After serving 26 years and nine months in prison, Zhang Yuhuan of Jiangxi province was released from prison after having been originally convicted of the murder of two young children.
On August 4, 2020, the Higher People's Court of Jiangxi Province retried Zhang Yuhuan's case of intentional homicide, and Zhang was acquitted on the basis of "unclear facts and insufficient evidence in the original judgment".
Zhang Yuhuan, 53, was in custody for 9,778 days. On October 24, 1993, two children aged 4 and 6 in Zhangjiacun, a Village of Huangling Township, Jinxian County, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, suddenly went missing. The bodies of the two boys were found in the Xiamatang Reservoir the next day. Three days later, Zhang Yuhuan, a villager, was arrested by police, who later announced the case was solved.
Since then, Zhang has appealed his conviction repeatedly. Although the Jiangxi Higher Court made a final decision in 2001 to "reject the appeal and maintain the original judgment", Zhang and his family kept appealing, and finally reached a turning point in 2019.
On July 9, 2020, the Jiangxi Court agreed to a retrial of Zhang Yuhuan's original conviction of intentional homicide. Twenty-six days later, the final judgment of the Jiangxi Provincial High Court came to Zhang Yuhuan. They believed that there was not sufficient evidence to convict Zhang, and in accordance with the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” they decided to reverse the judgment of the original trial and declared the defendant Zhang Yuhuan innocent.
On the night of August 4, Zhang Yuhuan went back to his long-lost home amid the sound of firecrackers where he cried bitterly with his family. At noon the next day, Zhang and his family had their first reunion dinner in 27 years. In the photo, someone noticed a picture of love and a cross on the wall behind the dinner table.
Some people said that in rural China, this type of background on one of the walls in the house is not unusual, and it does not mean that the family are Christians. Some people also speculated that since someone in Zhang's family is a Christian, they hung this picture.
One Christian upon seeing the photo described it as if he saw "a light". A minister in a church said, "There was a 'light' that gave hope to his family and strengthened their faith." He also believed that it is the light of seeing Jesus Christ coming to save the world that gives Christians the hope to live in peace.
It is also said that such pictures are common in rural Chinese families, which does not mean that Zhang's family has any relationship with Christianity.
A netizen later pulled out a clip from the Paper on July 9, which read: “My mother-in-law Zhang Binglian took Song, Zhang’s wife, who was said to believe in Christ, saying, 'if you believe in Jesus, your husband will come back’. ” Two weeks after Zhang's arrest, Song learned on her way home from church with her mother-in-law that Zhang's case was settled. It follows that Zhang's mother, Zhang Binglian of 83-year-old, is a Christian.
Therefore, some people put forward an interpretation of this photo, believing that it was the love for the family members that brought Zhang's family together through this difficult period. He believes that the relationships in the family are very positive. The family members are considerate of each other and there is mutual understanding between them. They have always been tolerant and committed to each other, and will not be swayed by what happens outside of the family. It is because of love that Zhang's family has the opportunity to wait for justice.
- Translated by Sophia Chen