China Aid Association
The administrative lawsuit submitted by Wusiman, an ethnic Uyghur Christian, against the decision of education through labor opened on Wednesday. The authorities conducted the case in a closed door on the ground that the case involves confidential information. In the meantime, they also refused to produce proofs on the basis with which they made the decision on education through labor. The two ethnic Uyghur Christians were arrested on the charges related to state security. The case has recently caused concerns from international communities. Following is a report on an interview conducted by Ding Xiao, special correspondent of Radio Free Asia.
Wusiman Yiming, an ethnic Uyghur Christian in Xinjiang, sentenced to two years of education through labor on two crimes of “disclosing state secrets” and “illegal proselytizing,” submitted an administrative lawsuit on this decision which opened on Wednesday. The court tried the case with a closed door on the ground the case involves confidential information.
Liang Xiaojun, an attorney from Beijing and an agent of Wusiman, told this radio station on that day that Administration Committee of Education through Labor of Hetian District, Xinjiang, the defendant, refused to produce proofs on the ground that the case involves state secrets: “We went through the procedure and now we don’t have a conclusion. They didn’t show us the evidence. We should have gone through the questionings, but he didn’t show us the evidence on the ground that the case involves state secrets. Besides, these pieces of evidence were basically oral confessions. (Without this procedure of questioning, what should they do in the court trial at all?) We submitted the evidence and then argued with them on the legal applicability and the procedure with which they handled the case. (Can we talk about this in more details?) It is not appropriate to talk about this now.
The authorities of City of Hetian, Xinjiang placed Wusiman who worked at a US-owned company under criminal detention last November on suspicion of “disclosing state secrets.” A week later, they changed the punishment to education through labor. It is said in the decision statement on the education through labor that Wusiman Yiming, while working for Luofu County Branch of Xinjiang Pacific Agricultural Resources Development Company, Ltd. from March 1998 to April 2004, assisted foreigners in their illegal activities.” The decision statement does not mention what type of illegal activities he was engaging in.
The attorney had hoped that they could further learn the details in this matter through questioning when the court opened for the administrative lawsuit and that they could argue over the case. However, the other side not only refused to provide the proofs, they also did not allow the plaintiff who was serving the term in education through labor to meet the attorney. As a result, it was impossible to find out the many details of the case. Doubtlessly, they put many barriers to overthrowing the decision on the education through labor.
In the meantime, there is a report that Wusiman engages in a long-term physical labor in this education-through-labor program and people suspect that Wusiman has been beaten and abused. Pastor Bob Fu, head of China Aid Association, a US-headquartered organization working for the human rights of Christians, quoted the family members as saying: “According to his wife, he does 12 to 15 hours of heavy labor every day and there is obviously a scar on his hand. He should have been physically abused.”
Wusiman Yiming and Alimujiang Yimiti, another ethnic Uyghur Christian of Xinjiang who is now arrested pending trial, were both placed under house supervision last September when the authorities in Xinjiang cracked down on foreign-owned companies with Christian backgrounds. Both of them were arrested again a few months later on separate occasions. Alimujiang is currently placed under arrest on suspicion of two charges of inciting secessionist sentiment to split the country and prying, collecting and selling intelligence for overseas organizations. The case has been submitted to the procuratorate for review and prosecution.
It is listed in Article 2 of “Notice on Strengthening Administration Work on Christianity and Catholicism” from Department of United Front Work of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the Communist Party of China: It is prohibited to convert people of ethnic minorities who believe in Islam and Lamaism or to convert people living in border regions.
According to Pastor Bob Fu, the fate of these two Christians of Uyghur nationality has caused concerns from the international community. Not only are the various mainstream media and non-government organizations closely watching these cases, Christian Solidarity International of Europe has learned that the European Parliament has issued a declaration on these cases and the EU is discussing to take actions on this issue. Bob Fu appeals to the Chinese authorities to stop suppressing freedom of belief in regions inhabited by people of ethnic minorities: “Both of these people are ordinary civilians. How could they have access to state secrets? Besides, the records of their work for the companies are open to the public. I think the authorities are using them to intimidate other ethnic Uyghur Christians and the efforts to reconcile people of Han and Uyghur nationalities. If the Chinese government insists on its religious persecution and sentence them to prison terms, it will arouse a great repercussion from the international community and shroud the Olympic Games in China in the shadow of religious persecution.
The above is a report by Ding Xiao, special correspondent from Radio Free Asia.
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