China Aid Association
(Beijing — Dec. 23, 2010) Chinese authorities are keeping the pressure on one of China’s foremost legal scholars and leading human rights lawyers despite releasing him late last week after nine days in police custody, giving little cause for optimism about the fate of Fan Yafeng, according to ChinaAid sources.
Dr. Fan, a leading advocate of constitutional democracy and the head of Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China, the Shengshan (Holy Mountain) Culture Research Institute and the Shengshan (Holy Mountain) Church, remains under house arrest since his return home on Dec. 18.
Many police officers are posted round-the-clock at the door of his home, barring anyone—including relatives—from visiting. His wife and three-year-old son do not have freedom of movement. Their Internet connection has been cut and their phone lines are tapped. Visiting friends have been beaten up or picked up by police.
ChinaAid Association welcomes the Beijing regime’s decision to release Dr. Fan in response to great international pressure and to the close attention being paid by international public opinion, but in actuality, the only thing that has changed is the place where Dr. Fan is being held.
During Dr. Fan’s detention, police searched his home and research institute, confiscated more than 100 items and held his wife for an all-night interrogation session. These actions, the focus of the interrogation on the research institute’s finances and publishing activities, and the recent treatment of Dr. Fan’s friends and relatives all appear to be signs that the authorities are preparing a criminal case against Dr. Fan.
According to an online report by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, at about 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, the day that Dr. Fan was allowed to return home, six human rights lawyers and two rights defenders were on their way to visit Dr. Fan at his research institute in the Manting Fangyuan apartment complex in Shuangyushu, Haidian District, when they were stopped by eight para-police officers who used brutal violence to prevent them from visiting Dr. Fan.
The lawyers were Li Heping, Zhang Kai, Wang Quanzhang, Dong Qianyong, and Jin Guanghong, and the rights defenders were Chen Qinglin and Meng Yuanxin.
Furthermore, several officers from the local Shuangyushu police station, including Wen Sanxi (Badge 035974) and Wu Yibin (Badge 037510), also took Li, Wang, Dong, Meng as well as Dr. Fan’s neighbor in Apartment 703 into custody.
ChinaAid Association expresses shock over these grave developments and is preparing a new campaign to aid Dr. Fan. It urges all parties to continue to collect and record information and details about all cases of persecution, which can be entered into evidence in trials after the founding of a new China. ChinaAid also calls on Christians and other friends to telephone the Shuangyushu police station in Haidian District and ask them why law enforcement officers are breaking the law and persecuting Dr. Fan’s family members and his visiting friends and relatives.
ChinaAid also suggests that groups of people go at varying times to Dr. Fan’s home to “pray and observe,” carrying electric candles at night. If there are any clashes with the authorities, they should immediately scatter.
The police station’s address is No. 29, Shuangyushu Xili, Haidian District, Beijing. Phone numbers: 010-62550787, 010-62550406, 010-82519210. The cell phone number of Haidian District Domestic Security Department officer Song Aixin is 13911807506.
ChinaAid founder and president Pastor Bob Fu believes that the persecution of Dr. Fan and his family is part of the Chinese government’s Operation Deterrence crackdown to suppress house churches, and is in fact a critical component of the crackdown. The Beijing regime might be thinking that imprisoning Dr. Fan and separating him from the church will ensure the success of this suppression campaign. This is obviously a misguided idea, and no wonder, since the Beijing regime lacks the most basic understanding of Christianity.
In these difficult and dangerous times, let us use the teaching of Hebrews 10:32-36 to encourage one another:
32: Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
33: Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34: You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
35: So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.