Administrative Judgment of Xiangcheng County People's Court of Henan Province

China Aid Association

Plaintiff: Guo Xinwei. Male. Han Nationality. Date of Birth: January 23, 1969. Residential address: Changmiao Village, Wanjin Township, Pingyu County, Henan Province.
Authorized agent: Wu Chenglian. Female. Han Nationality. Date of Birth: November 22, 1985. Residential address: Changgangbei, Chengguan Township, Lishui City, Zhejiang Province. She is an assistant director of legal department of Zhongfu Shengshan Cultural Research Institute of China.
Defendant: Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau
Legal representative: Liu Yanzhao. Director
Authorized agent: Lin Hongchao. Deputy Director, Legal Section of Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau
Authorized agent: Wang Wanbin. Policeman of Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau
The plaintiff Guo Xinwei does not accept the decision on administrative penalty of Xiang Gong (Guo) Jue Zi [2007] No. 0223 made by Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau on November 20, 2007. He submitted a lawsuit to this court on February 1, 2008. After this court accepted the case, it sent to the defendant a copy of the indictment, a notification calling for responses and a notice of proof. This court formed a collegiate bench as provided by law and tried this case in closed door on March 13, 2008. The plaintiff Guo Xinwei, his authorized agent Wu Chenglian, the defendant Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau, their authorized agents Lin Hongchao and Wang Wanbin all arrived at the court to attend the lawsuit. The case is now complete.
The plaintiff Guo Xinwei said: On the afternoon of November 20, 2007, the plaintiff Guo Xinwei and over 40 Christians were holding a religious activity at the residence of Liu Qianying, a believer. At about 5 p.m., over 20 law enforcement officers from Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau came to us and claimed that ours was an illegal gathering. After that, these law enforcement officers from the Public Security Bureau, without showing any identification papers, took all of us Christians by force to the public security bureau for interrogation. They also took away the books, comforters, chairs and cooking utensils without giving us a list of confiscated objects. At about 7:30 p.m., Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau made the decision of imposing a 15-day administrative detention on me and 18 other Christians. On December 12, the defendant again made the decision of imposing a 15-day administrative detention on several other Christians. Even now, the plaintiff is not clear what law he has violated by simply participating in a religious activity, nor does he know why the defendant made the decision of imposing an administrative detention on the plaintiff. Moreover, when the defendant made the decision on the administrative penalty, he did not give the plaintiff and other Christians a chance to state their reasons and defend for their case. Therefore, the plaintiff thinks the defendant’s administrative penalty made pursuant to Clause 1, Article 54 of “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Public Security Administrative Penalty” is not based on facts and should be repealed according to law. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. What the plaintiff and other Christians participated in was a “house gathering,” and it does not need to register.

Article 3 of the White Paper of “Status of Freedom of Religious Belief in China” promulgated on October 16, 1997 by Information Office of the State Council of China stipulates that: “All the normal religious activities held by believers in their own private homes according to religious customs, such as Sunday services, prayers, Bible lectures, sermons, Mass and baptism, etc. shall be handled by the religious organizations and their believers themselves. These activities are protected by the law and nobody may interfere with … the religious activities held in their own private homes and mainly attended by their relatives such as praying and Bible reading (habitually referred to by Christians in China as ‘house meetings,’) are not required to register.” We know from this stipulation that the law has no restrictions on the relatives either in region or in number. We also know that on November 20, 2007, the activity held at the residence of Liu Qianying by the plaintiff and other Christians was a normal religious activity and it did not need any approval. The defendant’s determination that the plaintiff’s religious activity held by the plaintiff is an “illegal gathering” just because the religious activity was not registered is wrong. His view that it is an “illegal gathering” just because a few people there were not from the local area has no legal basis.

  1. The state organ did not abolish the plaintiff or the house gathering attended by the plaintiff.

It is stipulated in Clause 1, Article 54 of the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Public Security Administrative Penalty” that: people with the following conduct shall receive a detention of more than 10 days and less than 15 days€¦ (1) Those who continue to engage in activities which have been abolished when they violated the state law and which were not registered and were conducted in the name of a social organization. However, on November 20, 2007 when the plaintiff was gathering with a group of people at the residence of Liu Qianying, the defendant did not abolish our religious activities. The defendant only said that ours was an illegal gathering. After that, they took us by force to the public security bureau and made the decision of imposing a 15-day administrative detention on the plaintiff and other Christians. Therefore, the administrative penalty imposed by the defendant on the plaintiff was not based on facts.
(3) The defendant violated the related legal procedure.

  1. The defendant did not show any law enforcement identification. It is stipulated in Article 37 of the “Law of Administrative Penalty” that when the administrative organ conducts an investigation or an inspection, there should be at least two law enforcement officers and they should show their identification papers to the client or the related party. However, on November 20, 2007, the defendant took the plaintiff by force to the police station without showing any law enforcement papers or summons and then interrogated them.
  2. The defendant did not give the plaintiff the right to defend and state their case. It is stipulated in Article 31 of the “Law of Administrative Penalty” that: Before deciding to impose administrative penalties, administrative organs shall notify the parties of the facts, grounds and basis according to which the administrative penalties are to be decided on and shall notify the parties of the rights that they enjoy in accordance with law. It is stipulated in Article 32: The parties shall have the right to state their cases and to defend themselves. Administrative organs shall fully heed the opinions of the parties and shall reexamine the facts, grounds and evidence put forward by the parties; if the facts, grounds and evidence put forward by the parties are established, the administrative organs shall accept them and the administrative organ shall not increase penalty just because the party has tried to argue and defend their case. However, the defendant decided to impose an administrative penalty on the plaintiff before he listened to the plaintiff’s argument and defense. The defendant’s conduct apparently violated the law. We can see from here that the defendant violated the “Law of Administrative Penalty” from its summons, interrogation, notification and penalty on the plaintiff.

To summarize the above, the plaintiff thinks the administrative penalty imposed by the defendant on the plaintiff is not based on facts and the defendant violated the law. Therefore, the plaintiff hereby requests that the decision on administrative penalty made by the defendant on the plaintiff on November 20, 2007 be repealed in accordance with law.
The defendant Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau argued: At about 9 o’clock on the morning of November 20, 2007, the Homeland Security Defense Brigade of Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau received tips from people that several dozens of people were in an illegal gathering at the residence of Liu Qianying located in Cuizhuang Village of Fanhu Township and that among them were people from outside the town. It is found through investigation that on November 19, 2007, Guo Xinwei took Wang Guidong and Qin Xiaojing of this same county in a vehicle and went from Pingyu County to Cuizhuang Village of Fanhu Township where they attended an illegal gathering at the residence of Liu Qianying. There were a total of about 50 people in the illegal gathering, including people from outside the town. They were caught on the spot by the Homeland Security Defense Brigade of our bureau and the County Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs. In the meantime, they were abolished on the spot in accordance with law.
1. The plaintiff’s claim that “It is legal to hold religious activities at residences of believers” is wrong. Article 12 of “Regulations on Religious Affairs” that became in effect from March 1, 2005 stipulates that: “Collective religious activities of religious citizens shall, in general, be held at registered sites for religious activities (i.e., Buddhist monasteries, Taoist temples, mosques, churches and other fixed premises for religious activities), organized by the sites for religious activities or religious bodies€¦” According to this stipulation, the collective religious activity held by the plaintiff and others in a residence of a believer (51 people coming from five regions and cities) is a violation of the law.
2. Holding a “multi-regional” collective religious activity without authorization that exceeds the legal limit of occupancy.
It is stipulated in Article 23 of “Regulations on Religious Affairs in Henan Province” that became effective on November 1, 2006: For large religious activities that exceed the occupancy limit of the religious sites and that cover people from several provinces, municipalities and counties (districts within a municipality) or for large religious activities outside sites of religious activities, the organizer of the religious organization, Buddhist temples or the church shall submit an application to an agency in charge of religious affairs under the people’s government of the province, municipality or county (district of a municipality) where the activity will be held. In light of this stipulation, the plaintiff and others did not submit an application and then conducted at the residence of a believer a gathering that were attended by people from other areas and where the number of people exceeded the legal limit of occupancy (The room for the gathering is no more than 15 square meters and was accommodating over 50 people). Furthermore, the gathering did not get any legal approval and is therefore a conduct in serious violation of the law.
Back on August 15, 2005, Liu Qianying was caught by this bureau of religious affairs while holding an illegal gathering. Her rights of holding such activities were abolished. This incident shows she refuses to mend her ways after repeated admonitions.
To summarize the above, the conduct of the plaintiff has violated Clause 1, Article 54 of the “Law of Public Security Administration” of our country. The penalty our bureau imposed on the plaintiff and other people are based on clear facts, solid and true evidence, accurate application of the law and legal procedures. We request that the court sustain the penalty in accordance with law.
The plaintiff and the defendant provided the following pieces of evidence for each other’s claims:
(1) The evidence provided by the plaintiff:

  1. Witness Li Fenghu (This person resides at Group 9, Biandanli Village, Mailing Township of this county)
  2. Witness Liu Qunyi (This person resides at Houji Township, Wuyang County)
  3. Witness Wang Junqing (This person resides at Dalu Village, Fenchen Township of this county)
  4. Witness Ding Suiming (This person resides at Gaozhuang Village, Houji Township, Wuyang County)
  5. Witness Hu Dafeng (This person resides at Biandanli Village, Mailing Township of this county)

The above witnesses all testified that on November 20, 2007, people from Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau took them away without showing any identification papers at the residence of Liu Qianying. After that, they were detained (These five people are not relatives of Liu Qianying)
(2) The evidence provided by the defendant:

  1. One copy of case registration form from Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau on November 20, 2007.
  2. One copy of how the Homeland Security Defense Brigade of Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau caught the suspects on November 20, 2007. Three copies of how the incident occurred prepared by Policemen Xie Youchang, Li Hongqi and Wang Wanbin. These documents prove that after the Homeland Security Defense Brigade received tips from the people on November 20, it immediately reported it to the Party committee of the bureau and the Homeland Security Defense Brigade of the municipal government. Acting on the instructions of their superiors, they arrived at the scene of the incident—residence of Liu Qianying. After they blockaded the site, they showed their identification and Director Cao from the County Bureau of Religion read the decision of abolishing that illegal gathering site. In the meantime, they took the people suspected of having involved in this illegal case to the public security bureau for interrogation.
  3. One copy of written record of interrogation on December 12, 2007 on Li Changhu that proves he rode a bike to the residence of Liu Qianying on the morning of November 20. There were about 40 or 50 people and the place is not a legally designated classroom.
  4. One copy of written record of interrogation on Guo Xinwei on November 20, 2007 that proves he himself and other people went to gather at the residence of Liu Qianying.
  5. Two copies of written record of interrogation on Qin Xiaojing and Wang Guidong on November 20, 2007 that prove the two people went to the place with Guo Xinwei. They only knew it was in Xiangcheng County. They didn’t know who the host of the family was. The person who gave the lecture in the class is from Nanyang and the person’s name is Shen Yiping.
  6. One copy of written record of interrogation on Shen Yiping on November 20, 2007. This person is a resident of Shenchong Village, Dahetun Township, Tanghe County and the record proves that the person’s position in the church is a pastor and went to Cuizhuang, Fanhu Township of Xiangcheng County to attend an illegal gathering on the morning of November 20, 2007. Shen Yiping was sentenced to two years of reeducation through labor in 1999 by the local public security bureau for attending an illegal gathering at Chengguan Township, Tanghe County, Nanyang Municipality.
  7. One copy of inspection certificate and one copy of written record of inspection of Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau used on November 20, 2007.
  8. A list of confiscated objects and documents and seven photos.
  9. One copy of evaluation statement made on November 20, 2007 by Xuchang Municipal Leading Group Office on Eliminating Pornography and Illegal Publications. This proves that 14 categories of books and magazines were seized. It is found through evaluation that they are illegal publications.
  10. One copy of materials from Xiangcheng County Bureau of Religious Affairs made on November 20, 2007 that proves on the afternoon of November 20, 2007, the bureau, entrusted by the Homeland Security Defense Brigade of the Public Security Bureau, sent Director Cao Shangjun to the residence of Liu Qianying in Cuizhuang to enforce the law and conduct an inspection. After the inspection of the site, he announced on the site that the site was abolished in accordance with the law.
  11. One copy of notification (record) from Xiangcheng County Bureau of Religion on abolishing the illegal gathering issued on August 15, 2005. The notification has the signature of Liu Qianying.
  12. One copy of notification (record) from Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau and Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs on abolishing the illegal gathering site issued on November 20, 2007. (As the informant wanted to remain anonymous, the notification has no signature on it.)
  13. One copy of written record of notification on public security administrative penalty and one copy of decision statement of administrative penalty on Guo Xinwei from Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau issued on November 20, 2007.
  14. One copy of acknowledgement of receipt and one copy of acknowledgement of receipt of the notification.
  15. One copy of approval form of request for inspection of Xiang Gong (Guo) Shen Zi [2007] No. 0023 issued on November 20, 2007; one copy of approval form of public security administrative penalty of Xiang Gong (Guo) Shen Zi [2007] No. 15;
  16. Law and regulations.

Through analysis and determination on the evidence provided by both the plaintiff and the defendant, this court has determined the following facts: On August 15, 2005, Xiangcheng County Ethnic Bureau of Religious Affairs, in accordance with law, abolished the gathering site at the residence of Liu Qianying on August 15, 2005. The document is signed by Liu Qianying. On November 19, 2007, the plaintiff Guo Xinwei took Wang Guidong and Qin Xiaojing of this county and traveled from Pingyu County to the residence of Liu Qianying for a gathering located in Cuizhuang Village, Fanhu Township of our county. At about 9 o’clock on the morning of November 20, 2007, the Homeland Security Defense Brigade received tips from people that several dozens of people were in an illegal gathering at the residence of Liu Qianying located in Cuizhuang Village of Fanhu Township. Among the people who were attending the gathering, there were people from outside the town. Upon approval of their leaders, the Homeland Security Defense Brigade, went immediately to the site of the gathering together with people from Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs. Through inspection of the site, it was determined that the gathering was an illegal one. Pursuant to the relevant regulations set forth in “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council and “Regulations on Religious Affairs of Henan Province,” they announced on the spot that the gathering was abolished. Later, pursuant to the relevant provisions in the “Law of Public Security Penalty,” Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau imposed an administrative penalty on the plaintiff Guo Xinwei. The plaintiff Guo Xinwei refused to accept it and submitted an application for reconsideration at Xiangcheng County People’s Government. Xiangcheng County People’s Government came out with a decision statement on the administrative reconsideration of Xiang Cheng Fu Jue Zi [2008] No. 1 on January 16, 2008 and ruled: The decision of Xiang Gong (Guo) Jue Zi [2007] No. 0223 by Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau be sustained. Therefore, the plaintiff brought a lawsuit to this court, requesting that this penalty decision statement be repealed according to law.
This court hold the following opinion: Xiangcheng County Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs abolished the gathering site at Liu Qianying’s residence in accordance with law on August 15, 2005. On November 20, 2007, the plaintiff Guo Xinwei and several dozens of other people again gathered at the gathering place already abolished without approval from relevant authorities. After Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau received tips from the people, it imposed an administrative penalty on the plaintiff Guo Xinwei in strict accordance with the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Public Security Penalty.” The decision statement of Xiang Gong (Guo) Jue Zi [2007] No. 0223 issued by Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau on the plaintiff Guo Xinwei is based on clear facts, sufficient evidence, correct application of the law and legal procedure. Therefore, it should be sustained. The plaintiff Guo Xinwei claimed the gathering is a “household gathering.” However, according to Article 12 of “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council: “€¦ the religious activities held in their own private homes and mainly attended by their relatives and occasionally by neighbors and the activities should be relatively simple in content and form such as Bible reading and prayer.” However, the plaintiff Guo Xinwei and Liu Qianying are neither relatives or neighbors and that gathering was attended by over 50 people from many regions. Besides, it didn’t have any legal approval. Therefore, the so-called “household gathering” as claimed by Guo Xinwei is not a household gathering in the true sense of the word and is a violation of the law. During the court trial, the plaintiff proposed that Liu Qianying’s signature on the notification (stub) be evaluated. The notification is about abolishment of the illegal gathering site and was issued by Xiangcheng County Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs on August 15, 2005. However, during the specified period of time, the plaintiff Guo Xinwei neither submitted an application nor made the prepayment for the evaluation. Therefore, it is considered as a forfeiture of his rights. Pursuant to Item 1, Clause 1, Article 54 of the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty,” this court rules as follows: The decision statement on the penalty issued by Xiangcheng County Public Security Bureau of Xiang Gong (Guo) Jue Zi [2007] No. 0223 be sustained. The 50 yuan of court costs on the case shall be paid by the plaintiff Guo Xinwei. If the party concerned does not accept the ruling, he or she can submit an appeal application to this court within 15 days after receiving this judgment and submit copies of the appeal application according to the number of parties involved on the other party. The appeal application shall be submitted to Xuchang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of Henan Province. Chief Judge: Ma XianchaoJudge: Hou YidanJudge: Zhang (illegible) Date: (illegible) 2008Clerk: Chen Xinshe Seal (rectangular): After verification, this document is found to be the same as the original.Seal (round): Xiangcheng County People’s Court.


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.chinaaid.org

Scroll to Top