Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

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 “Shandong Administrative Penalty against a House Church was revoked which is the first successful Christian case due to successful legal challenge and CAA’s international media campaign,” the spokesperson said.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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