Peter Hahn, Detained in China
Peter Hahn ran a Christian school and aid agency in Tumen City, a trading town across the border from North Korea in northeast China, from which he provided supplies to the poor in North Korea, Mr. Zhang said. His detention came three months after the Chinese authorities detained a Canadian Christian couple, Kevin and Julie Garratt, who had lived in Dandong, also on the border with North Korea, since 1984. At the time of the Garratts’ arrest, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the couple were ‘under investigation for suspected theft of state secrets about China’s military and national defence research’.
The authorities began visiting Mr Hahn in April 2014, asking questions about his life and his humanitarian work. In July, the police closed his vocational training school and his five-storey building in Tumen. In an effort to satisfy the police, Mr Zhang, who is based in Shanghai, visited Mr Hahn in September 2014 and advised him to write a long document detailing his escape from North Korea, his life in the United States and his return to China to help people in North Korea. The document was translated into Chinese and handed to the authorities.
Mr Hahn’s wife, Eunice, 65, said in an interview from the South Korean capital, Seoul, that the Chinese authorities froze the couple’s bank accounts in early July 2014 and confiscated their cars and a delivery truck. ‘They stripped away all our finances, took away all our money,’ she said. ‘We’re not even able to pay our employees. I’m very upset about that. All the vehicles have been taken away by the Government, except the bicycles. We only have bicycles now...’