Zhang Kai released
2 May 2016

Lawyer Zhang Kai released


On 23 March 2016, lawyer Zhang Kai was released by the Chinese authorities after being detained for seven months. The reasons for his sudden release are not known.

Zhang Kai, better known as the lawyer of the Chinese churches, disappeared in Wenzhou, China in August 2015. He was one of the more than two hundred lawyers and activists who were arrested during a large-scale national police operation in the summer of 2015. Initially, Zhang Kai was detained in an unofficial detention center, before being transferred to a prison. He was allowed no contact with a lawyer or visits from his family.

It is notable that Zhang Kai appeared on the Chinese state television in February 2016 confessing that he had violated national laws, disturbed social order, and endangered national security. A public ‘confession’ like this, whether or not made under duress, is quite common in China.

Zhang Kai has gained publicity by providing legal assistance to numerous religious institutions in 2013, after the Chinese authorities started removing crosses from churches and even destroying a few churches. Zhang Kai currently is back with his family in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in China.

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