Eight Zhejiang House Church Christians Sentenced; Prominent Beijing Christian Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Receives Court Verdict
Posted by radiofreechina on December 22, 2006
By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
MIDLAND, TEXAS (ANS) — After an almost 12-hour marathon pre-Christmas trial on December 22, 2006 (Beijing Time), eight House Church Christians in Zhejiang were quickly sentenced to time in prison by the People’s Court of Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou city.
China Aid Association (CAA) reports the trial started at 8:30am and ended at 9pm. The verdict, sentences of between one year and three and a half years, “were clearly prepared by the government in advance before the actual trial started.”
CAA says that during the trial, the 75-year-old Elder Shen Chengyi fell on the ground in the court and lost consciousness. He was sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.
Pastor Shen Zhuke (Elder Shen’s daughter) received a sentence of and half years; pastor Wang Weiliang, three years; brother Feng Guangliang, two years and brother Luo Bingliang, one year. The other four, including elder Shen Chengyi, brother Ni Weimin, brother Shen Jianjian, brother Guo Lijun were sentenced to imprisonment from 1 to 3 years but the sentence was postponed. They are likely to be released.
Meanwhile, in another prominent case, the Beijing Intermediate Court sentenced the well-known Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng for three years but the sentence was postponed for 5 years. Gao was arrested on August 18 this year for his human rights advocacy work.
“Though today’s sentence against the faithful is less heavy than expected because of the international pressure, yet it is not acceptable,” said CAA’s Bob Fu. “The international community should urge the Chinese government to release those innocent House Church believers immediately.”
Further information: Contact: Bob Fu
China Aid Association, Inc.
PO Box 8513 Midland, TX 79708
Tel: (267) 205-5210 Fax: (432) 686-8355