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Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Archive for November, 2006

Two Catholic bishops forced to ordain another in China

Posted by radiofreechina on November 30, 2006

 Bishops loyal to the Pope detained, forced to take part in unlawful ordination

Rome (AsiaNews) – Two bishops in Hebei province have been detained to force them to take part in the ordination of a bishop tomorrow in Xuzhou (Jiangsu) without the permission of the Holy See. The two bishops belong to the official Church but their ordinations were approved by the Vatican. They are Mgr Peter Feng Xinmao, ordained on January 3, 2004, as bishop coadjutor of Hengshui, and Mgr Li Liangui of Cangzhou (Xianxian), ordained in March 2000.

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Wife of Chinese Forced-Abortion Opponent Taken By Police for Questioning

Posted by radiofreechina on November 28, 2006

By Gudrun Schultz

SHANDONG, China, November 28, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One day after the retrial of blind Chinese human right’s advocate Chen Guangcheng concluded without an immediate verdict, his wife was taken for questioning by police in Shandong Province, the Associated Press reported earlier today.

Yuan told the AP she was approached by six or seven policemen as soon as she left a court in Yinan County where she was signing documents.

“They said they wanted to talk to me about some matters, but refused to say what they were,” Yuan said in a telephone interview from the courthouse Tuesday, after the incident. “This is a serious trampling of Chinese law.”

Chen’s defense lawyer, Li Jinsong, said Yuan was taken away by police on Tuesday..

“Seven or eight plainclothes policemen came and took her away,” Li said. “They showed me the police summons.”

This is the second time Yuan Weijing has been taken for questioning by police in the past two months. According to reports she has endured beatings, harassment and constant observation since her husband was arrested.

Chen was targeted by police officials after he exposed a campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations against villagers in the Linyi region, in a brutal enforcement of the country’s one-child policy.

According to reports by family and supporters, Chen, Yuan and several close relatives have been beaten, harassed and placed under house arrest by local officials in retaliation for Chen‘s human rights work.

In August Chen was convicted on manufactured charges of damaging property and disrupting traffic, and sentenced to over four years in prison. (His lawyer was charged with stealing a wallet, but that case never made it to court.)

An appeals court in Shandong province overturned the ruling against Chen earlier this month, on the grounds of insufficient evidence, sending the case back to the Yinan Court for retrial.

See coverage from the International Herald Tribune:
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/28/asia/AS_GEN_China_Blind_Activist.php

See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Wife of Chinese Forced Abortion Opponent Hauled in for 9 Hours of Questioning
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06100501.html

Chinese Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Against Forced-Abortion Opponent Chen
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/nov/06110201.html

Blind Chinese Anti-Forced Abortion Activist Sentenced to Over Four Years in Prison
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/aug/06082403.html

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Another Chinese Christian Leader Arrested and Imprisoned in Xinjiang

Posted by radiofreechina on November 23, 2006

Shandong Administrative Penalty revoked – First Successful Christian Case

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
MIDLAND, TX (ANS) — China Aid Association (CAA) of Midland, Texas, says that it has learned that another Christian was arrested in Xinjiang, which is the 3rd religious persecution event in Xinjiang in the past two months.

Sister Tian Maishi

A CAA spokesperson said, “Christian Sister Tian Maishi, a 53-year-old retired English teacher from Kashi Educational Institute, has been arrested. A second generation Christian in her family, Sister Tian moved to Uramqi, the capital of the area and engaged in missionary work after retirement.

“Illegal evangelism”

“On October 18, 2006, Sister Tian was taken from her home and jailed in a Kuche detention center on the charges of ‘illegal evangelism’ and ‘engaging in superstitious fraudulent activities.’ Throughout the ordeal not one legal procedure was followed nor were any friends or relatives informed of her arrest.

“It was not until Mr. Song Jiawen, Sister Tian’s husband, who works in another city, Kurla, as a researcher in Xinjiang Architectural Institute, returned home did he find his wife missing. He searched the whole city before finding sister Tian in the Kuche detention center, where she had been held for three weeks.”

Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA, said, “What the police did in this event tramples the very basic human rights stipulated in Chinese constitution, the abduction is ethically unacceptable.” said, “This is not only an event of religious persecution, but also a violation of very basic human rights. The Police are to be held legally and morally responsible for what they have done.”

Good News

The CCA spokesperson then revealed some good news from China. “Shandong Administrative Penalty against a House Church was revoked which is the first successful Christian case due to successful legal challenge and CAA’s international media campaign,” the spokesperson said.

“Christians Tian Yinghua, Wang Qiu, and Jiang Rong in Wendeng City, Shandong Province, who filed lawsuits against the local Public Security Bureau (PSB), have reached an out of court agreement. As a result of the agreement the Wendeng PSB revoked the administrative penalty decision and the three Christians withdrew their lawsuit.”

Background to the case

On June 11, 2006, Tian, Wang, and Jiang, were arrested by the Wendeng PSB during a regular Christian Sunday service and put under administrative detention for 10 days on the charges of “violating the religious management regulation, holding an illegal meeting, and illegal evangelism.”

Believing such punishment was unacceptable, Tian, Wang, and Jiang submitted an application for Administrative Review to the local government via Dr. Li Baiguang, June 30, 2006, and the application was rejected September 28, 2006. As a backup legal measure, they filed a lawsuit with the local court through Dr. Li Baiguang, for illegal detention and requested the court find their administrative punishment illegal, revoke the punishment, and pay restitution October 12, 2006.

On October 25, 2006, defense lawyer, Dr. Li Baiguang argued the case before the Wendeng Intermediate People’s Court. Following the trial the Wendeng PSB contacted the Christians and proposed the out of court settlement.

November 10, 2006, the Wendeng Intermediate People’s Court approved the settlement in which the Christians also agreed to give up the symbolic restitution of 1 Yuan each.

“This is a milestone in the history of the Chinese house church,” said Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA, “because for the first time Chinese house church Christians have been successful in getting the government to admit that they should not violate the religious freedom in the name of the law. We praise God who led us on this path several years ago, and we also appreciate the efforts of Dr. Li Baiguang and other human rights lawyers who champion the right of religious freedom in China in a peaceful way.”

The Court accepted and filed Tian Yinghua’s case against the Wendeng PSB in regards to the administrative penalty determination for public security violations, and asked for administrative restitution.

During the trial, Wendeng PSB revoked the plaintiff’s administrative penalty determination, and Tian Yinghua also submitted a written application to withdraw her lawsuit against the defendant.

The Court concludes after an investigation that the Tian’s application to withdraw the lawsuit conforms to the stipulation of the law and thus should be approved. According to the “Chinese Administrative Procedure Law” article 51, the court judges that: Tian’s application to withdraw the lawsuit be approved and Tian pay 15 Yuan for half of the court costs, the other half and other court cost be paid by the defendant, Wendeng PSB.

For more information, contact: Matthew Tan by e-mail at: info@ChinaAid.org.

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Human Rights defeders from China visit US

Posted by radiofreechina on November 21, 2006

 Prominent China Christian Human Rights Defenders Visit US

WASHINGTON – Four of the most prominent China’s Christian human rights defenders arrived at Washington DC on November 17, 2006. Invited by the China Aid Association (www.ChinaAid.org), the delegation visits and meets officials from both the US government and NGOs including the State Department, the White House National Security Council, Congress and New York University. The four Chinese delegates will brief the US public on the issues of freedom of expression, religious freedom, and the rule of law in China. The China delegates will spend most of the time at Midland, Texas which is President Bush’s hometown primarily to explore the spiritual heritage and foundation of the America.
The four Chinese human rights defenders are: attorney Li Jingsong, director of Beijing Yitong Law Firm, senior defense lawyer for the imprisoned blind activist Mr. Chen Guangcheng; attorney Li Subin, attorney and defense lawyer for Mr. Chen Guangcheng; attorney Li Jianqiang, defense lawyers for most of imprisoned dissident writers in China including Zhang Lin, Guo Qizhen; journalist Mr. Zan Aizong, editor in chief of the Zhi Jiang Station of China Ocean News who was detained for 7 days and later fired  in 2006 because he reported on the government’s demolition of the Dang Shang Church building in Zhejiang province.
“We are very thankful to these heroes of faith in China,” Rev. Bob Fu said, “ we pray this visit will provide a great opportunity to advance the religious freedom and the rule of law in China.”
Short biography of the Chinese delegates
1, Li Jingsong
Li Jinsong is an attorney for blind human rights champion Chen Guangcheng and the Director of Yitong Law Firm in Beijing. He is one of the first lawyers to obtain Certificates of Accountant and Registered Security and Tax Accountant in China. He is also the legal and tax advisor for the China Stock Economy Association and China Film Producers Association. Mr. Li is the first Beijing lawyer to adopt the policy of not charging a legal fee if he loses the case. In 2004, he found the Yitong Accounting and Tax Lawyer Group.
2, Li Jiangqiang
Li Jiangqiang is a mainland China civil rights lawyer and a graduate of the China Literature Department of China’s People’s University, and the Economics Department of China’s University of Political Science and Law. He has held a variety of positions: teacher of a middle school, reporter, and lawyer. Mr. Li began writing in 1986 and was forced to resign his job because of his screen plays “The Falling Sun” and “The Blooming White Flower on the Chest” which were based on the 1989 student pro-democracy movement. He started his criminal law career in 1994. In 2003 his legal license was revoked by the government because he started a movement along with 150 other lawyers to abolish the legal code for the crime of “incitement and subversion of the national government” so that this could not be used against citizens who are exercising their constitutional freedoms. Because of this his license was revoked by the authority in November 2003 and with many efforts, it was later reinstated. He has defended many famous dissidents who promote freedom of speech, such as Du Daobin, Liu Di, Luo Yongzhong, Yang Tianshui and Li Yuanlong. He was involved in the civil right case of farmers in Tai Shi Village.
3.  Li Subin,
Li Subin represented blind human rights champion Chen Guangcheng. Mr. Li became a lawyer in 1991. Four times he has successfully litigated government compensation for claims of national government illegal activities. He investigated the case of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor’s criminal activity, which was selected to be included in the 2003, Supreme Court Collection II. He partnered with Attorney Li Wuji to sue the Bar Association for charging an illegal fee in 2001, which evoked a huge national response and in 2003 he was elected to be one of the 32 people most influential people who have touched China, a program called “Touching China” on the National TV channel. In 2005 he partnered with Attorney Li Jinsong successfully sued 84 city governments for illegal activities.
4. Zan Aizhong
Zan Aizhong is a well known and respected human rights writer who has been published in many influential magazines, newspapers and human right websites. Mr. Zan has been a journalist since 1992. He was editor in chief of the Zhi Jiang Station of China Ocean News but was fired in 2006 because he reported on the government’s demolition of the Dang Shang Church building.
Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. on November 21, 2006

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Protestant House Church Member in Xinjiang Detained

Posted by radiofreechina on November 17, 2006

新疆又有家庭教基督徒被抓 (Radio Free Asia) translated by Google

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Day of Chen Guangcheng’s Retrial to Be Determined, Tortured Witness Will Speak the Truth This Time

Posted by radiofreechina on November 17, 2006

案重日期待定 遭屈打人愿冒出庭  (Radio Free Asia) translated by Google

Chen Guangcheng

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Cyber dissident Li Jianping gets two years

Posted by radiofreechina on November 17, 2006

Li Jianping

Shandong: cyber-dissident gets two-year jail term for criticizing regime

Zibo (AsiaNews) – Zibo City Intermediate People’s Court has sentenced cyber-dissident Li Jianping to two years in prison after finding him guilty of “incitement to subvert state power”. The judges handed down the verdict six months after he went to trial and more than 500 days after he was first detained

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Also see:

http://hrichina.org/public/contents/press?revision_id=31294&item_id=31290

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Chen Guangcheng’s case sent back for retrial

Posted by radiofreechina on November 1, 2006

Appeals Court Overturns Blind Chinese Activist’s Guilty Verdict

HONG KONG-An appeals court in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong has overturned the guilty verdict against leading rights activist Chen Guangcheng, sending the case back to the county-level court for a retrial….

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