Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

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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