Chinese Christian Who Helped Hundreds of North Koreans Escape Unable to Get Political Refugee Status from UN (VIDEO)

China Aid Association

(Bangkok, Thailand–Nov. 27, 2012) A Chinese Christian who helped hundreds of North Koreans escape to Thailand and then was forced to escape there himself has been waiting for two years ago for the United Nations to grant him UN refugee protection.

ChinaAid recently received Tu Ai-rong’s video appeal for help.  In the video below, he  tells his story of how he helped 300 to 400 North Koreans escape from the city of Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan province to neighboring Thailand.  When China’s state security discovered what he was doing, Tu was arrested, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and fined $30,000.  He was abused while in prison, and continued to be threatened by government agents after his release.  Six month later, in 2009, he fled to Cambodia and Laos.  In October 2010, he arrived in Thailand where he applied to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for UN refugee protection.

Not only has Tu been waiting in vain for the past two years for UN refugee protection, his situation has become even more grave because the Chinese government has issued a warrant for his arrest.  Tu could face a 20-year prison term if he were arrested again by the Chinese authorities.  Meanwhile, his family has had to rely on the Korean church for help and face a precarious future.

ChinaAid urges the UNHCR to approve as soon as possible Tu’s application for international refugee asylum status for him and his family because they meet the requirements for political refugee status.  At the same time, ChinaAid calls on the international community, especially the Korean church, to come to the aid of Tu and his family, either by supporting his case or providing much-needed financial assistance.

To advocate for Tu and his family, contact the UNHCR via

To provide financial assistance, contact ChinaAid.

In 2009, ChinaAid reported on the 10-year sentence given to two Chinese Christians who had helped North Koreans escape. See the report here:



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