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Posts Tagged ‘Shi Weihan’

ChinaAid Calls for Prayer and Action on Behalf of Imprisoned Christian Publisher Shi Weihan

Posted by radiofreechina on July 2, 2009

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) ChinaAid calls on the international community to pray and act on behalf of imprisoned Christian house church leader Shi Weihan.

Shi Weihan

According to a media release from the ministry, on June 10 the Beijing Court found Shi Weihan, age 38, guilty of “illegal business operation” and sentenced him to three years in prison and 150,000 Yuan fine (about $22,000 USD) for printing and distributing Bibles at no cost.

ChinaAid (www.ChinaAid.org ) says six others stood trial together with Shi Weihan, and also received criminal sentences for “illegal business operation.”

Tian Hongxia, who worked for Shi Weihan, was fined three years in prison and 150,000 yuan. The other five sentenced were Li Fengshan, Zhou Xin, Cheng Xiaojing, Lű Yuequan and Li Zong, all shareholders and employees of Xinshu Printing Company Ltd. of Beijing, the printing company which printed the Bibles and Christian books.

ChinaAid says their sentences range from one to two years with fines from 60,000 yuan to 120,000 yuan.

ChinaAid recently received the Criminal Judgment from Haidian District People’s Court of Beijing Municipality for Shi Weihan and the other six who were sentenced. Click here to read it. www.chinaaid.org/downloads/sb_chinaaid/ShiWeihanssentencingedit.pdf.

ChinaAid president, Bob Fu stated, “Most of the books Shi Weihan published were Bibles and Christian books. He distributed them free of charge, because the Chinese government does not permit Bibles to be sold in public bookstores, and there is a great need for them. We call upon Christian book authors and those who placed orders for printing Bibles and Christian literature to speak out for Shi and his family.”

Shi Weihan’s wife Zhang Jing and their two daughters, 12-year-old Shi Jia and 8-year-old Shi En Mei, are under tremendous pressure from authorities. Shi’s wife has hired Christian lawyer Li Fangping to represent him and to appeal the verdict. The appeal process could take up to one year.

Concerned believers are asked to contact the Chinese embassy and request that Shi Weihan and the other six sentenced be immediately released, and that government authorities allow Bibles and Christian literature to be printed and freely distributed in China.

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

Read the Criminal Judgment from Haidian District People’s Court of Beijing Municipality against Shi Weihan here: www.chinaaid.org/downloads/sb_chinaaid/ShiWeihanssentencingedit.pdf  

Please contact: Katherine@ChinaAid.org  with questions or requests for further information. 267-210-8278.

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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Father of Chinese American Girl Languishes in Beijing PSB Custody

Posted by radiofreechina on June 22, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) — Prominent house church leader and Christian publisher, Shi Weihan, has been held in detention for the past three months by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on the grounds that he is a “dangerous religious element.”

According to China Aid Association (CAA), Mr. Shi’s attorney, Zhang Xingshui, made an inquiry at the public security bureau on Monday (June 16) as to the status of his client’s case.

CAA says that officials gave no information to Mr. Zhang except that Shi would continue to remain in detention. A court date was expected, since June 20 marked the end of two months of his unexplained captivity.

Normally, Public Security Bureau forces are not allowed to hold Chinese citizens for more than two months without formal charges.

CAA stated that despite having held Mr. Shi beyond the time legally allowed, absent formal charges or a court hearing, the PSB still refuses to allow his family or attorney to see him.

CAA says that claiming an ongoing investigation in what they are calling “a complex case,” the PSB has managed to hold the owner of a legally registered Christian bookstore in an undisclosed location without giving any assurances that he is receiving his needed diabetic medicine.

The PSB appears to be delaying any action on this case indefinitely, raising questions about his health and safety unanswered.

On May 16, the public security bureau also froze the bank account of the house church led by Mr. Shi Weihan. Security officials are also probing the fact that Shi was a member and coworker of CAA President Bob Fu’s House Church in Beijing before Bob and his family came to the US in 1997.

The ongoing contention of the case has brought severe stress and anxiety to Shi’s wife and two daughters, CAA said.

CAA calls on the Chinese Government to abide by its own rule of law and remain consistent with its stance on religious freedom and human rights, by unconditionally releasing Shi Weihan from custody.

CAA says that Chinese government officials, international human rights organizations, and foreign governments keen to understand China’s efforts to improve their record in the run-up to the Olympics should be asking the same questions of the Chinese Public Security Bureau officials, namely:

“Under what court-granted authority have they arrested and held Shi Weihan?”

“Is Mr. Shi being given a fair trial on legally brought charges?”

“Why is he being denied access to legal representation?”

China Aid says it will continue to monitor the situation.

To voice your concern over this matter, contact:

Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
Address: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 338-6688, (202)5889760
Fax: (202) 588-9760

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Beijing Christian Businessman Shi Weihan released on bail as Chinese Government officials decide not to pursue criminal charges

Posted by radiofreechina on January 8, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) A Christian bookstore owner, Shi Weihan along with two dozen others associated with his case, have been released on bail and Chinese officials have decided against a formal trial for Shi, and criminal charges against the accused have been dismissed.

Mr. Shi Weihan with his family.

Eyewitnesses told China Aid Association (CAA) that Shi was in good spirits and relatively stable physical condition. Shi’s family members asked CAA to thank the tireless efforts of the international community for his release.Shi, and the others, have been detained for the past 37 days under charges of illegal printing and distribution of Christian literature. According to Chinese law after 37 days of administrative detention, a formal arrest warrant must be issued or the accused must be released.

Sources state that the Beijing Haidian District prosecution office assigned to Shi’s case determined that they were unable to proceed with formal charges due to “insufficient evidence.”

CAA says that regardless of the reasoning for Shi’s unconditional release, it is evident that international attention and pressure on the case were instrumental in influencing the court’s decision.

“The Chinese government has made a positive step in the right direction regarding this case,” CAA’s President Bob Fu stated. “This is a clear victory of rule of law and international intervention.”

CAA states the Government’s upright decision to release Shi and the others is a virtuous development following the Communist party’s conference on the collective study of Religion and Religious policy on December 18, 2007.

During the conference President Hu Jintao, reiterated the Government’s stance on the “implementation of free religious policy” stressing law-abiding management on religious affairs and support to self-governance of religious groups.

While the Government’s decision in the Shi Weihan case should be lauded, hundreds of prisoners persecuted for their beliefs, still remain in custody. CAA cites the case of Xinjiang church leader Zhou Heng, who was arrested in August of 2007, for receiving “illegally printed” Bibles.

China Aid says that Zhou, who was arraigned on the same charges as Shi Weihan, continues to serve an unjust sentence behind bars.

“These accounts, and others, are examples of the Chinese Government’s failure to remain consistent in cases receiving less international attention,” CAA says in a media release.

China Aid encourages the Chinese Government to follow the example set in the Shi Weihan case, and maintain consistency in its policies and rhetoric on religious freedom.


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