Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

American Activist Disappears After Offering Himself for Arrest In Tiananmen Square

Posted by radiofreechina on August 25, 2008

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) — As the Beijing Olympics drew to a close, an American activist who carried out earlier protests presented himself for arrest in Tiananmen Square and has now disappeared.

Pastor Eddie Perez Romero

A statement released today by representatives says that at 10.15 pm Beijing Time activist Pastor Eddie Perez Romero sought to draw attention to himself in Tiananmen Square and to be arrested. While the exact events were difficult to track precisely, the statement says that representatives believe Pastor Romero was eventually taken away by the authorities in a car. He has not been heard of since.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights group, Pastor Romero, while in Tiananmen Square, shouted about the concerns that had led him to protest and the goals of his campaign, namely the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the release of five prisoners representing five key areas of concern.

A CSW spokesperson told ANS, “On August 5, prior to the Beijing Games, Pastor Romero had transformed two hotel rooms, creating effigies of blood-spattered torture victims and painting human rights slogans such as ‘Our World, Our Nightmare.’ The protest took place just days before President Bush issued his strong condemnation of abuse of religious freedom in China. After the protest Pastor Romero went into hiding and has been living in the open with the protection of a small shelter, existing on rations he bought before leaving Beijing.”

Pastor Romero, a father of three, is a well respected church leader at Hacienda Christian Fellowship in La Puente, California, and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Mt. San Antonio Community College in Walnut, California.

Stuart Windsor, National Director at Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: “Pastor Eddie Romero is a much-loved church leader, professor and family man whose actions are driven by deepest concern for the abused in China. He took this exceptional step in order to draw much-needed attention to the plight of those suffering persecution for their faith and other beliefs.

“While CSW does not condone civil disobedience we strongly endorse the validity of the calls he is making for China to ratify the ICCPR and to release the named prisoners. His courage in handing himself over to the Chinese authorities shows the depths with which he identifies with the suffering of the Chinese people.”

For further information or photographs please contact Stuart Windsor on 07770 755660, email stuartwindsor@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:

More information on Pastor Romero’s activities can be found at http://exodus8one.org

The five named prisoners are:
* Pastor Zhang Rongliang – house church Christian
* Xu Na – Falun Gong practitioner
* Hu Jia – internet activist (Buddhist)
* Shi Tao – journalist
* Guo Feixiong – self trained ‘barefoot’ lawyer

Further information on the Church in China and the crackdown on the church in the run up to the Olympics can be found situation of the in CSW’s report “China: Persecution of Protestant Christians in the approach to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games” at http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=report&id=95&rnd=0.5403711

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