Detained Since: November 16, 2013.
Charges: Swindling, and assembling a crowd to disrupt the public order.
Sentence: Twelve years in prison.
Biography: Zhang Shaojie is a Three-Self church pastor from Nanle County in China’s central Henan and former Nanle County Three-Self leader, was detained on Nov. 16, 2013, after a series of land disputes with local authorities. Zhang and more than 20 members of his congregation were charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt the public order.” Zhang was also charged with fraud; the fabricated charge was based on help he gave to another detainee when her son was killed. On July 4, 2014, Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison. His final appeal was rejected on August 21, 2014.
Advocacy Partner: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Advocate: Mark Meadows (R-NC).
US Congressmen have urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to investigate Chinese officials in connection with the mistreatment of Christian pastor Zhang Shaojie (November 30, 2017, Hong Kong Free Press).
At the 37th EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, EU officials raised the case of Zhang Shaojie with their Chinese counterparts (April 2, 2019, European Union External Action).
There have been reported concerns for the health of Zhang Shaojie after he has been put on a new medication for the past six months which authorities say is for high blood pressure. His family says it has caused a change in his mental state making him prone to angry outbursts and memory lapses (December 23, 2019, Radio Free Asia).