Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Archive for August, 2007

Wife of inprisoned blind human rights activist not allowed to leave China to receive award

Posted by radiofreechina on August 31, 2007

Chinese activist’s wife slams China [AP via Yahoo News]

MANILA, Philippines – The wife of an imprisoned blind Chinese activist denounced China for its human rights record and for preventing her from receiving a Philippine humanitarian award for her husband in Manila on Friday.

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Chinese farmers near Harbin revolt agains land siezures

Posted by radiofreechina on August 28, 2007

Farmers in revolt near Harbin against land seizures, one dead, many wounded

Harbin (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least one person was killed and dozens injured yesterday in a village near Harbin, Heilongjiang province, after residents clashed with armed police and thugs sent by developers to seize their land, witnesses said.

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Yahoo files a motion to dismiss “political” lawsuit concerning China

Posted by radiofreechina on August 28, 2007

Yahoo asks US court to dismiss ‘political’ China case

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Internet giant Yahoo has asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit it called “political” and said its Chinese subsidiary obeyed local laws when it provided information about dissidents.

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China: Projected Number of Men without Wives Massively Increased

Posted by radiofreechina on August 27, 2007

By 2020, 37 million Chinese men would be unable to find wives if trends continue

By Elizabeth O’Brien

BEIJING, China, August 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Recent demographic reports are showing that the ratio of males to females in China is spiraling out of control. If the increasing imbalance, caused primarily by sex-selected abortions and infanticide, is not remedied, it will lead to increased crimes against women and the threat of an aggressively militant state.

In January Chinese media reports said that by 2020, 30 million Chinese men would be unable to find wives (See http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jan/07011510.html). Since then, however, recent reports indicate that the numbers have dramatically risen. According to these findings, the imbalance will increase to 37 million more marriageable Chinese men than marriageable women by 2020, the Guardian Unlimited reports.

Nationwide there are 119 Chinese males for every 100 females rather than the average 105 males for every 100 females in the Western developed nations, ABC News reports. In some regions, however, there is an even greater divide with 130 males to 100 females. The city of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province has the most marked difference of 163.5 boys to 100 girls among children aged one to four. According to a recent report by the China Family Planning Association (CFPA), 99 cities in China have sex ratios above 125 boys per 100 girls.

Although there are two Chinese laws preventing sex-based abortion, this is ignored in many places throughout China. In some cases, the doctor gives a thumbs up to the parents if their unborn child is a boy and a thumbs down if it is a girl. People often abort their baby girls, especially in rural areas, because they want a son to support themselves and the grandparents in their old age.

Within the past few years, the Chinese government has offered various attempts to remedy the skewed male to female ratio. In 2003 a “Care for Girls” policy was introduced which gave financial benefits to parents with female children as well as a pro-female child slogan campaign. Such efforts have not affected the situation, however, which is a direct result of the government’s one-child policy and its forced methods of population control.

In order to stem the problem, China is planning to crack down on medical institutions that tell parents the sex of their child. In light of the recent population reports, the government announced that it would draft new legislation to punish sex-selected abortions.

If the lopsided ratio does not improve, Chinese society will suffer a rise in prostitution, wife kidnapping and other forms of sexual violence against women-abuses that have already grown within the country. Some predict that the situation will also lead to increased militancy and terrorism in China (See http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120602.html).

Read previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

TWO-THIRDS OF CHILDREN BORN ARE SONS IN CHINA
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2000/feb/00020702.html
China’s One-Child Policy Leading to One-Sex Population
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/dec/03120509.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 Female Shortage Due To Abortion Of Girls
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2002/may/02051307.html
Slavery, Prostitution Effect of China’s One-Child Policy
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/mar/04030908.html

Posted in News Of China | Leave a Comment »

China’s One-Child Policy Burdens Younger Generation

Posted by radiofreechina on August 27, 2007

Within next few decades, China will be taking care of 400 million elderly people

By Elizabeth O’Brien

BEIJING, August 274, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – China’s one child policy, which has heavily skewed the ratio of young people to retirees, is placing an increasingly heavy burden on the next generation of workers, the BBC reports.

In the State’s “ideal” family, the only son will have to support six people in his adult years: his own parents, his mother’s parents and his father’s parents. As the traditional family structure begins to suffer, the number of people in the work force is decreasing. “It’s very difficult,” factory manager William Wang told the BBC, “and it’s getting more and more difficult. Now there are a lot more factories and fewer workers because of the one-child policy. Costs are going up. It’s not looking good.”

The ranks of elderly people are steadily increasing, however, and within the next few decades, China will be taking care of 400 million elderly people, the BBC reports. As a result, elderly care businesses and senior homes are having a steady influx of clients. The San He home in Beijing, for example, used to be a primary school, but was remodeled to accommodate senior citizens.

The manager of the home, Wang Shuyuan, stated, “I used to work as the head teacher of the kindergarten, and now I’m in charge of the old people’s home. He said, “Because of the one-child policy there are fewer children in China. So, many schools are changing into old people’s homes. It’s very common now.”

According to the Guardian Unlimited, the State claimed that its population control policies have prevented 400 million births since the 1979 when the restrictions were first introduced into the country. The government’s one-child policy, oftentimes implemented through forced sterilization and abortion, has created an unprecedented problem in the work force that is causing more and more concern in society.

In 2004 Zhang Weiqing, National Population and Family Planning Commission Minister, predicted that the increasing disproportion between seniors and working people would eventually have serious effects on China’s retirement system. He noted, “The aging problem is much more severe in the country’s rural areas than in urban areas, which challenges the establishment of a health insurance system and social security system for the elderly.”

In 1999 there were 10 workers for every senior in China. The number is predicted to drop sharply to six workers per retiree by 2020 and fall again to three workers for every retired person by 2050 (See http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/may/04051107.html).

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

Forced Abortion Still Part of China’s Population Control Regime says US Human Rights Report
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/mar/05030107.html

UNFPA Supports Coercive Family Planning-Including Forced Abortion in China
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2001/oct/011005c.html

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Uzbekistan Christian Could Face Five Years in Prison for Hosting Worship Services

Posted by radiofreechina on August 26, 2007

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

UZBEKISTAN (ANS) — A small Baptist congregation in Uzbekistan is under fire again from authorities.
The charge is failing to comply with a mandatory registration requirement. The church flock in Khalkabad near Pap in the eastern Namangan Region of Uzbekistan was harassed four years ago for not registering its activities with authorities.
Uzbekistan is in Central Asia, north of Afghanistan.
Local Baptists told Forum 18 News Service that police raided Sunday services on July 29 and August 5. Following the raids, church member Nikolai Zulfikarov – who hosts services in his home – could face criminal trial with a possible sentence of up to five years imprisonment.
Baptists told Forum 18 that an investigation was initiated against Zulfikarov under Article 216 of the Criminal Code, which punishes so-called “illegal organization of a social or religious organization.”
Charges are also reportedly being prepared against others present at the services, as well as Baptists from the city of Fergana who traveled to Pap to try and find out what is going on.
“The authorities wanted to sentence Nikolai Zulfikarov immediately, but after church members complained the process stopped,” one Baptist speaking on condition of anonymity told Forum 18. “There’s now total silence, but it is not clear if this means they will abandon the attempt or if they are moving stealthily behind the scenes.”
According to Forum 18, the head of the Pap District Criminal Investigation Department, Abdumalik Motboev, is leading the investigation into Zulfikarov and four other church members. An official who answered Motboev’s telephone and declined to give his name, confirmed to Forum 18 that a criminal case has been launched against Zulfikarov. However, the official said he did not know the details of the case.
“All I know is that they didn’t have any documents authorizing them to hold such events,” he told Forum 18. Told that the Council of Churches Baptists – to which the congregation belongs – reject registration on principle, the official replied, “That’s their problem.” He referred all further enquiries to Motboev. However, Motboev was not in the office on two subsequent days and calls made to his cell phone by Forum 18 were not answered.
The Baptists maintain that the pressure on the congregation was initiated by Abdukadyr Nazarov, the deputy chief of administration for Pap District. However, he too was not in his office when Forum 18 called on two successive days, and his cell phone also was not answered.
Forum 18 reported that the threat to prosecute Zulfikarov comes as Makset Djabbarbergenov, a Pentecostal from Nukus in the north-western region of Karakalpakstan, is also facing criminal charges to punish him for his religious activity. Another Pentecostal, Dmitry Shestakov, is serving a four year labor camp sentence.
Two Jehovah’s Witnesses, Irfon Khamidov and Dilafruz Arziyeva, have already been sentenced this year for “illegally teaching religion,” and Uzbekistan’s last registered Jehovah’s Witness congregation could lose its legal status. If this happens, Forum 18 said that all activity by the entire community will – under Uzbekistan’s highly restrictive Religion Law – become illegal.
Forum 18 reported that no one was available at the government’s Religious Affairs Committee in the capital city of Tashkent to explain to the news service the escalation in activity against religious minorities. Committee chairman Artyk Yusupov was not in the office on Aug. 23. The man who answered the phone of Committee specialist Begzot Kadyrov told Forum 18 that it was a wrong number.
But Ikrom Saipov, an official at the government’s National Human Rights Center involved in religious issues, defended government policy. “We don’t repress religious believers because of their faith,” he told Forum 18.
Told about the recent harassment of the Khalkabad Baptist congregation and the sentencing of the Pentecostal pastor and two Jehovah’s Witnesses, Forum 18 reported Saipov responded, “I can’t comment on those individual cases as I have no documentation about them. But if religious believers have problems they can bring their cases to us. We can then ask the relevant authorities.”
Saipov denied that Uzbekistan’s laws restrict religious activity. He said that the law’s ban on unregistered religious activity represents a restriction. “Religious organizations must register – they just apply to the Justice Ministry for registration,” he told Forum 18.
Saipov was unable to explain why unregistered religious activity is banned and why so many religious communities that want legal status have had their registration applications rejected. Forum 18 reported he was also unable to explain why religious material is censored.
Local Baptists told Forum 18 that after the Khalkabad church’s Sunday service on July 29, held in Zulfikarov’s home in his absence, five church members stayed behind to talk. “Without any warning seven people in civilian clothes and with a video-camera burst into the (apartment),” church members told Forum 18. “They immediately started a search.”
Forum 18 reported that one church member, Odiljon Solijonov, asked the intruders who they were. Instead of answering, the intruders – who turned out to be police officers – pushed him up against the wall and said, “We’re the ones who ask the questions.” Church members told Forum 18 the officers’ behavior was “crude.”
They confiscated all the Christian literature they could find (which church members said was “illegal”), and tried to force the five church members to sign statements. When Solijonov told the others not to sign anything, the officers threatened him physically.
Forum 18 reported that all five members and Solijonov’s five-month-old child were then taken to the Pap District police station five miles away. Solijonov’s wife Nilufar was given no food or water, despite having a young child to feed. All except Solijonov were freed after six hours. Solijonov refused to sign any statement and was held until 1am. He was told to come back in the morning. He ended up walking home, arriving at 3 am. Solijonov returned to the police station in the morning, where he was held for nine hours.
Church members told Forum 18 that Solijonov was beaten in the face and chest. “This was done not just by the boss but by his subordinates too,” Solijonov later said. When fellow-Baptists complained to Motboev about the way Solijonov had been treated, Motboev told them he feared no-one and that they could complain to whomever they liked.
Forum 18 reported that church members complained their Sunday worship service was again raided on Aug. 5. Zulfikarov, who had been absent on July 29, was there during the Aug. 5 raid.
“Afraid that all our written statements would be used against us, we refused to sign anything,” Forum 18 said church members wrote in a complaint to Uzbek president Islam Karimov. “But we were taken to the police station and forced to write statements after being subjected to moral pressure for six hours.”
Church members complained that police officers ignored the fact that their right to refuse to write statements is an integral part of the Criminal Procedure Code. Forum 18 reported that when the Baptists told Motboev that they could not go against their conscience, they said Motboev responded, “I spit on your conscience.”
They said he cursed at Zulfikarov. Motboev reportedly told the Baptists they were “state criminals,” and threatened to hand them over to the National Security Service secret police.
The Khalkabad congregation belongs to the Council of Churches Baptists, who refuse on principle to register with the authorities in any of the former Soviet republics where they operate. They claim that such registration leads to unwarranted state interference in their internal activities. “We don’t feel the need to receive legal status,” the Khalkabad congregation wrote in its complaint to President Karimov.
In Nov. 2006 police raided the Khalkabad congregation. Zulfikarov was fined 12,420 Soms (10 U.S. dollars) under Article 241 of the Administrative Code. This punishes “failing to observe the correct procedure for teaching religious beliefs.” The court also ruled that Christian literature confiscated from church members was “extremist” and ordered that it be destroyed.
According to Forum 18, amid an earlier period of heightened pressure in fall 2003, five church members – including Zulfikarov and Solijonov – were each sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment, costs for which they had to reimburse the state. Three other church members were fined.
Also threatened with a criminal case was Mikhail Goryachev, a member of the Council of Churches congregation in Tashkent. Local Baptists told Forum 18 that prosecutors prepared a case against him under the country’s Criminal Code, which punishes “violation of the law on religious organizations.” However, by late July Forum 18 reported it appeared that the charges had been dropped, despite contradictory messages from the prosecutor’s office and the court in Tashkent’s Khamza District.
For more background, see Forum 18’s Uzbekistan religious freedom survey at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=777.

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Wife of Chinese Opponent of Forced Abortion Missing After Police Confrontation

Posted by radiofreechina on August 24, 2007

Passport suddenly declared invalid at airport, police detained her, took her away, but now deny seeing her

By Elizabeth O’Brien

BEIJING, August 24, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Friday Chinese officials at the Beijing airport blocked the wife of a well-known opponent of forced abortion from leaving the country. Friends have reported that she is missing and possibly kidnapped.

Yuan Weijing was trying to reach the Philippines in order to accept the noted Magsaysay Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Asia, on behalf of her husband Chen Guangcheng. Chen is a blind self-taught lawyer, who was sentenced last November to four years and three months in prison for documenting cases of officials who violently enforced China’s one-child policy in his home province of Shandong in eastern China. He had reported how Family Planning officials were performing forced sterilizations and abortions on women up to eight months pregnant.

Police tried earlier to prevent Yuan from reaching the airport when she was staying at the home of a friend Hu Jia. About 30 policemen blocked her exit, but they finally allowed her to go to the airport with Hu. Some attribute their permission to the fact that Western reporters were at the scene, the Guardian Unlimited reports.

Yuan said, “I haven’t done anything wrong, so I’ll give it a try, and if they stop me then it’s not my problem.” As soon as she reached immigration control, however, officials declared that her valid passport was void. She attempted to call Hu, but calls were cut off, and her phone was confiscated.

“She has been detained by police at the airport,” Hu told AFP news, “and they declared her passport void. Her phone has since been taken away so we don’t know where she is kept now.”

Hu Jia recorded Yuan’s last phone call in which she said, “Hu Jia, I’ve been kidnapped. All my belongings have been robbed.” He asked her where she was, and she replied, “I can’t say. I’m in a bathroom.” Airport police claimed, according to the Washington Times, that they had not seen Yuan or taken her into custody.

Chen and his family have suffered a long list of abuses at the hands of the Chinese authorities, including house arrest, abuse of his family and severe beating in prison. In addition, during the court case that ended with his conviction, key witnesses disappeared and his lawyers were beaten (See http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/dec/06120406.html).

Read Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Chinese Pro-Life Activist’s Final Appeal Rejected
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jan/07011509.html ;
Wife of Chinese Forced Abortion Opponent Hauled in for 9 Hours of Questioning
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06100501.html
US Urges China to Release Blind Anti-Forced-Abortion Activist Chen Guangcheng
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/aug/06081404.html
Blind Chinese Activist to be Prosecuted for Opposition to Forced Abortion
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jul/06071007.html
Chinese Police Admit to Arrest of Missing One-Child/Forced Abortion Policy Protester
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jun/06061404.html
Chinese One-Child Policy Protester Missing Since Arrest Last Month
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/apr/06040507.html

Posted in News Of China | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Government launches nationwide campaign against uncontrolled religious activities

Posted by radiofreechina on August 24, 2007

Massive arrests occur in Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Xinjiang, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, and Anhui

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

MIDLAND, TEXAS (ANS) The Chinese central government has launched a nationwide targeted campaign to clamp down the so-called “illegal religious activities” since mid-July 2007. China Aid Association (CAA) www.chinaaid.org says reports indicate massive arrests have occurred in at least 8 provinces including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi and Anhui. Some are still being detained for receiving bibles while some were persecuted by having their water and electricity cut off by the government because of hosting Sunday schools at home.

According to a report posted at the official website on July 6 by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Mr. LIU Jiaguo, deputy Minister of MPS, urged all local officials to start a one month campaign to “severely crack down illegal religion and evil religious activities” in order to eliminate the political unstable elements in the countryside. (The Chinese text of his speech can be viewed in both the official news report and MPS website)

CAA investigators reports that seven house church leaders have been detained since August 21 from a house church meeting in Inner Mongolia. Four pastors from Liaoning province including pastor QIN Tao(29 year-old), WANG Cong (34 year-old), WANG Shengjun(34 year-old), WANG Youjun(47 year-old) along with three Christian women leaders from Inner Mongolia were taken away from their worship location at Leizhiwa village, Kouhe town, Kulun Qi, Inner Mongolia. They are detained at the PSB office of Kulun Qi now..

One church leader was detained with two others and all three were wounded during a raid of a house church at Jianhu city, Jiangsu province on August 19 while the believers were having their Sunday worship service. That same church was attacked on July 11 when they hosted a summer VBS for 150 children.

Three church leaders from Henan, Anhui and Shanxi were detained for five days when they took some Sunday school literature from a house church at Zaolin village, Guanjin town, Xincai county, Henan province on August 17.

Three church leaders were detained from 5 to 10 days as administrative punishment on August 9 while they were having a worship meeting at Qinghe town, Yutai town, Shandong province. The names of the detained are pastor DU Dafeng, CHENG Zhenan and Ms. Yue Ying.

CAA says a well-known Christian businessman Mr. ZHOU Heng has been under criminal detention since August 3. He was arrested when he tried to pick up 2 tons of Bibles at a bus station sent by someone from another province to distribute to local believers. A number of local house church leaders and believers had been questioned since then. According to his detention paper sent to Mr. ZHOU’s wife CHEN Jihong, brother Zhou Heng was put “on criminal detention on suspicion of illegal business operation at 21:00 on August 3, 2007.” He could face up to 15 years imprisonment if convicted.

Currently, ZHOU Heng is being detained at Xishan Detention Center by Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau, Xinjiang. The Chinese government only allows the official sanctioned churches to print and distribute limited number of bibles.

On July 14, 2007, Sister Kong Lingrong and several young Christians between the ages of 10 to 15 were reading the Bible and praying in the house when Li Zhizhong, head of Company 4, Regiment 31, 2nd Agricultural Division of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps of the Communist Party of China, Wang Cairong, deputy director of the company, Zhang Chunlan, the political director, and Jiang Wei, member of the security staff of the company, came in and said this was an illegal gathering and that children are not allowed to believe in Jesus.

Sister Kong Lingrong told them that she was only reading some Bible passages to them and telling them how to be a true human being. Sister Kong also showed them a copy of “United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights.” They asked: “Where did you get these things?” They questioned the students and asked them which grades they are in and who are their class instructors. After that, the persecution against sister KONG intensified. Sister KONG was told she conducted illegal gatherings at her home. They also ordered her to write a statement of self-criticism and self- examination on this matter. On July 20, Wu Zhilu, deputy political commissar of the company, four policemen from the local police station, six leaders and over 20 people from the TV station, water station, and five to six other work units, stopped electricity and water services to Sister Kong Lingrong’s house. It was reported in that night’s news program on the company’s TV channel.

“The Chinese church believers are faithful peace- makers in building a stable moral society in China,” said Rev. Bob Fu, President of CAA. “We call upon the Chinese government to correct this grave misunderstanding by allowing these faithful to contribute more social service without fear of arrest and retribution.”

You may address your concerns to:

Ruan Boping: Regiment leader of Regiment 31, 2nd Agricultural Division, Xinjiang Construction Corps. Office Tel: +86-996-435-0666
Political Commissar of Regiment 31, 2nd Agricultural Division, Xinjiang Construction Corps. Office Tel: +86- 996-435-0046
Comprehensive Management Office of Regiment 31, 2nd Agricultural Division, Xinjiang Construction Corps. Office Tel: +86-996-435-0015 Phone number of Sister Kong Lingrong’s residence +86-996-435-3020
Public Security Bureau


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Burma Junta Cracks Down On Protests

Posted by radiofreechina on August 23, 2007

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

RANGOON, BURMA (ANS) — Burma’s military regime is preparing to crack down on continuing protests which have resulted from their decision to increase fuel prices by 500 per cent. Almost all the leading democracy activists have been arrested for organizing some of the biggest protests in Burma in a decade.
This has been revealed by the British human rights group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (www. csw.org.uk). [Image ignored]

Burmese activists shout slogans during a protest in the northern outskirts of the capital Rangoon. A pro-junta mob broke up a rare protest by about 150 pro-democracy activists in Burma’s main city Rangoon on Wednesday amid mounting public anger over a massive fuel price hike. (AFP)

A CSW spokesperson told ANS that on Sunday, August 19, over 400 people took part in a demonstration in Rangoon and protests have continued throughout the week. Pro-junta mobs have been used to attack demonstrators, many of whom have been beaten up and detained.
“According to one report from sources inside Burma, police and pro-regime mobs from the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) attacked protesters in Rangoon at 11am this morning,” said the CSW spokesperson. “About 20 protesters were beaten and dragged into trucks and taken away.
“Reports from Burma indicate the regime is now building up its military presence in Rangoon.” [Image ignored]

Burma’s military regime arrested at least 20 activists, including Min Ko Naing (above) and leaders of a pro-democracy group that staged a rare protest against massive fuel price hikes (Photo: from VOA)

The CSW spokesperson went on to say that on Tuesday, August 21, at least 20 of the most prominent activists were arrested. Among them were leaders of the “88 Generation Students”, who led the pro-democracy movement in 1988 when thousands of peaceful demonstrators were massacred by the regime. They include Min Ko Naing, who was tortured during his 16 years in jail, and Ko Ko Gyi, who was imprisoned for 15 years. It is believed they will be charged with disrupting the stability of the state, a crime which carries a sentence of up to 20 year in prison.
Protests have been taking place at the Burmese Embassy in London and other cities around the world this week. At the demonstration today, Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW) Advocacy Officer for South Asia, Benedict Rogers, said: “We salute the courage of the people of Burma, who continue to risk arrest, attack and even death to protest against this brutal regime. We stand firmly in solidarity with the Burmese people.” Last night 10 Burmese exiles in London launched an overnight vigil at the Burmese Embassy, and a 24-hour hunger strike.
CSW’s National Director, Stuart Windsor, said: “The arrests, and the reports of troop build-ups, are deeply troubling. We saw in 1988 what the regime is capable of. It is a regime guilty of crimes against humanity. It is a regime that uses rape, torture, child soldiers and forced labour on a widespread and systematic scale. It is a regime that the international community can no longer turn a blind eye to. We urge the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency discussion on the crisis in Burma as a matter of urgency, and we urge the British Government to do all it possibly can to raise the situation at the Security Council.”
For more information, please contact Penny Hollings, Campaigns and Media Manager at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 20 8329 0045 or by e-mail at: pennyhollings@csw.org.uk or visit http://www.csw.org.uk.
CSW is a human rights organization which specializes in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.
Notes to editors:
1. In 2003, the USDA led an attack on Burma’s democracy leader Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at Depayin, in which 100 of her supporters were beaten to death and she was almost assassinated.
2. The regime has destroyed over 3,000 villages in eastern Burma since 1996, and forcibly displaced more than a million people.

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Jailed elderly Beijing church activist’s life in danger; Relatives appeal for medical parole

Posted by radiofreechina on August 18, 2007

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

MIDLAND, TEXAS / BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) — The health of a jailed Beijing house church activist, 77-year-old Ms. Shuang Shuying, is in serious condition.

According to China Aid Association (CAA), Shuang Shuying was sentenced to two years by Beijing Chongwen District People’s Court on February 26, 2007 on the trumped-up charge of willfully damaging public and private property. Her son pastor Hua Huiqi is an internationally known human rights activist and was released on July 25 after serving 6 months in jail for “disturbing social order.”
In an urgent letter to CAA written by Ms. Shuang’s daughter-in-law, Ms. Wei Jumei, Ms. Shuang was said to be “in extremely poor health” when she was visited in her jail by her relatives recently.

“Her hands were trembling and she looked very pale. She used to weigh 110 jin (121 lbs). Now she weighs only about 80 jin (88 lbs). The jeers and verbal abuses she gets from fellow inmates and the police’s terror and psychological pressure have made the old lady all the more miserable.” said Ms. Wei.

Moreover, CAA says, according to the policemen who came to Ms. Shuang’s house and told her son pastor Hua that some Beijing government leaders are using Ms. Shuang as a hostage to silence pastor Hua’s religious and rights defense activities.

At the end of the letter, stating that Ms. Shuang has serious diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts and neuralgia in peripheral nerves, Ms. Wei appealed to the international Christian community to pray for her mother-in-law. In the meantime, she urges the Chinese government to release Ms. Shuang and reunite with her family. She also asks Christians to pray for the Chinese police and government as well as the detained prisoners.

“We appeal to the international community to protest the injustice done to this ill, elderly Christian lady by writing letters and making phone calls to the Chinese authority” said Bob Fu, “it definitely represents a new low on the so-called rule of law in China especially in the host city of 2008 Summer Olympics.”
The whole text of Ms. Wei Jumei’s letter is as follows:

Under the heading “Please pray for my mother-in-law,” Wei Jumei writes:

“My mother-in-law’s name is Shuang Shuying and she is now 77. She was born into a Manchurian family. In her childhood, she was the favorite of her father and spent a happy childhood and adolescent years with her younger brothers and sisters.

“When Peking (now Beijing) fell to the Communists in 1949, disasters also fell to the family of my mother-in-law. Shuang Deli, the father of my mother-in-law, was arrested by the Chinese Communists on the charge of being a counter-revolutionary. Their house was searched.

“One day in late 1950, the father of my mother-in-law was executed in Xiao Hongmen Township in Chaoyang District of Beijing. My mother-in-law still remembers that day very well. Before my mother-in-law’s father was executed, all her family members were hauled to the site of the execution by the police soldiers where they witnessed with their own eyes the whole process their father’s execution. The cruelest thing about this is the family had to pay for the bullets before they could take back the body to be buried.

“After the father died, the family fell into extreme poverty. My mother-in-law and her younger brothers, sisters, and her mother had to make a living by begging for food. In the meantime, they had to endure discrimination by the people around them. To reduce the economic burden of the family, my mother-in-law married my father-in-law Hua Zaichen through a matchmaker. After the marriage, she gave birth to a boy and a girl. Though the family was not well-off, everybody was enjoying life. However, the good time didn’t last long.

“In 1957, my father-in-law Hua Zaichen was sentenced to ‘reformation through labor’ by the Communist police on the charge of being a counter-revolutionary. Once he left, he didn’t come back for 20 long years during which my mother-in-law lived in hardship and poverty with the children and my old and sick mother-in-law. While labeled as the family members of a counterrevolutionary, my mother-in-law worked in a factory for textile equipment during the Cultural Revolution. The work unit where my mother-in-law belonged tried to force her to confess the so-called ‘counter-revolutionary crimes’ and to divorce Hua Zaichen who was at a labor camp. “When my mother-in-law refused to do so, she was detained at the work unit where they took off her clothes and bound her on a pole and beat her. They also forced my mother-in-law to kneel on an angle iron. In the meantime, the young children in the family suffered discrimination and pressure from the teachers and schoolmates, often bullied by the people around them.

“One thing that makes my husband feel painful even today is when he had a minor conflict with the son of the director of our neighborhood committee. The director reported this incident to a policeman named Jia. This Jia then took my husband to the neighborhood committee where he bound my husband with a thin iron wire. The thin iron wire cut into the thin arms of my husband. The policeman placed my husband under the chair and then sat on it. About 20 minutes later, my husband’s arms were swollen and internal bleeding could be seen. After he came back home, my mother-in-law wiped my husband’s arms with a towel in tears and said: ‘It is us who have brought you children so much misery.’ From then on, my mother-in-law began to think about giving Hua Huiqi to somebody so that he could live a happy life like other children. Yet, Hua Huiqi would never want to leave his loved ones. After my father-in-law came out of the labor camp, my husband and his brothers and sisters had grown up in this nightmarish environment.

“In 1990, Hua Huiqi accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. After that, as Gangwashi Church replaced Pastor Yang Yudong, the police often stalked him and beat him. As my mother-in-law feared for his safety, she began to go together with him to Gangwashi Church for gatherings. Gradually, my mother-in-law also got to know Jesus and accepted Him as her savior.

“In mid 1992, my mother-in-law was baptized in the church. From then on, my husband’s house became a home receiving brothers and sisters from all over the country. Though his house was under constant surveillance by the police who terrorized him, my mother-in-law always received with enthusiasm brothers and sisters each time they came.

“In 2001, my father-in-law Hua Zaichen and my mother-in-law Shuang Shuying who had suffered so much from the evil practice of ‘re-education through labor’ appealed for abolishing reformation through labor by staging a protest in Tiananmen Square. After Beijing succeeded in applying for hosting the Olympic Games, the Chinese Communist authorities demolished by force our house as an unstable political factor under the slogan of ‘New Beijing, New Olympics.’ Our whole family was escorted out of the urban area and locked up in a courtyard called ‘Family Guan’s Pit.’ The police put us under 24-hour surveillance. Sometimes, we were beaten by the police.

“When brothers and sisters all over the world prayed for us and with the attention of all the people who care for us, we were escorted by force to a place outside the city where we have been living since. Some brothers and sisters and people with grievances often came to my house. As a result, we were detained, locked up and beaten by the police numerous times. They smashed our windows and when we were not at home, they broke in and robbed and stole the properties of my family.

“On January 26, 2007, my husband was sentenced to imprisonment on the conviction of ‘Interference with the Exercise of Public Functions.’ When my mother-in-law tried to win justice from the government in a hurry, she fell into a secret plot by the police and was sentenced to two years in prison. She is currently detained in a women’s prison.

“When my family and I visited her in the prison, my mother-in-law was in an extremely poor health. Her hands were trembling and she looked very pale. Just a few hours of sleep a day has seriously damaged the health of my mother-in-law. She used to weigh 110 jin (121 lbs). Now she weighs only about 80 jin (88 lbs). The jeers and verbal abuses she gets from fellow inmates and the police’s terror and psychological pressure have made the old lady all the more miserable.

“In the meantime, my imprisoned husband was threatened and terrorized by the police in charge of religious affairs. They tried to force him to cooperate with them and did not allow him to receive brothers, sisters and people with grievances. They told him: ‘If you don’t do what we tell me to do, you may never see your mother again. You should always remember your mother is in our hands. All it takes to release your mother is a word from the director of our bureau.’ After my husband came out, the policemen again came to my house and told my husband: ‘Some leaders just use your mother as a hostage.’ I felt very bad after I heard this.

“I appeal to the brothers and sisters the world over to pray for my mother-in-law and beg our Lord to protect her health as she has serious diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts and neuralgia in peripheral nerves. In the meantime, please also beg God to move the heart of the government so that they can release my mother-in-law and let her come back home and reunite with her family. I also ask our brothers and sisters within the Lord to pray for the Chinese police and government and pray for the detained prisoners. We sincerely hope God will bless them all.”

The letter is signed: “Member within the Lord: Wei Jumei”

Your letter and messages of concern can be sent to: Ms. Wei’s home telephone number: 86-10-63368113

Telephone number for No. 11 Surveillance Area of Beijing Municipal Prison for Women:
+86-10-60276833 or 60276688 ext 8178 or 8179
Address: No. 3 Run He Xiang, Huifeng Street, Tiantang He Qing Feng Road, Daxing District, Beijing, PRC

Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC
PO Box 1741, The State Council, Beijing, PRC (zip code 100017)
Contact Phone: +86-10-66012399
Ms. Wu Aiying, minister of Ministry of Justice of PRC
Tel:+86-10-65205114
Fax:+86-10-64729863
Address: No. 10, Nan Da Jie, Chaoyangmen, Beijing City (Zip Code: 100020)

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