Update on Imprisoned Chinese Christian Shi Weihan’s Trial
Posted by radiofreechina on April 19, 2009
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) — A Chinese Christian human rights organization says that Christian Shi Weihan stood trial on Thursday, April 9, in the Haidian District Court.
ChinaAid (www.ChinaAid.org ) reports that Shi Weihan’s attorney Zhang Xingshui made a three-hour defense of Weihan’s innocence, from 9 a.m. to noon. Weihan has been in prison since March 19, 2008 for printing and giving away Christian books and Bibles without government permission.
According to ChinaAid, at the trial, Shi Weihan’s attorney Zhang Xingshui pointed out: “Shi Weihan’s acts did not constitute a crime, because he was not engaged in illegal business acts and he did not disturb the social or market order.”
ChinaAid says that Shi Weihan’s wife Zhang Jing and his parents, and three friends were allowed to attend the trial. They were able to make eye contact with him and nod, but otherwise they were not allowed to communicate. They said he is quite thin, but appeared healthy.
“Police reportedly brought no new evidence, and constantly referred to the ‘printing of illegal books.’ The judge previously refused to convict Shi Weihan,” ChinaAid reported in an e-mail update obtained by ASSIST News.
Lawyer Zhang Xingshui said, according to China’s criminal law, if convicted, Shi Weihan’s sentence could be about three to four years. Zhang Xingshui says that the court is required to issue a verdict within 45 days.
To request the immediate release of Shi Weihan, please contact the following government authorities:
Tang Long, City of Beijing Deputy Secretary General of the Municipal People’s Government
Liu Jianchao, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of Information Department
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 328-2500
Fax: (202) 495-2138