Release International has created a petition calling on the Chinese president to free a Christian human rights lawyer, following a televised ‘confession’.
According to the Christian advocacy organisation, the confession from Zhang Kai is believed to be ‘bogus’ and made under duress.
The petition calling for Zhang’s release follows a televised ‘confession’ in which the leading lawyer, looking haggard and appearing to read from a script, is made to admit to endangering national security and confess his ‘deep remorse’.
Release International has said Zhang Kai is one of more than 200 Chinese lawyers who have been harassed, held illegally and denied legal representation. Some have even been tortured. Other prominent Christian leaders who opposed the cross removals have been arrested.
Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release, said, ‘Release is concerned this campaign of intolerance in Zhejiang could gather momentum and spread across China’.
Zhang Kai was targeted after offering legal advice to churches, whose crosses are being torn down by the authorities to curtail the growing visible Christian presence in Zhejiang province.