Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Christian Attorney Zheng Enchong Interrogated and Tortured by PSB

Posted by radiofreechina on June 25, 2009

SHANGHAI, CHINA (ANS) A Christian human rights attorney has been interrogated and tortured for nine hours by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers because of his work defending Chinese citizens whose land has been confiscated by the government.

 

Zheng Enchong (ChinaAid photo)

According to ChinaAid (www.ChinaAid.org), during his detention on June 17, Zheng Enchong he was beaten, stripped and cigarettes were held to his lips and eyelids. Zheng Enchong has filed a written protest and plans to file a complaint to the central government.

A media release says that according to ChinaAid sources, Zheng Enchong was summoned by four officers from Zhabei District Branch of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau on June 17.

The ChinaAid news release states: “During his detention, officers took turns slapping him five or six times in the face, and hitting him three times in the back of his head. Police also held lit cigarettes to his lips and eyelids. Later, the officers pulled him from the seat and took off all his clothing, except his underwear. Police threw his personal belongings, including: money, keys, pen, and a Bible and some cookies to the floor. Then the PSB officers proceeded to search his body.

“Authorities compiled a written record of the interrogation without interrogating Zheng at all, and, then, wanted him to sign it. Instead, he wrote down a statement on the record describing his violent treatment by the PSB. He denounced authorities for using the same method on him as they use on Falun Gong practitioners.”

ChinaAid says that Zheng has been summoned by officials nearly 20 times, and his house searched twice in the past two and a half months.

“In 2003, he filed a major legal case exposing how government officials conspired with Zhou Zhengyi, ‘the richest man in Shanghai,’ to illegally confiscate homes for demolition. Since that time, Zheng Enchong has been continually harassed and persecuted by Chinese officials. He was sentenced to three years in prison for ‘illegally providing secrets to overseas entities.’ The charge related to two faxes regarding workers’ protests that Zheng was accused of sending to Human Rights in China, a non-profit organization. Zheng has also been beaten by authorities four times, so badly that he now has difficulty walking.”

Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid and a friend of Mr. Zheng and his family, said: “As an internationally well-known Christian human rights lawyer, Attorney Zheng has always defended the poor and vulnerable. The repeated harassment and torture against such a conscientious rights defender demonstrates the Shanghai authorities’ total disregard to citizens’ basic human rights. We encourage the international community to continue to press the Chinese authorities to stop these hideous acts and to hold the abusers accountable.”

ChinaAid calls on the international community to contact the Chinese Ambassador and urge that the violence against Zheng Enchong end, and that the government respect and uphold human rights according to the Chinese Constitution and international agreements:

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760

Please contact: Katherine@ChinaAid.org  with questions or requests for further information.

Washington contact, Jenny McCloy, 202-213-0506, Jenny@ChinaAid.org

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Chinese Bookstore Owner Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Posted by radiofreechina on June 14, 2009

Also fined nearly $22,000; “illegal business” printed Bibles for free distribution

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (ANS) — A Beijing court recently found Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan guilty of “illegal business operation” and sentenced him to three years in prison and a 150,000 yuan (US$21,975) fine.

According to a story by Compass Direct News, sources said Shi’s store operated legally and sold only books for which he had obtained government permission, and that his Holy Spirit Trading Co. printed Bibles and Christian literature without authorization but only for free distribution to local house churches.

Compass said Shi, 38, had been released on Jan. 4, 2008 due to insufficient evidence for the same vague charge of “illegal business operation,” but he was arrested again two month later, on March 19. Contrary to Chinese law, authorities have denied all but a few visits from his lawyer and family, held him without charges for most of his time in jail, and initially withheld medication for his diabetes.

Compass reported that the court ruling seems to have allowed time that Shi has spent in jail to count toward his sentence, a source said, as his prison term was described as running from Nov. 28, 2007, when he was initially arrested, to Nov. 27, 2010.

Others in a printing company who stood trial with Shi appeared to have received similar sentences. A written judgment is expected within 15 days to allow time for an appeal to be filed, said Ray Sharpe, a friend of Shi.

“Absent an appeal, it is also possible that Shi could be allowed a sort of medical parole, due to his diabetic condition,” Compass reported Sharpe said. “Hopefully, he could then be allowed to stay in a hospital under a sort of house arrest.”

He said that Shi did not yet know whether he would appeal, adding that the process could take up to a year.

Compass said friends and business acquaintances of Shi have described him as a model citizen of China, saying that he has inspired them to love China by his patriotism and love for his homeland. They said he is known for selfless sacrifice on behalf of poor and disenfranchised rural Christians and minority children.

For much of his incarceration, Compass said Shi’s wife Zhang Jing and their two daughters, 12-year-old Shi Jia and 8-year-old Shi En Mei, have not known where he was being held. The family has been under nearly continual surveillance, limiting their ability to make contact with people who could assist them.

Compass reported sources said Zhang has worried about her husband’s condition and that she has taken on leadership duties at their church, where Public Security Bureau officials have intimidated the congregation with regular visits. Some members have left the church because of the intimidation, sources said, and Zhang is said to have suffered anxiety and stress that have led to depression.

Their two daughters have been ostracized at school for being the children of a prisoner, sources said.

Sources told Compass that Shi has lost more than 44 pounds since his second incarceration, dropping to less than 130 pounds. They added that he has suffered from blisters because of unsanitary conditions in prison, as well as tinnitus that at times causes his ears to ring so loudly that he cannot sleep.

Compass reported Chinese officials claim that the Nanjing Amity Printing Co. (Amity Press), the only government-approved Bible publisher, produces enough Bibles to meet the needs of the Chinese church, which various religious freedom organizations dispute. The groups complain that Amity prints a large share of its Bibles for export, and those sold domestically are not available to many Christians.

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Video Launched to Expose Torture of Christian Attorney Gao Zhisheng

Posted by radiofreechina on May 20, 2009

US Senators Call on Chinese President to Release Gao from Prison

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA / WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) It has been more than 100 days since Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng has been seen in public.

Gao Zhisheng

Now two Christian groups, who work for the rights of believers in countries where they face persecution or discrimination, are working together for his release. And a group of US Senators is calling on the Chinese President to have Gao released.

ChinaAid (www.chinaaid.org ) and Voice of the martyrs (VOM) — www.persecution.com — have released a video exposing the torture Gao suffered in 2007.

Reports from inside China indicate he is now likely experiencing the same treatment — or worse. Go to www.freegao.com to view the video now.

According to VOM, this video, an account of 58 days of torture in Gao’s own words, is an indictment of the true nature of Communist Party leaders, who commit these atrocities with their left hands, while their right hands are extended to the free world in a show of friendship and economic partnership.

VOM says in a media release that on September 12, 2007, Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress exposing the brutality of the Communist Party, including the persecution of house church Christians.

Soon after, says VOM, Gao was kidnapped by Chinese government authorities and tortured for 58 days.

“Officials threatened to kill him if he ever exposed the details of his torture. Gao Zhisheng refused to be intimidated into silence — he continued to speak out about human rights abuses by China’s ruling Party. Determined to silence him, government officials kidnapped him again on February 4, 2009,” VOM says in the news release.

Gao Zhisheng has now been missing for more than 100 days. He was last seen being hauled away by Chinese officials, VOM states.

“Gao Zhisheng risked everything to challenge the dark system of communism — he dared to speak the truth. Now, his very life threatens to unmask the distorted inner reality of the Chinese government to the world,” said VOM.

VOM explains that Gao said to his wife that if he should be persecuted for speaking the truth, he believed that people of justice throughout the world would stand with him.

The group is asking believers across America to please forward this e-mail to family and friends, asking them to view the video, sign the petition and send e-mails to government officials at www.FreeGao.com.

Meanwhile, according to ChinaAid, on May 14, the 99th day since Chinese Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng’s kidnapping by government officials, four U.S. Senators issued a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao calling for the Chinese government to release Gao.

The four signatories are: Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND and Chairman of the Congressional – Executive Commission on China), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sam Brownback (R-KS).

The following is the full text of the Senators’ letter to President Hu Jintao:

“Dear President Hu:

“We are writing to express our deep concern over the disappearance of prominent lawyer and human rights advocate, Gao Zhisheng. Tomorrow will mark the 100th day in which Mr. Gao has not been seen or heard from. We fear that Mr. Gao’s life may be in grave danger, given Mr. Gao’s past treatment at the hands of public security officers (and others working under their direction).

“Mr. Gao, voted ‘one of China’s top ten lawyers’ in 2001 by a Chinese Ministry of Justice publication, has represented numerous civil society figures, religious leaders and writers.

“In September 2007, Mr. Gao sent an open letter to the U.S. Congress alleging widespread human rights abuses in China. Afterwards, public security officers abducted him and held him for over 50 days, during which time he was repeatedly tortured. He was told that he would be killed if he told anyone about what happened. Mr. Gao was last seen on February 4, 2009 at a relative’s home, where more than 10 public security officers and others forcibly removed him from bed, and whisked him away to an unknown location. Mr. Gao’s whereabouts are still unknown.

“Mr. Gao’s disappearance appears to be a violation of both Chinese and international law. We urge your government to inform the concerned public of his whereabouts, to guarantee Mr. Gao’s right to be free from arbitrary detention, and to secure his release.”

Both ChinaAid and VOM invite you to visit www.FreeGao.com to advocate for Gao Zhisheng’s release: sign the petition; view the video; send e-mails to Chinese officials and find out more information about Gao Zhisheng.

For more details from ChinaAid, please contact: Katherine@ChinaAid.org with questions or requests for further information.

For more information from VOM, click here: www.persecution.com/contact

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Tiananmen Square Leaders Issue Declaration of Repentance and Reconciliation on 20th Anniversary

Posted by radiofreechina on May 11, 2009

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

MIDLAND, TEXAS (ANS) An unprecedented statement regarding the June 4 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square has just been released.

The document from 80 Chinese Christian leaders calls for forgiveness, repentance, truth, justice and reconciliation.

In a news release, ChinaAid said the majority of the signatories were directly involved with the students’ movement, and suffered severe repercussions at the hands of authorities for their participation. In the aftermath of the massacre, the failure of the movement and in their search for truth, these leaders found reality and hope in Jesus Christ.

ChinaAid said in their statement, the Christian leaders articulate how the massacre “awakened our sense of social justice as intellectuals. and shattered our dreams of utopia on earth.” Through this crisis, they saw they were not “entirely innocent bystanders of the sins and tragedy.”
ChinaAid said the manifesto declares, “in terms of this sinful nature, we are not fundamentally different from the decision makers, commanders or transactors of the massacre, ” except for encountering the grace and forgiveness of God.

ChinaAid reported that the declaration calls on all Chinese Christians to seek reconciliation on the basis that truth must be revealed and justice done. The declaration lists specific actions including confessing the sins of silence and hypocrisy; revealing the truth; helping those still suffering as a result of this tragedy and praying for Chinese authorities.

The signatories also urge Chinese authorities to investigate the massacre; fully disclose the truth; find the perpetrators; commemorate the massacre and compensate and care for the victims’ families.

ChinaAid said the Tiananmen Square Massacre, known in China as the “June 4 Incident, ” was the tragic end to a movement of students and intellectuals calling for free media and formal dialogue between authorities and student-elected representatives. Between April 15 and June 4, approximately 100,000 Chinese citizens, the majority of whom were university students, led peaceful protests in Beijing’s famous Tiananmen Square.

On June 4, ChinaAid reported, the Chinese government sent in armored tanks and, as the world watched, killed hundreds of the demonstrators. According to the Chinese government, the official death toll was 200-300. However, the Chinese Red Cross estimated that the actual deaths were between 2,000 and 3,000. More than 10,000 Chinese citizens from all over China who were involved in the movement were sentenced to death by the government as retribution. June 4, 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre.

Bob Fu, president and founder of ChinaAid, was one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square movement.

Speaking in a news release he said, “The fact that this tragic massacre happened 20 years ago and is still not allowed to be commemorated in China by the Chinese government, should remind the international community that the road toward true freedom for the Chinese people is not an easy one.”

Fu added, “We are encouraged that the persecuted Chinese church and church leaders are awakened to repent for their silence regarding the massacre and to move forward toward true justice and reconciliation.”

ChinaAid said the declaration also issues a call to all Chinese Christian churches, within China and overseas, to pray between May 12 – the anniversary of the Sichuan Earthquake and June 4 – the anniversary of the massacre. They urge churches to make May 12 and June 4 “Pray for China” days and to hold special prayer meetings during that time.

ChinaAid is calling on the international community to stand with the signatories of the declaration by joining them in prayer and action for true reconciliation.

The signatories of the declaration invite other Chinese Christians and church leaders to sign the declaration. Those interested in signing can e-mail info@64church.org.

For more information go to www.ChinaAid.org

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18 Christians Arrested, 16 Still in Prison in Henan Province

Posted by radiofreechina on May 6, 2009

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

HENAN, CHINA (ANS) A dozen Public security Bureau (PSB) officers raided a communion service in China’s Henan Province on April 30 and took away 18 believers, 16 of whom are still being held.

According to ChinaAid (www.ChinaAid.org ) a group of house church Christians and leaders from the house church group China Gospel Fellowship (CGF) were gathered for a communion service at a house church in Xinye city, Henan province, when they were raided by PSB officers.

In all, eighteen Christians were taken to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) office of Xinye city. They were each forced to pay a 1000 yuan (about $150) fine.

At the time of ChinaAid’s press release, 16 Christians were still being held by the PSB, including 10 preachers from Hubei province. The imprisoned preachers are: Wang Donggui, Yang Chengqun, GuoDaying, Hao Xuecheng, Lun Zhidian, Lian Fengmei, Chen Mingao, Ren Zhiai, Zhai Laoxue and Zhai Jinai.

Concerned US Christians may contact the following Public Security Bureau officials and request the 16 Christians immediately be released:

Mr. Shi Zhengxian, Deputy Director of PSB: +86-377- 66222611-35068 (office)

Mr. Chen Xiaogang, Leader of PSB Special Squad +86-13838748167 (cell phone)

Please contact Katherine@ChinaAid.org  with questions or requests for further information.

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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
Phone: 011-86-10-62362008

Liu Jianchao, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of Information Department
Phone: 011-86-10-65963342

Chinese Embassy
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
2300 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 328-2500
Fax: (202) 495-2138

For more information please visit:
http://www.MonitorChina.org
http://www.ChinaAid.org

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Yitong Law Firm Closed for Defending Human Rights Cases

Posted by radiofreechina on March 9, 2009

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

BEIJING (ANS) On March 3, a hearing was held for the Beijing Yitong Law Firm which is being forced to shut down for six months by the Haidian District Judicial Bureau.

According to a news release from ChinaAid, organizational sources say the reason behind the forced closure is that authorities are punishing the firm because some of its attorneys signed an open letter in Aug. 2008 asking that independent candidates be allowed to run in the election of the leadership of the Beijing Lawyers Association (equivalent to the U.S. Bar Association).

An additional reason was that the firm has provided representation for a number of human rights cases, including cases of persecution against house church Christians.

CiinaAid said only Li Jisong, the director of the law firm, was allowed to attend the public hearing on March 3 at 9:30 a.m.

ChinaAid said the other 12 lawyers and workers from the firm were forbidden to attend the hearing, even though the hearing was public and they filed official request forms asking permission to attend immediately after receiving the hearing notice on Feb. 23. The government officials said there was no room, because all the seats were filled by Feb. 25.

In fact, ChinaAid said, the government deliberately filled all the seats with Haidian District Bureau of Justice officials. Presiding over the two-hour hearing was a committee organized by the Bureau of Justice. The committee has not yet released a decision.

ChinaAid reported the government said the forced closure is because the firm allowed Christian attorney, Li Subin, to practice law without a license. However, the firm said that Li Subin, who worked as deputy director of the firm, served only in administrative duties and acted as a legal advisor.

ChinaAid said although he has been a qualified and licensed attorney since 1991, he never acted in that capacity at the firm because the government refused to renew his license after he brought a lawsuit in 2001 against the Louyang City Bureau of Justice and Louyang Bar Association for collecting illegal lawyer license registration fees. Even though Li Subin won the suit, his license has been refused renewal ever since, and he has had no explanation from authorities for the reason.

ChinaAid said the forced closure of the firm is the most recent in a series of government tactics to shut down the firm in order to stop their human rights defense work. In October, government officials pressured the firm to fire some of their attorneys, including Li Subin, because they signed the open letter asking for the free election of the leadership of Beijing Lawyers Association.

The implication for a free election, ChinaAid reported, is that the member lawyers would be able to choose their own leadership rather than accept the leaders the government chooses.

ChinaAid said a Chinese news source (www.canyu.org), interviewed Attorney Liu Xiaoyuan of Yitong Law Firm. Attorney Liu said that the law firm will defend itself on the basis of three aspects.

Haidian District Bureau of Justice is not qualified to impose the administrative penalty of forcing the law firm to close for six months. Li Subin did not act as an attorney in the firm’s cases; he was only involved as a legal advisor. Even if the charge was legitimate, the penalty of closing down the law firm for six months is not fair or just. In similar cases, the penalty is generally a warning, an order for improvement, or a fine.

ChinaAid said it is urging the international community to speak out on behalf of Yitong Law Firm. Their work defending human rights cases, including persecuted house church Christians, has made them a target of the government.

ChinaAid is urging readers to contact the Chinese Ambassador and let him know their concern about the actions taken against the Yitong Law Firm.

He may be contacted as follows: Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008. Tel: 202-745 6743.

For more information go to www.ChinaAid.org  and www.MonitorChina.org

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Shanghai Authorities Plan to Deprive Wanbang Missionary Church of Its Right to Worship

Posted by radiofreechina on February 14, 2009

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

SHANGHAI, CHINA (ANS) Pastor Liu Tongsu, a Chinese pastor who was an eyewitness to these events has written in a news release proved to ANS by ChinaAid, in which he said, “On the morning of February 10, 2009, six Chinese police officers and officials from the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) visited the chief pastor Cui Quan of Wanbang Missionary Church of Shanghai and ordered him to cancel the 4th Seminar of Chinese Urban House Church Pastors Fellowship. Pastor Cui Quan argued and claimed that the church has its rights.

“He also pointed out that as the authorities tried to ban the conference at the last moment when most attendants to the seminar had already arrived and checked into hotels, it was really impossible to cancel the conference by that time. The visiting officials persisted in their original order and threatened that if the conference was not canceled, the government would terminate the conference with coercive measures.

“The next morning, two police officers again came to the church and again ordered that the conference be stopped. Pastor Cui Quan came up with various flexible plans in an attempt to comply with the order, all to no avail. He then had to announce that the conference be held as originally planned. Again, the visiting police officers threatened that they would use harsh and coercive measures to stop the conference.

“During the lunch, the delegates to the conference decided that though they had the right to get together, they did not want to make things difficult for the local police or bring unnecessary troubles to Wanbang Missionary Church. Therefore, they decided to move the conference to another location.

“On the afternoon of February 12, when the conference ended at another place, Wanbang Missionary Church found that the police had ordered the landlord of Wanbang Church to terminate the rental agreement within 30 days. At this time, the congregation of 1,200 of Wanbang Missionary Church faces losing their site of gathering that they have legally rented. Therefore, they are deprived of their right to Sunday worship.”

Pastor Liu Tongsu went on to say, “This act of the Chinese government is a serious violation of the people’s basic rights and it is committed in a very unreasonable manner. (1) In using coercive measures to end a small-scale academic seminar, the authorities will obviously deprive the people of their right to assemble. (2) While Wanbang Missionary Church changed the site of the conference out of their understanding of the difficult situation the police found themselves in, it is very unnatural and is against human nature for the police to take revenge on the church for trying to cooperate. (3) Terminating a civil agreement that is completely in line with the legal process, through the use of a state compulsory organ (police) is already a violation of more than one law.

“We urge people from all walks of life to appeal to Shanghai government to stop its persecution of Wanbang Missionary Church and we also ask Shanghai government to end out of their own accord all improper and unconstitutional acts.”

For more information, go to www.ChinaAid.org. You can also contact Katherine Cason by e-mail at: Katherine@ChinaAid.org with questions or requests for further information.

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Pastor Bike Forced Out of Beijing by More Than a Dozen PSB Officers

Posted by radiofreechina on January 17, 2009

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) More than a dozen Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers this morning (Jan.16), evening time in China, forcibly escorted Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan from Pastor Hua Huiqi’s home in Beijing and put him on a bus to Henan province. Authorities refuse to allow Pastor Bike and his family to stay in Beijing.

ChinaAid says this is the most recent in a series of actions against Pastor Bike by government authorities.

The human rights group says: “Pastor Bike called ChinaAid from the bus. He said he went Pastor Hua’s home to visit Pastor Hua’s father, Hua Zaichen, 91 who is dying. Hua Zaichen’s wife, Shuang Shuying, 79, is in prison and authorities refuse to allow her to see her husband. Pastor Bike was praying for Hua Zaichen when the government officials broke into the house.”

The group adds: “Pastor Bike also met two Uyghur Muslim human rights petitioners from Xinjiang province at Pastor Hua’s home. The two women were there to ask for Pastor Hua’s help about where they should go to petition the government. They said corrupt government officials confiscated their land. Pastor Bike told us he shared the gospel with them.”

ChinaAid thanks all who continue to be concerned for Pastor Bike and his family. Please watch www.ChinaAid.org for the latest updates.

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Peng Ming’s Health Deteriorating after More than Four Years in Prison

Posted by radiofreechina on January 15, 2009

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

HUBEI PROVINCE, CHINA (ANS) ChinaAid has received a letter from the family of Peng Ming expressing their sincere appreciation for the international support regarding Peng Ming’s case and an update on his condition.

According to ChinaAid, Peng Ming was kidnapped at gunpoint by eight Chinese special agents in May 2004, then taken to China where he was sentenced to life in prison in October 2005, charged with engaging in terrorism activities.

ChinaAid says he is in a heavily guarded prison cell in Han Yang where he suffers from serious medical conditions that have been ignored by prison officials.

The letter from Peng Ming’s family to ChinaAid, received on January 6, 2009, reads in part:

“On behalf of the entire family of Peng Ming, we would like to express our sincere appreciation of yours and your organization’s work on, and support of Peng Ming’s case. We appreciate your every effort on this matter.

“At the same time, we would like to give you an update on Peng Ming’s current health condition in the PRC prison. Peng Ming has multiple illnesses, of which the following three illnesses are what we are most concerned about:

“1. Life-threatening, late-stage kidney stones problem, resulting in blood in urine and ultimately poisonous to his body
2. Long-term heart condition worsened by the bad environment in prison (no heat in winter)
3. Severely painful arthritis condition in his ankles, causing him great difficulty in walking — lately he is just able to limp.

“We are extremely worried about Peng Ming’s health at this moment. We are most grateful for everything you have done for him, and we hope the support of the ChinaAid will result in some relief to Peng Ming in his difficult situation in the near future.”

The letter was signed on behalf of Peng Ming’s family: Peng Xing (sister), Peng Yan (sister), Peng HuiChang (father), Fan JinLan (mother), Dawen Peng (daughter), Andy Peng (son) and Lisa Peng (daughter).

ChinaAid says that since his imprisonment, Peng Ming has developed a severe case of kidney stones and has suffered a massive heart attack. He received no medical treatment from prison staff.

“These and other health issues are compounded by prison officials who continue to afflict Mr. Peng with sleep deprivation and malnourishment. To date, Peng Ming has been without proper medical attention for more than 4 years,” ChinaAid says.

The group says that in June of 2007, an urgent appeal was sent to Chinese officials from the United Nations Human Rights Council; Working Group for Arbitrary Detention. The Working Group established that Mr. Peng Ming is an official UN Refugee and would be granted permanent alien resident status from the USA.

An e-mail update on Peng’s condition says that,”Furthermore, the UN Council declared that the deprivation of his liberty is arbitrary and in direct contravention of articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that the government should take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Peng Ming.

“In addition to the UN effort for this case, U.S. Congressional leaders and senior Bush administration officials have urged the Chinese government to release Peng Ming. Congressional leaders are deeply concerned for this case. Despite the efforts of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as efforts from members of the United States government, Mr. Peng remains in detention without medical assistance.”

ChinaAid along with its supporters urges the international community to pressure the Chinese government for the unconditional release of Peng Ming based on emergency medical need and fundamental humanitarian grounds. ChinaAid urges Christians around the world to pray for Peng Ming’s health conditions to improve.

Concerned Christians may write a letter of encouragement to Peng Ming in prison at:
No. 4 Prison Branch,
Hubei Provincial Han Yang Prison
Cai Dian District, Wuhan City
Hubei Province
CHINA

Click here http://chinaaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/peng-ming-prison-letter.pdf to download a printable letter you can send to Peng Ming in prison.

Contact Xiang Peng (sister of Peng Ming) at 510-962-0907 (Mandarin Chinese only).

For more information please visit:
www.ChinaAid.org
www.MonitorChina.org

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