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Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Archive for January, 2007

China Aid Association releases its annual persecution account for 06

Posted by radiofreechina on January 30, 2007

2006 Annual Persecution Report Released; Bob Fu Testifies Before US Commission on
International Religious Freedom

www.ChinaAid.org

Midland, Texas (January 30, 2007)

Today, China Aid Association releases its first annual persecution report of 2006.
CAA president Bob Fu is invited to testify before a hearing by US Commission on
International Religious Freedom (www.USCIRF.gov ) on the current religious freedom
condition in China. The hearing will be held at 1:30pm at Room 538 of Dirksen Senate
Office Building, Washington DC.

Click the following link to view the whole report
http://chinaaid.org/pdf/2006_persecution_e.pdf
According to the report, from January 2006 to December 2006, the Chinese government
continued its general crackdown on unregistered house churches, but the strategies
used have changed to some degree with the shifting domestic and international
situation.
Reported incidents of raids on house churches have decreased in 2006 as compared to
previous years. According to CAA sources alone, the government detained over 600
Christians in 2006. This figure is less than 2005 when more than 2000 arrests were
reported. This reflects the Public Security Officials new tactic of interrogating
church members during a raid rather than officially arresting them.. Most of the
reported detentions in 2006 were church leaders.

By comparison, the local officials closed and demolished more house churches in 2006
than 2005. Three house churches were demolished in Zhejiang province in 2006,
including the large ongoing building of a house church in Xiaoshan.

A new tendency was to target house church leaders with criminal accusations. Pastor
Cai Zhuohua, a house church pastor in Beijing, was convicted in November 2005 of
“illegal operation of a business” for printing and giving away Bibles without
government authorization. Two other house church pastors, Liu Yuhua and Wang
Zaiqing, were also reportedly detained and sentenced under the same accusation in
2006. Mr. Zhang Rongliang, a leader of the China for Christ house church network in
Henan province, was sentenced to prison for seven years and six months under the
charge of “illegally crossing the national border and fraudulently obtaining a
passport” in June 2006.

The Chinese government continues to maintain strict control over the
state-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), which leads the registered
Protestant church in China. For example, the local Religion Administrate Bureau
evicted Pastor Hu Qinghua, a pastor of a TSPM church in Pinglu, Shanxi, in June
2006.
The Chinese government also continues to restrict relationships of unregistered
Chinese Protestants with fellow believers abroad, in contravention of international
human rights standards. Meetings between house church leaders and overseas
Protestants visiting China to conduct theological or organizational trainings were
raided in Beijing, Henan province, Yunnan province, and Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous
Region (XUAR).
The province-by-province report shows that Zhejiang and Henan provinces, where the
Protestant House Church movement is particularly strong, had the worst persecution
against House churches in the past 12 months. 246 pastors and believers were
arrested in 9 raids from January 2006 to December 2006, 3 churches were destroyed,
10 were sentenced to imprisonment, and many of the arrested were abused while
detained. After the raid on March 13, 2006 in Wen County, two arrested Christian
ladies, ages 72 and 21 respectively, were forced to stripe off their cloths during
the interrogation. A disabled Pastor Li Gongshe was severely beaten breaking one of
his ribs.

“ Given the population the geographical size of China as well as the desire of
Public Security Officials to keep such arrests hided from the outside world it would
be impossible to measure the exact number that have occurred.” Said Bob Fu,
“Zhejiang and Henan province should be put on notice having the worst religious
persecution record. It is morally imperative for any conscientious foreign
investors in Henan and Zhejiang to address this serious issue.”

Communicate your concern to the Zhejiang and Henan province authority:

Governor of Zhejiang province: Liu Zushan
Administration by Law Office: Tel: +86-371-87053013 and +86-371-87052572
Fax number: +86-371-65711621
Emails: webadmin@cpmembers.org.cn and gufeng@cpmembers.org.cn
Governor of Henan Governor: Li Chengyu
Tel: +86-371-65908675 and +86-371-65907565
Fax number: +86-371-65711621
Emails: webadmin@cpmembers.org.cn and gufeng@cpmembers.org.cn

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Beijing Olympic Village police brutality

Posted by radiofreechina on January 27, 2007

Beijing House Church Activist Hua Huiqi and his Mother Attacked and Detained by Police


Midland, Texas (January 27, 2007)
CAA learned well-known Beijing church activist Hua Huiqi and his 76-year-old mother were attacked and wounded by the police in the morning of January 26, 2007. According to Mr. Hua’s wife Wei Jumei, at about 8am of January 26, seven police officers attacked both Hua and his mom while they were walking nearby a 2008 Olympic hotel site. They were kicked on the ground and then taken away to the Olympic Police Station for questioning. When Hua asked the police to explain the legal ground for the detention and release his mom who is sick, he was beaten up repeatedly. The police even started pouring cold water over him. The temperature in Beijing lowed in the mid 20s. While Hua was trembling because of the freezing cold water, he was taken away to a detention center. On 27th, Hua’s wife was told by the police over the phone that Hua had been sentenced for one month of criminal detention. None of Hua’s family members has received any official notice yet regarding Hua’s detention so far.
Hua and his wife are very active house church Christians in Beijing. They have been assisting lots of persecuted Christians and oppressed peasants who travel to Beijing from other parts of the country to seek justice from the central government.
“The detention of innocent peaceful Christians like Mr. Hua and his mom is certainly contradictory to the Chinese government’s human rights commitment for 2008 Beijing Olympics,” said Rev. Bob Fu who used to be a close coworker of Mr. Hua and his Christian minister wife,” we urge the Chinese government to immdiately release both of them and hold those abusive police accountable.

Letters and Phone calls to protest brother Hua’s arrest can be sent to
Office of Letters and Calls of CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality 
Phone number:+86-10-6308 9450
Address: No. 1 Zhengyi Lu, Dongcheng District, Beijing (Zip code: 100074)
Beijing Olympic Village Police Station telephone: +86-10-6491-2192

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House church raided in Anhui province

Posted by radiofreechina on January 27, 2007

House Church Worship Service Raided in Anhui Province; Inner Mongolia Christians Take Legal Measures to Protect Freedom; 9 Arrested Church Leaders in Henan Released after 15 Days of Detention.

ChinaAid.org

CAA has learned local police raided a house church worship service in Zhangchong Township, Jinzhai County, Anhui province on January 24, 2007. Three Christians were taken to the police station and released after interrogation.
According to eyewitnesses, the raid happened around 10:00 AM when some Christians were having their worship service. Policemen from the County Public Security Bureau (PSB), local police station, county criminal police squad, and officers from the county Religious Affair Administrative Bureau broke into the house. They took pictures of every Christian in the room and asked for their names and identities.
The police then released most of the Christians and took three church leaders to the police station for interrogation. The police confiscated Bibles, hymn books, acoustic equipment, a blackboard, and the tither box without any legal procedure.
The police warned the three church leaders that they are not allowed to gather without the registration to the government.
China Aid Association has learned that the 3 organizers of a December 29, 2006 Christmas celebration activity in Naoer Town, Duolun County, Inner Mongolia, detained and released after 15 days in the local detention center, have taken legal measures to protect their Rights of Religious Freedom by submitting an Administrative Review Application of their punishment to the local government.
You can read the full “Punishment Notice” issued to the three Christians by the Local Security Bureau and the Christians’ Administrative Review Application on the China Aid website.
http://www.chinaaid.org/english_site/press_release_detail.php?id=1422
9 Arrested House Church Leaders in Henan Released after 15 Days of Detention.
China Aid Association has also learned that nine house church leaders arrested on January 6, 2007 in a raid by police in Yongfeng Township, Xiuwu County, Henan province were released on January 20, 2007, after 15 days of detention. The detained Christians were not given any legal certificate of their arrest, detention, or release. It is believed that the police deliberately do not provide the Christians any legal evidences to prevent future lawsuits.
“What the Yongfeng Township police station did is intolerable in a modern society.” Pastor Bob Fu, the president of China Aid Association said, “We appeal the Chinese government to investigate the responsibility of their illegal action.”

 

China Aid Association, Inc.
Tel: (267) -205-5210
Fax: (432)-686-8355
E-mail: info@ChinaAid.org
Website: http://www.chinaaid.org/ http://www.monitorchina.org/
Contact: Bob Fu  (267) 205-5210

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Chinese Reporter’s Murder Causes Outrage Among China’s Journalists

Posted by radiofreechina on January 18, 2007

VOAnews.com
By Sam Beattie
Beijing
17 January 2007

A Chinese journalist has been beaten to death in the country’s rural North while reportedly investigating the region’s notoriously unsafe coal mining industry. Journalists and newspapers in China have criticized the death, and some fear the authorities will not investigate thoroughly. Sam Beattie reports from Beijing.

Lan Chengzhen’s colleagues say he died from a brain hemorrhage on January 10, after being attacked by men outside a coal mine in the northern province of Shanxi.

Lan was a newly hired local reporter for the Beijing-based China Trade News. His colleagues have been quoted in Chinese news reports as saying he was investigating the region’s coal mining industry.

Shanxi is one of China’s largest producers of coal, and the focus of efforts to improve the industry’s safety record, which is the worst in the world. More than 4,700 Chinese coal miners died in mine-related accidents in 2006.

Chinese media have quoted local officials as suggesting Lan may have been trying to blackmail the mine’s owners, with the threat of publishing negative stories about them.

Julien Pain, a spokesman for the journalists’ group Reporters without Borders, says he fears this is an attempt by the authorities to avoid investigating Lan’s death.

“They suspect that the journalist was carrying out an illegal activity but in this case we have no evidence of that. What we know is he was beaten up on the mine site,” said Pain. “And that the authorities have to carry out a thorough investigation on this case, and really the reaction of the authorities makes us fear they might give up on this case.”

Cases have been reported of Chinese reporters, or people calling themselves reporters, attempting to blackmail the owners of unsafe mines.

But Chinese journalists and postings on mainland web sites have said that even if the accusation against Lan were accurate, that is no excuse for his being beaten to death.

Journalists, including colleagues of the dead reporter, have gone to the scene of the murder to investigate the incident. Newspapers such as the Southern Metropolitan Daily, meanwhile, have called for a thorough investigation into the case.

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The “science” of beating censorship in china

Posted by radiofreechina on January 18, 2007

Digging Under the Great Firewall of China (Popular Science Blog)

IT security expert Sebastian Wolfgarten wanted to find out if he could get around the so-called Great Firewall of China, a vast Internet censorship system that prevents Chinese citizens from accessing information their government deems sensitive. Yesterday, he told Chaos Communication Congress attendees how he did it.

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Lawyer Urges Humane Treatment for Chen Guangcheng

Posted by radiofreechina on January 16, 2007

Chen Guangcheng

律师呼吁山东当局人道对待陈光诚 (VOAnews.com) translated by Google into English

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Chinese journalist investigating mine industry beaten to death

Posted by radiofreechina on January 16, 2007

Journalist investigating mines beaten to death

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Unidentified assailants beat to death Lan Chengzhang, a Chinese journalist investigating the mining industry, one of the most dangerous in the country, his paper said. Some reports indicate that a mine boss ordered the attack, upset by the journalist’s investigations.

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Tianamen protest veteran trial for subversion has begun

Posted by radiofreechina on January 16, 2007

Writer’s ‘subversion’ trial begins

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In camera trial proceedings against Li Hong, a writer reportedly arrested for posting articles online supporting detained human rights activist and lawyer Gao Zhisheng, began yesterday in Ningbo and has not yet ended, said an employee of the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court, who refused to give his name.

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Christian service raided in Henan province, 1st-trial Verdict of 8 Christians in Zhejiang 7.29 event

Posted by radiofreechina on January 15, 2007

Midland, Texas (January 15, 2007)
http://www.ChinaAid.org

CAA learned that on January 6, 2007 the local police from Yongfeng township police station in Xiuwu county, Henan province, raided a Christian gathering held in Chencun village. 11 Christians were taken to the police station; only 2 of them were released the next day.

According to the eyewitness, the event happened at 4 PM January 6, 2007, when 14 Christians gathered in a house in Chencun village. The police broke into and proclaimed the gathering a cultic activity and illegal gathering.
11 Christians were brought to Huifeng township police station for interrogation. The police released 2 Christians the next day, the rest are still in detention.

The names of some of the Christians in detention are:
Ju Xiang, female, 48 years old;
Liu Xiaoduo, female, 42 years old;
Wang Sheqin, female, 40 years old;
Fu Juyi, female, 36 years old;
Hong Xia, female, 37 years old;
Xue Xianghuo, Male, 49 years old;
Xue Xiaona, Male, 34 years old
CAA has been providing legal and financial help to the Christians in detention, and appeal to the local police to release the Christians immediately.
CAA received the 1st trial verdict of the 8 Christian leaders in Zhejiang 7.29 church demolition event. Please click the links below to read the summary of the verdict on the website of CAA.
http://chinaaid.org/pdf/Xiaoshanverdict1.doc

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Will the gender imbalance lead to a crisis in China?

Posted by radiofreechina on January 15, 2007

China By 2020: 30 Million Unhappy Bachelors
Authorities say demographic imbalance will result in economic crisis; imminent rise of prostitution, kidnapping; even terrorism

By Cassidy Bugos

BEIJING, January 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With no letup in sight for the nation’s unbridled rate of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, China will have 30 million more marriageable men than women in less than 15 years, Chinese media reported Friday.

Last year there were 118 boys born for every 100 girls, a giant leap from 110 boys to 100 girls only five years ago, the China Daily revealed in a front-page report.

In some areas of China, such as the southern regions of Guangdong and Hainan, the gender gap has ballooned to 130 boys to 100 girls, the report said. The average for developed nations is 104 to 100.

The Chinese communist government’s coercive one-child policy has been in place since the 1970s. This policy alone, researchers say, is already resulting in a severe disproportion between senior and working-age people that could cripple social security and retirement programs.

An unforeseen side effect of the policy, however, comes from the consistent number of Chinese couples who, permitted only one child, much prefer having a son to a daughter. Having a son, they believe, will ensure their support in old age, and also admits them to a certain status quo. Hence a significant percentage of couples who conceive a girl first abort or kill her at birth in order to get a ‘second chance’ at having a ‘firstborn’ son.

Although sex-selective abortion is officially prohibited, in June 2006 the Chinese government refused proposals to make it in any way a punishable offence.

In recent years LifeSiteNews.com has published numerous warnings about the effects of China’s one-child policy and its gender-gap fallout from officials within China and demographics experts around the world.

In March 2004, deputy chairman of the family planning committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Li Weixiong described the visible effects of sex-selective abortion. Not only is it disheartening for the male population, Weixiong explained, it has also had a negative impact on the existing female population, causing a “dramatic rise” in prostitution, mercenary marriage and the black market trade of women.

A year ago University of Toulouse professor of economics Paul Seabright voiced his concern that the gender imbalance in China may lead to violence and even terrorism by the unmarriageable and “sexually frustrated” men there. “I’d like to make a small bet that in 30 years time there will be more terrorist incidents in China than probably almost anywhere else, because of increased competition,” Seabright said.

Turning a deaf ear to such warnings, the Chinese Communist government in the year 2000 announced its decision to celebrate the “great success” of the one-child policy, having “preventing at least 250 million births since 1980,” by making it permanent. The Party stated in its release: “We cannot just be content with the current success, we must make population control a permanent policy.”

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Academic Bets Terrorism Will Thrive in China with 30 Million Frustrated Bachelors
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120602.html

China Will Not Pursue Criminal Penalties For Sex-Selection Abortion
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jun/06062604.html

China Admits its Girl Shortage Caused by One Child Policy is a “Major Threat”
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/may/04051107.html

China’s One-Child Policy to Cripple Chinese Economy
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/feb/04021806.html

Slavery, Prostitution Effect of China’s One-Child Policy
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/mar/04030908.html

7000 Unborn Girls Die From Sex-Selection Abortion Daily in India
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/dec/06121401.html

“Gendercide”- Abortion and Infanticide of Girls Leading to Lop-Sided Demographics
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05112208.html

UN Study on Violence Against Children Ignores 47 Million Annual Abortion Deaths, Sex Selection Abortions
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06101302.html

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