By Qin Chenshou, published: March 1, 2016
On social media, lawyer Qin Chenshou (覃臣寿), who now represents Zhang Kai, has provided us with an introduction to Zhang Kai’s biography and work. China Change is pleased to provide a translation. — The Editors
Zhang Kai is a practicing lawyer in Beijing and a Christian member of a house church in Beijing. His main areas of practice are criminal defense and administrative litigation.
Zhang Kai is a practicing lawyer and Christian who was baptized in 2003
In 2003, Zhang successfully passed the examination to obtain his legal credentials and began work as an assistant lawyer.
In 2004, he began to practice as an attorney.
From 2004 to 2006, he dealt with corporate and commercial issues and served as company legal counsel.
In 2006, he resigned all of his company legal counsel work and began working in the area of public interest and rights defense. His primary fields of practice were criminal defense and administrative litigation. The most influential cases he handled as legal counsel or defense attorney were:
Cases involving religious freedom:
(1) The Xiaoshan (萧山) religious case (one of the top three Chinese church cases of the past decade), which gained worldwide attention and coverage in the mainstream international media;
(2) The Linfen (临汾) church case (another of the top three Chinese church cases of the past decade), which also gained worldwide attention and coverage in the mainstream international media; and
(3) Zhang Kai participated in many house church rights defense cases, trying to rectify unlawful government action and mediate and promote positive church-government relations;
Defense of dissidents
(1) Zhang Kai successfully defended rental-rights activist Lin Dagang (林大刚) in his criminal appeal, resulting in a decrease from first instance sentence of two years in prison to exemption from criminal penalty;
(2) In the criminal case against Sichuan rural activist Liu Zhengyou (刘正友), Zhang Kai handled the defense in the first-instance trial of Liu’s wife, Hu Yulan (胡玉兰), resulting in a suspended sentence against her; and
(3) Zhang Kai handled the defense in the appeals case of Shandong rural rights activist Zhao Yuxin (赵玉新), who had his sentence cut by 10 months on appeal.
Public Interest Cases
(1) Zhang Kai was a member of the legal team in the melamine milk powder cases, in which he represented victims suing the Nanshan Milk Powder Factory;
(2) Zhang Kai hosted a legal seminar on the Shanxi harmful vaccinations case and gave legal support to victims; and
(3) Zhang Kai provided anti-discrimination legal support for carriers of HIV and hepatitis B;
Participation in high profile cases
(1) Zhang Kai represented the family of migrant laborer Cao Dahe (曹大和), who died in 2008 after being tied up by railway officials for unruly behavior as he was traveling on a train between Guangzhou and Zunyi. This case was covered extensively in the mainstream domestic Chinese media, with Southern Weekly reporting on it several times. Besides seeking state compensation and prosecution for the perpetrators, Zhang petitioned the National People’s Congress to abolish the railway system’s special legal and judicial institutions. Beginning in that year, China began to reform the railway police system.
(2) In the criminal case against lawyer Wang Yu (王宇), Zhang’s appeal defense led the court to change the verdict from three years in prison for intentional injury to 2-1/2 years in prison for unintentional injury. This case earned the attention of many fellow lawyers, and Zhang took part in petitioning the National People’s Congress to reform the railway judicial system.
(3) Zhang Kai represented the family of Wan Jianguo (万建国), a Nanchang man who was tortured to death in police custody. Besides seeking state compensation and prosecution of the perpetrators, Zhang Kai petitioned the Supreme People’s Court to issue a detailed judicial interpretation regarding the crime of “coercing confessions through torture,” the first petition of its kind.
(4) Zhang Kai represented the victim’s family in the “My Dad is Li Gang” hit-and-run case, one of the top ten cases of 2010.
(5) Zhang Kai defended Qian Chengyu (钱成宇), the first eyewitness in the Qian Yunhui case (钱云会案), another top ten case of 2010.
(6) Zhang Kai represented lawyer Yang Zaixin (杨在新) in the Beihai case in Guangxi.
The Work of Lawyer Zhang Kai: ‘I Have God as My Backer’, August 31, 2015