China Aid Association
Photo: Pastor Lou Yuanqi’s daughter, Lou Tiantian.
(XINJIANG — December 16, 2008) After Pastor Lou Yuanqi stood trial yesterday, December 15, his daughter Lou Tiantian, 18, was beaten by court police when she tried to speak with her father as he was being put into a police car. Lou Tiantian was taken to the hospital where she received medical treatment, then was released the same night. Judges have still not delivered a verdict on Pastor Lou’s case.
The trial lasted from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., and about 20 members of Pastor Lou’s church, including his wife and elder daughter Tiantian, were present. During the trial, the three judges, including one Muslim judge, allowed Pastor Lou’s attorney, Li Dunyong from Gong Xin Law Firm of Beijing, to read his defense statement. Then the two prosecuting attorneys read their statements.
According to ChinaAid contacts, the presiding judges agreed with Attorney Li that the prosecution could not justify their case, charging Pastor Lou with “suspicion of utilizing superstition to undermine the law.” Eyewitnesses also said the prosecution seemed almost ashamed of their own argument.
The presiding judge also agreed with Attorney Li that there is persecution in Xinjian. Contacts report that the judge stated, “‘If the Christians have more religious freedom in areas outside Xinjiang, they should consider leaving Xinjiang because Xinjiang is special.”
The judge even told Attorney Li that he had read the Bible and said it was good. However, the judge said that religious people are forbidden by the state from meeting outside approved locations. The judge said they would not declare a verdict in the court because it was too sensitive.
One eyewitness said that Pastor Lou, “looked full of faith to God in the court, like a soldier.”
Pastor Lou was first detained on May 17, 2008 at 1 p.m. in Qingshuihe town, Huocheng county of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He was originally detained on “inciting secession of the state,” which is a serious political charge. Sources told ChinaAid that the authorities made the charge very serious because they were angry that Pastor Lou had disclosed information about being beaten in prison.
ChinaAid invites our partners and friends around the world to stand with this courageous family in prayer and support.
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China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]