BEIJING (Reuters) – China arrested on Friday a Korean American Christian aid worker who was being held near the country’s border with North Korea, signalling a toughening crackdown on Christian activists in the sensitive region.
Peter Hahn, 74, is being charged with embezzlement and counterfeiting receipts, his lawyer, Zhang Peihong, told Reuters. Zhang said he believed authorities were targeting Hahn because of his Christian faith and because he ran a non-governmental organisation. “The charges levelled against him are just excuses,” Zhang said.
Hahn, who ran a vocational school in the border town of Tumen, had been under investigation for months, along with several colleagues. In an interview last month, Hahn’s wife, Eunice Hahn, said the building that houses the school was a “mission base camp for our missionaries”. Eunice Hahn said those under investigation among Hahn’s staff included two US nationals and three South Koreans.