UN Petition Submitted for Jailed Ailing Church Leader; Medical Parole Appeal Filed by Family Members

China Aid Association
Download the full Text of UN Petition
Watch Video Testimony from Three SCC Prisoners
(Midland, Texas (CAA)-April 6, 2006) CAA learned that an anonymous party has submitted a petition on behalf of Pastor Gong Shengliang to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Meanwhile, pastor Gong’s family members and legal representatives filed an appeal for medical parole to the Chinese prison due to pastor Gong’s poor health. (Read the full text at WWW.ChinaAid.ORG)
Pastor Gong is an evangelical Christian pastor and founder of the South China Church imprisoned since 2001 for his religious beliefs and leadership at South China Church.  The petition is dated March 31, 2006 and cites violations of Article 18 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which guarantees and protects religious freedom.  Though not a signatory or party to the ICCPR, China is a member of the United Nations and thus is bound to uphold the principles set forth in the UDHR.  China’s own laws protect religious freedom.  Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution states that “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.”  The petition presents convicting evidence that China fails to respect its own guarantee.
Pastor Gong was convicted of criminal charges based on evidence obtained through torture and after a trial that lacked even the most rudimentary elements of due process.  China continues to persecute and imprison Pastor Gong as a way of threatening and deterring the mission of his church, which China views as a threat to the monopoly of the state sponsored church.  In persecuting Pastor Gong, Chinese officials cited the South China Church’s publication of religious materials and members’ belief in Christianity.  In 2002, the Jingmen Municipal Intermediate Court of Hubei Province in southern China sentenced Pastor Gong to death for assault, rape, and for organizing a cult.  Foreign governments and international news organizations denounced the verdict, which was later commuted to life in prison.  Pastor Gong is currently in very poor health and is receiving little to no medical attention in prison.
The petition carries detailed accounts of the Chinese government’s torture of Pastor Gong and other members of the South China Church, including sexual abuse, use of electrical rods to administer shocks, burning of skin, pulling of hair, torture with handcuffs and shackles, denial of basic necessities, physical beatings, invasive medical procedures, and death threats.  The petition also cites and provides nearly twenty statements bearing original signatures of Church members who were tortured into making false accusations against Pastor Gong.  Notably, every woman whom the Chinese government cited as accusing Pastor Gong of rape recanted the accusation, saying that they were made under duress of torture.
“We have been calling for justice and fair trial for this case for a long time,” said Rev. Bob Fu, “we urge the international community to continue to press the Chinese government to sincerely honor her pledge for true religious freedom and rule of the law in China.” CAA calls upon President Bush and members of Congress to raise the issue of religious persecution in China when they meet with the Chinese President Hu Jintao on April 20 at Washington DC.

View the complete text of the Appeal to UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

PETITION TO:
UNITED NATIONS
WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION
Chairperson-Rapporteur: Leila Zerrougui (Algeria)
Mr. Tamás Ban (Hungary)
Ms. Manuela Carmena Castrillo (Spain)
Ms. Soledad Villagra (Paraguay)
Mr. Seyed Mohammad Hachemi (Islamic Republic of Iran)
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
In the Matter of
Pastor Gong Shengliang,
Citizen of the People’s Republic of China
v.
Government of the People’s Republic of China
Petition for Relief Pursuant to Resolution 2003/31
March 31, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF UNITED NATIONS AUTHORITIES……………………………………………….iii
INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
STATEMENT OF FACTS………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
LEGAL ARGUMENT………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
I. PASTOR GONG’S DETENTION IS ARBITRARY UNDER CATEGORY III
WORKING GROUP PRINCIPLES BECAUSE THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT
VIOLATED HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL ………………………………………………… 26
A. The Government Violated Pastor Gong’s Right to a Fair Trial by Relying
Upon Confessions Obtained Through Torture of South China Church Members27
1. Standard of Proof Regarding Allegations of Torture……………………………… 27
a. Timing of Allegations……………………………………………………………………. 28
b. Identification of Torturers………………………………………………………………. 29
c. Detailed Descriptions of Torture by Hubei Police During Interrogation . 29
2. The Jingmen Intermediate Court Relied Upon Statements Obtained Through
Torture to Convict Pastor Gong of Rape, Intentional Assault, and Organizing a
Cult ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..31
3. Both the Hubei Procuratorate and the Jingmen Intermediate Court Ignored
Allegations of Torture by Church Members and Pastor Gong ……………………….. 32
4. Pastor Gong’s Detention is Arbitrary Because It Is Based on Confessions
Obtained Through Torture ………………………………………………………………………… 33
B. The Government Violated Pastor Gong’s Right to a Fair Trial by Denying
Him Fundamental Guarantees of Due Process……………………………………………… 34
1. The Government Refused to Provide Pastor Gong Adequate Time and
Facilities to Defend Charges……………………………………………………………………… 35
a. Right to Adequate Time…………………………………………………………………. 35
b. Right to Adequate Facilities……………………………………………………………. 36
2. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Denying Him a
Public Trial……………………………………………………………………………………………… 37
3. The Government Violated Pastor Gong’s Right to Due Process By Not
Informing Him of All the Charges Against Him ………………………………………….. 38
i
4. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Denying Him the
Right to Cross-Examine Witnesses…………………………………………………………….. 39
5. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Prohibiting Him From
Calling or Examining Witnesses In His Defense………………………………………….. 39
6. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Denying Him the
Right to a Fair Hearing By an Independent and Impartial Tribunal………………… 40
7. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Withholding the
Presumption of Innocence…………………………………………………………………………. 42
II. PASTOR GONG’S DETENTION IS ARBITRARY UNDER CATEGORY II
WORKING GROUP PRINCIPLES BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT
VIOLATED PASTOR GONG’S RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION
AND EXPRESSION…………………………………………………………………………………..43
A. The Government’s Imprisonment of Pastor Gong as Punishment for His
Religious Beliefs Violates ICCPR art. 18………………………………………………………. 44
1. The Freedom to Hold Religious Beliefs of One’s Choice ………………………. 44
2. The Freedom to Manifest Religious Belief…………………………………………… 46
a. Religious Publishing ……………………………………………………………………… 48
b. Public Evangelism and Religious Instruction……………………………………. 49
c. Tithing…………………………………………………………………………………………. 50
B. The Government’s Imprisonment of Pastor Gong for Expressing His
Religious Beliefs Violates ICCPR art. 19………………………………………………………. 50
CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51
INDEX OF ATTACHMENTS AND EXHIBITS
ii
TABLE OF UNITED NATIONS AUTHORITIES
Universal Declaration of Human Rights …………………………………………………………………….. passim
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights……………………………………………………. passim
U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 21st Sess., General Comment 13 on Equality Before the Court
and the Right to a Fair and Public Hearing by an Independent Court Established by Law (Art.
14) (1984) (“General Comment 13”) …………………………………………………………………35, 37, 42
U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 48th Sess., General Comment 22, The Right to Freedom of
Thought, Conscience and Religion (1993) (“General Comment 22”)
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….44, 45, 48
Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture to the UN General Assembly, U.N. Doc. A/56/156
(July 3, 2001) (“Special Rapporteur’s 2001 Report”)……………………………………………………. 28
Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture’s visit to China, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2006/6/Add.6
(Advance Edited Version) (March 10, 2006) (“Special Rapporteur’s 2006 China Mission
Report”)………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6, 28
CASE LAW
de Netto v. Uruguay, Hum. Rts. Comm., (008/1977) (April 3, 1980)……………………………………..38
Domukovsky, Tsiklauri, Gelbakhiani and Dokvadze v. Georgia, Hum. Rts. Comm., (623/1995;
624/1995; 626/1995; 627/1995) (April 6, 1998)…………………………………………………………… 37
Douglas, Gentles and Kerr v. Jamaica, Hum. Rts. Comm., (352/1989) (October 19, 1993) . 35, 36
Gridin v. Russian Federation, Hum. Rts. Comm., (770/1997) (July 20, 2000)…………………. 36, 39
Khomidova v.Tajikistan, Hum. Rts. Comm., (1117/2002) (July 29, 2004). …………………………… 35
Munavar and Ismail Hasanov v. Uzbekistan, Working Group on Arb. Detention, (U.N. Doc.
E/CN/4/2002/77/Add.1 at 36) (2001)……………………………………………………………………………31
Saidova v. Tajikistan, Hum. Rts. Comm., (964/2001) (July 8, 2004) ……………………………………. 40
Sawyers and McLean v. Jamaica, Hum. Rts. Comm., (226/1987 and 256/1987) (A/46/40) (April
11, 1991). ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
Setelich v. Uruguay, Hum. Rts. Comm., (063/1979), (October 28, 1981)…………………………….. 38
Soner Onder v. Turkey, Working Group on Arb. Detention, (38/1994) U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts.
Comm., U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1996/40/Add.1 (1995) ……………………………………………….. 27, 32
Vasilskis v. Uruguay, Hum. Rts. Comm., (080/1980) (March 31, 1983)………………………………. 37
Waldman v. Canada, HRC Decision, (694/1996) (November 3, 1999)…………………………………. 45
iii

INTRODUCTION
Pastor Gong Shengliang (né Gong Dali; “Pastor Gong”)1 is a Christian pastor
from Hubei province in the central part of the People’s Republic of China (“China” or the
“Government”). He has been imprisoned by the Chinese government since 2001 in
prisons in China subsequent to criminal convictions based on evidence obtained through
torture, and a trial that lacked even the most rudimentary elements of due process. China
has punished Pastor Gong in this way in its mission to stamp out the house church that he
founded, which China views as a threat to the monopoly of the state sponsored church.
Pastor Gong is currently in very poor health and is receiving little to no medical attention
in prison.

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Pastor Gong founded the South China Church (the “Church”) in 1988. The
Church exists independently of the only state-sanctioned Protestant church in China, the
Three Self Patriotic Movement (the “State Church”). The South China Church is
“respected among many underground Chinese Christians,” and Pastor Gong is “well
known within Chinese Christian circles as a third-generation Christian from a pious
family, married with several children.” See Attach. 10 (Freedom House Report).2 Under
Pastor Gong’s leadership, the Church rapidly grew into one of China’s largest Christian
church networks with an estimated 50,000 members in five provinces as of 2002. See
Attach. 44 (Erik Eckholm, Chinese Court overturns Death Sentences of Christian
Leaders, The New York Times, October 9, 2002); Freedom House Report at 10.

In 2001, the Jingmen Municipal People’s Procuratorate of Hubei Province (the
“Procuratorate”) indicted Pastor Gong and sixteen other members of the Church (the
“Sixteen Defendants” and together with Pastor Gong, the “Seventeen Defendants”) on
charges of “organizing and utilizing a cult organization to undermine law enforcement, to
intentionally cause bodily injury and to commit rape.” See Attach. 1 (Indictment).3 In
2002, based upon evidence obtained through the torture of Church members, the Jingmen
Municipal Intermediate Court of Hubei Province (the “Intermediate Court” or the
“Court”) convicted him of intentional assault, rape, “organizing and utilizing a cult
organization to undermine law enforcement,” and intentionally destroying property.

Proceedings (the “First Trial”) lasted only four days. Pastor Gong was sentenced to death
1 “Gong Shengliang” is Pastor Gong’s Christian name.
2 Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom, Report Analyzing Seven Secret Chinese Government
Documents, at 10 (February 11, 2002) (“Freedom House Report”).

3 Jingmen Municipal People’s Procuratorate of Hubei Province Indictment, Jing Jian Xing Su, No. 84
(December 5, 2001) at 1-4 (the “Indictment”).
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and to deprivation of his political rights for life. See Attach. 2 (Overturned First
Verdict).4

Foreign governments and international news organizations denounced the verdict.
After several media outlets published detailed accounts of the torture employed to extract
false evidence in the First Trial, the Government ordered the People’s Court of Appeals
of Hubei (the “Court of Appeals”) to hold a retrial. See Attach. 3 (Appeals Decision).5
After only a day and a half of proceedings (the “Second Trial”), in 2002, basing its
decision on the same evidence obtained through the torture of Church members as in the
First Trial, the Intermediate Court convicted Pastor Gong of intentional injury and rape,
and sentenced him to life in prison. See Attach. 4 (Final Verdict).6 Pastor Gong is
currently serving a life sentence in Hongshan Prison.

Beliefs of the South China Church
The Church is an evangelical Protestant church that believes and teaches core
doctrines shared by evangelical Christian churches around the world, such as the
inerrancy of the Bible, the Trinity, the power of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ is the
only begotten Son of God, that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save sinners who repent
and place their faith in him, that Jesus is resurrected from the dead and will return again,
and that believers are charged with communicating the Gospel about Jesus Christ to all
people and all nations.7 The Church’s statement of belief, the Thirteen Rules of the
South China Church, and other traditional Christian doctrinal statements that the Church
endorses, including the Apostles Creed, Athanasian Creed and Nicene Creed, explain
these concepts. See Attach. 36 (Thirteen Rules of the South China Church at §§ 1, 2a, 3,
8); Attach. 37 (Traditional Protestant Creeds).

The Relationship Between China and the South China Church
The Church does not register with the Religious Affairs Bureau (the “RAB”) of
the Government. Through registration, an individual religious community is subjected to
the doctrinal supervision of the State Church. The State Church dictates the theological
content of what is taught in registered churches and restricts the public expressions of
religious belief by members of registered churches.8 Freedom House Report at 2. For
4 Verdict in Criminal and Incidental Civil Lawsuit, Jingmen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of
Hubei Province (December 25, 2001) at 36 (“Overturned First Verdict”).

5 Paper of Civil Decision Collateral to Criminal Proceeding, People’s Court of Appeals of Hubei
(September 22, 2002) (“Appeals Decision”).

6 Criminal Case Court Verdict, Public Prosecution Office of the People’s Procuratorate of Hubei Province,
Jingmen City (October10, 2002) (the “Final Verdict”).

7 See Periodical Volume No. 48 at 10 (“SCC Periodical 48”); Gong Shengliang, Four Letters From Pastor
Gong Shengliang in His Death-Cell, Voice of the Martyrs, (2002), at http://www.persecution.com/
newsContent/Gong/pdf/Pastor_Gong_Letters.pdf. (last visited March 29, 2006) (“Gong Letters from
Prison”).

8 Freedom House reports:
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this reason, many churches that disagree with the theology of the State Church and
esteem public evangelism, like the South China Church, do not register with the RAB.
China imposes criminal punishment upon members of unregistered churches for
assembling with others, teaching religious beliefs (even to their own children), publicly
professing their beliefs, receiving donations, holding or administering land or buildings,
issuing or selling religious publications, managing property and income, and creating
social service enterprises. Unregistered churches like the Church have no legal standing
to bring challenges against the actions of government officials.9 Therefore, they are
particularly vulnerable to abusive police practices and denials of due process.

Starting in the 1980’s, because the South China Church was “well organized and
aggressive in its efforts to spread the Gospel,” officials began “to single it out as a special
danger.” Attach. 46 (Erik Eckholm, Furor Over Death Sentences Of 5 in China Church
Group, New York Times, February 13, 2002). Police kept Pastor Gong under close
surveillance throughout the 1980s and imprisoned him for a year and three months in the
mid-1980’s. Du Tiduo Decl. ¶ 11. Between 1986 and 2001, the Chinese government
imprisoned over 2,000 members of the Church. In addition, the Government confiscated
possessions worth approximately 2.43 million Renminbi (RMB) (250,180.04 Euro) and
levied fines worth approximately 735,000 RMB (28,108.44 Euro) upon Church members.
Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 5.

In 1999, the Government added the so-called Anti-Cult Law (Article 300) to its
Criminal Law Code.10 The Anti-Cult Law created extensive powers for authorities to
China continues to arrogate to itself the rights to determine religious doctrine, determine
what is Christian heterodoxy, and designate religious leaders in direct violation of the
international human rights covenant that it has signed.

Religious leaders cannot preach outside of thier own area. They and their venue must be
approved by the government. Religious services and members are subject to monitoring.

Sermons must stick to approved topics under penalty of arrest. Seminaries and schools
for theological training exist but are tightly controlled: Students, the Chinese authorities
believe, must be “politically reliable.” … Registration requires that churches desist from
speaking about the Second Coming of Christ, the gifts of the Spirit, the story of Creation
in Genesis, [or] certain sections of the Catholic Catechism.

Freedom House Report at 2.
9 See Attach. 8 (Registration Procedures for Venues for Religious Activity (“Registration Procedures”), art.
9 (1994), available at http://www.1488.com/english/laws/public/#1 (requiring religious activities to register
to be certified as juridical persons, and stating that a religious venue as juridical person “independently
enjoys civil rights and takes on civil responsibilities”)); Freedom of Religious Belief in China, Information
Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Beijing, October, 1997 available
http://news.xinhuanet.com/employment/2002-11/18/content_633195.htm (“Once a site for religious
activities is registered according to law it has legal status and its lawful rights and interests shall be
protected.”) (emphasis added); Attach. 9 (Regulation Governing Venues for Religious Activities, art. 2
(1994) available at
http://www.1488.com/english/laws/public/#3 (“Venues Law”) (requiring registration to
establish a religious venue)).

10 Available at http://www.cecc.gov/pages/newLaws/criminalLawENG.php (last visited March 29, 2006).
In February 2002, two human rights organizations, the Center for Religious Freedom at Freedom House
and the Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China, published a secret cache of
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suppress “cults.” Article 300 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China.
The Government quickly began using the Anti-Cult Law as a means to dismantle
disfavored religious groups. In 2000, the Central General Office of the Chinese
Communist Party and General Office of the State Council designated Pastor Gong’s
Church as a “cult organization” and intensified its efforts to dismantle the Church.
Overturned First Verdict at 10.

In 2001, the General Squad of Domestic Security and Defense Beijing Bureau of
Public Security issued a top secret document, the “Document for the General Squad of
Domestic Security and Defense of Beijing Bureau of Public Security State Defense
Number [2001] 530: General Notice on [t]he Activities of the Cult Organization ‘South
China Church'” (the “Cult Notice”). See Attach. 5. The Cult Notice asserted that Pastor
Gong and the Church threatened society by advocating “the evangelization of the whole
nation and the Christianization of culture.” Cult Notice at 83. It characterized
exhortations that are common Christian spiritual terms such as “put on the armor given
by the Lord,” “destroy Satan’s kingdom,” and “establish the everlasting Kingdom of
God” as calls to overthrow the Government and the Communist Party.11 Cult Notice at
85. The Cult Notice similarly portrayed the Church’s traditional Christian practice of
asking for tithes from its members as a “cult” practice. Cult Notice at 85. The Cult
Notice claimed that the “discovery” of these standard Christian teachings and practices
prompted the Government to “[lay] a foundation for punishing the leaders and core
members of the cult and the complete smashing of its organizational system.” Cult
Notice at 82. The Cult Notice then instructed security departments throughout the
country (including “the security squad, surveillance squad, domestic defense squad, relics
protection squad and all the local public security offices” immediately “to apprehend
Gong and key members [of the Church] without delay.” Cult Notice at 82, 83.
internal government documents, including the Cult Notice, describing a campaign to eliminate house
church groups. See Attach. 11 (“Religion and National Security in China — Secret Documents from
China’s Security Sector,” 11 February 2002 (the “Secret Documents”)). The Center for Religious Freedom
at Freedom House’s report on the Secret Documents declared, “This compilation of documents, some from
the highest sources of Chinese government, provide irrefutable proof that the crackdown [on] un-registered
religious groups continues.” Freedom House Report at 1.

11 These terms are commonly-known, orthodox, Christian terms used to speak of spiritual struggles. For
example, the Bible states:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so
that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this
dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put
on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand
your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt
of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and
with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition
to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming
arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17 (emphasis added).
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Arrest, Imprisonment, and Torture of South China Church Members
On August 8, 2001, Hubei Police arrested Pastor Gong at the home of a church
member. Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 7-8. Police also arrested sixteen other members of the
Church between May and October 2001 who were later indicted and tried along with
Pastor Gong.12 Other Church members were also arrested and interrogated in this time
period in an effort to manufacture a case against Pastor Gong. Plainclothes policemen
carried out most of the arrests and did not show identification or warrants at the time of
arrests. Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 11; Li Qiong Decl. ¶ 9; Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶ 15. After their
arrests, police did not allow arrested Church members to contact their family members
and did not notify family members of the locations where Church members were
detained.13 Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 30; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 21. The Police did not allow
Church members to contact lawyers. Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 30; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 39.
According to Church members’ written and videotaped testimonies, police
brutally tortured them into falsely accusing Pastor Gong of rape and intentional assault.
Yang Chijiao Decl. ¶¶ 2-3; Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶¶ 4-20; Li Tongjin Decl. ¶¶ 3-5; Zhang
Hongjuan Decl. ¶¶ 1-4. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times reported that Church
members were “beaten with clubs, jolted with cattle prods and burned with cigarettes;
when they fainted buckets of water were poured on them to revive them. Interrogators
stomped on the fingers of male prisoners and stripped young women prisoners naked and
abused them.”14 All ten women15 (Cao Hongmei, Chi Faling, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, Liu
Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Xiang Fengping, Wang Xianju, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang
Hongjun) whom the Government accused Pastor Gong of raping recanted their
statements and said that they were tortured into making the accusations.16
12 The sixteen members who were arrested with Pastor Gong are: Cao Hongmei, Chi Faling, Dong Daolai,
Du Qingfeng, Fu Shijun, Gong Bangkun, Hu Yong, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Oiu Chunyi,
Sun Minghua, Xiang Fengping, Xiao Yanli, Xu Fuming, and Yi Chuanfu. See Indictment.
13 China continues this human rights violation of using incommunicado detention. “The law requires
notification of family members within 24 hours of detention, but individuals were often held without
notification for significantly longer periods, especially in politically sensitive cases.” Attach. 43 (United
States Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China, March 8, 2006 at 2,
available at
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61605.htm. (“State Department Report”)).
14 Attach. 47 (Nicolas Kristof, “God and China,” The New York Times, November 26, 2002).
15 Four additional women allegedly accused Pastor Gong of rape. The Government only provided their
surnames, which are all very common names in China. Therefore, Pastor Gong has never been able to face
these alleged accusers or examine their supposed allegations.

16 Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶¶ 4-5; Chi Faling Decl. ¶¶ 14-26; Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 14-20; Li Yingping Decl. ¶¶
8-18, 22-23; Liu Xianzhi Decl. ¶¶ 28-62; Meng Xicun Decl. ¶¶ 11-16; Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶¶ 22-34, 38;
Wang Xianju Decl. ¶ 2; Yang Xiaoxia Decl. ¶ 2; Zhang Hongjun Decl. ¶¶ 1-2, 4.
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The United States Department of State observed in a March 8, 2006 report on
human rights practices in China:

[South China Church] founder Gong Shengliang continued to allege that
he suffered abuse in prison. He is serving a life sentence for rape, arson,
and assault, even though the women who testified against him in his
original trial in 2001 reported that police had tortured them into signing
statements accusing Gong of raping them.

State Department Report at 22.
As detailed and documented below, the kinds of torture inflicted upon Church
members by the police in an effort to obtain false confessions to convict Pastor Gong
included sexual abuse, electrical shocks, burning of skin, pulling of hair, torture with
handcuffs and shackles, denial of basic necessities, physical beatings, invasive medical
procedures, and death threats. Pursuant to a two-week visit to China in December, 2005,
Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
substantially corroborated these specific methods of torture. See infra note 47 at 29.

1. Sexual Abuse
Male police officers stripped and sexually humiliated female members of the
Church during interrogation in order to coerce them into making false accusations of
sexual misconduct against Pastor Gong:17

They said, “If you don’t talk, we’re going to take off your clothes.” Then,
they tore my shirt off and struck my chest with the electric baton. I tried
to protect myself but they used the baton all over me, including where a
girl tries to protect herself the best, and then they pulled me by my hair.
They said, “Who is tougher? You or the electric baton?”
Chi Faling Decl. ¶¶ 19-20.

They said you were with Gong Sheng Liang, “Did you give yourself to the
teacher (meaning did I have sexual relations with him).” I said I hadn’t.
They said, “Everyone has to give themselves to the teacher first, I don’t
believe that you didn’t.” Then one of the policeman said, “We’re going to
find out.” They started to strike my chest with the electric baton. One of
the policeman put his hand inside my shirt and started to touch me and
pinch me for more than 10 minutes.

Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 17-18.
17 Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶¶ 14-15; Chi Faling Decl. ¶¶ 19-26; Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 15-20; Xiang Fengping
Decl. ¶¶ 25¶ 27-28; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 28-63; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4; Wang Xianju Decl. ¶ 2; Yang
Xiaoxia Decl. ¶¶ 2.
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2. Electrical Shocks
Members of the Church described the widespread use of portable electric prods to
apply shocks of electricity to various parts of their bodies:18
Then I was hit on the lip with the electric rod, “Today even if you have to
make it up you better make it up for me, don’t think you can leave without
telling me.” Then the electric rod burnt me on my lip, neck, chest,
shoulder, and all over my body. The feeling of the electric rod touching
the body, all my nerves and body hurt, it was painful. I rolled on the
ground and screamed loudly; I did not care anymore, I said: “You
communists should convince people with reason. You hit people for no
reason; how come?” I screamed and I talked. Li Zhixiang stopped, and
said: “Then you talk [if you want to stop the beating]! I tell you, our
superiors gave us electric rods so we can use them, if you don’t like it, go
report me. I’m not scared of you telling on me. Our superiors gave us
electric rods; they approve us using them.”

Li Yingping Decl.¶ 22.
[On] August 18, another sister named Zhang Hongjuan was sent in. The
police forced the electric prod into her mouth, beat her with the prod, and
pushed her head down into a basin full of water. . . . they also cuffed her
hands backwards, and put bricks on the cuffs. She was tortured for about
17 hours.

Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 14.
3. Burning Skin
One member of the South China Church described how officers Tang Ming Peng
and Brigade Chief Yang Shi Ming at the Shayang Public Security Bureau used a cigarette
lighter to burn her face:

They took out a cigarette lighter and burned my face and my ears€¦ The
pain was hot and fiery. After they burned me with the lighter, they used a
lit cigarette to burn my lips and ears. They said my ears were deaf—I
couldn’t hear their questions, my lips didn’t speak the words they wanted.
My face and ears were burned and scorched such that afterwards they
oozed liquid and pus.

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.
18 Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 14; Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 16.
– 7 –
The extended application of electricity from the shock prods also caused burning
and blistering to the skin. Interrogators targeted Church members’ reproductive organs,
lips, mouths, ears, and hands:

[Officer Li Zhixiang] jammed my hair with the electric rod, I heard “Zzz
zzz” noise, and could smell the burnt smell from my hair, and a numbed
and painful feeling went through my whole body, I tried to moved away
left and right. He pulled my ear, using the rod behind my ear, inside my
hair, causing lots of blisters.

Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 22.
4. Pulling Hair
Policemen pulled clumps of hair out of the scalps of female Church members or
lifted them off the ground by their hair:19

Seeing that I did not say anything, he came and grabbed my hair and
tugged it, moving it forward and [backward], and said: “Dead brain! Dead
brain!” He tugged my head until I was dizzy, when he let go I just sat on
the ground. Then he took two sides of my hair, a little bit of the hair,
pulling it up and pulling me up, just like this, my whole body just rose up
with his hand, until my feet were on tippy toes, feeling like my whole dead
was going to come off, my heart just followed being lifted, and the higher
I was lifted, the more I felt like my heart was lifted toward my throat and
eyes, my whole body was lifted, my feet left the ground, then he harshly
threw me back, and I sat on the bed heavily, and fell on the bed. Then he
lifted me up again, and threw me on the ground. He just kept lifting me
up, throwing me down, then held my hair and hit the ground, hitting and
saying: “Are you going to tell us?”

Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 12.
They put me down again and with both hands grabbed my hair and threw
me onto the couch, then pulled me off again by my hair down to the floor
and dragged me back and forth (a lot of my hair was pulled out, leaving
clumps on the floor).

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.
19 Chi Faling Decl.¶ 19; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 12; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 3; Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶¶ 6, 12, 13;
Yang Chijiao Decl. ¶¶ 2-3, 9; Li Qiong Decl. ¶ 18; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.
– 8 –

5. Torture with Handcuffs and Shackles
Hubei Police used handcuffs and shackles not simply to restrain Church members,
but to inflict pain upon them. They handcuffed Church members with one arm reaching
down behind their heads and the other reaching up behind their backs to create strain on
their shoulder sockets. Police then jammed large, heavy objects, such as books, beer
bottles, and oxygen tanks between their handcuffed wrists and backs to increase the strain
on their shoulder sockets. Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 16; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4; Xiang
Fengping Decl. ¶ 22.

First, they forced me to kneel on the ground and then they stretched my
left hand over my left shoulder to my back and stretched my right hand
across my back where my hands were then handcuffed together and a
bottle was placed between my hands and my back. One bottle, two
bottles, three bottles, my arms hurt as if they had been severed. . . . Before
long both of my arms were numb and both hands were dark purple.
Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.

Then the two men put heavy chains on my ankles, which weighed 15-20
kg each. They forced me to kneel on the floor and tied my hands behind
my back by stretching one arm over my shoulder and one arm up from
behind. Then they put an oxygen tank between my hands and back to
strain my arms and shoulders.

Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 16.
Several victims were forced to run with heavy, rust-covered feet shackles that
stripped the skin and flesh from their ankles:20

The cuffs were heavy, heavier than regular feet cuffs, hard to drag, but one
step at a time. They said I walked too slow, so they would push me, kick
me, and tell me to walk faster. . . . Then he pulled me to run in the yard
again, pulling me toward an area with water (the yard’s ground was not
leveled, so the lower areas had water) and pushed me toward the area with
water, so that the water would splash on my body and on my wounds. So
I was pushed and pulled, with water going inside my wounds, so that I just
could not stand it anymore; then they pulled me to an area with rocks and
with water to run. I do not know how many times I fell, and my face and
mouth were puffy and bloody from falling, and I do not know where my
shoes went, but I was running barefoot. . . . So like this I was tortured until
daylight.

Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 10.
20 Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 28-31; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 8.
– 9 –

6. Denial of Basic Necessities
Hubei Police also deprived Church members of basic necessities in order to
pressure them into making false confessions. Policemen took turns interrogating victims
so that they would be kept awake for hours at a time. Many Church members reported
being subject to the same questions over and over again. Church members were also
denied food and water and the use of toilet facilities during interrogations:
The police tried to make me say that Pastor Gong forced me to assault
people who did not like the South China Church. They beat me repeatedly
from 8 September until 10 September. The police would not let me sleep
on 8 September, 9 September, and 10 September 2001.

Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶¶ 26-27.
They had already interrogated me for a day. I had no food. I couldn’t eat.
I was very tired. I had not a bit of energy left in me. I was feeling dizzy.
Whatever they asked or said, my mind couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t
think. They were still patient, and kept asking this and that. When they
asked, I sat there dizzy and fell asleep, and they would hit my head, hit my
head hard with a pen. I would wake up, and then soon fall asleep again.
At midnight, I really could not keep my eyes open anymore, I kept tearing,
kept rubbing my eyes, rubbed until it was painful, until the side of my eyes
were bruised. My head was so heavy I could not lift it up, they used this
time when I was falling asleep to push me to talk, [and they] said: “Hurry
up and tell us! Talk and we will let you sleep!” “Anyway, we will keep
you up all night, whether you talk or not, we won’t let you sleep.”
Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 16.

“I need clothes and blankets.” In the end, the case officer gave us (five)
each a piece of shirt and underwear that were confiscated from other
Christians, and shoveled us away like that. I still had no blanket or winter
clothes.

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5.
They did not give me a single drop of water to drink, or give me any food,
or even allow me to go to the toilet until dinnertime. As I was having my
period, my clothes were soaked with blood.
Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 38.
– 10 –

7. Physical Beatings
Hubei Police beat Church members with their fists or hard instruments in order to
obtain information and elicit false accusations against other Church members. Many
Church members were beaten so badly that they required hospitalization in police
facilities. Police beat some Church members prior to interrogation before telling them
why they had been detained. Police continued to beat others even after they made
“confessions,” and continued to beat several Church members until they fell unconscious.

For example, Church members testify:
Then the fat guy who was tall, the very fat one, he closed the door and the
window, took a coat hanger and wave it in his hand. Walking toward me,
he turned and hit my legs. I did not try to run away, but let him hit me on
my legs. He would hit me once and then asked a question, and I just bit
my teeth, but then I could not help it and started to cry, with tears coming
out. Then someone named Li Jien Guo hurriedly gave me a tissue, and
told me to say good things, and to talk. “Gong will eventually be caught
by us, we will catch him eventually, so no need for you to hide. You tell
us which house he likes to go to. We want to catch him, so if you tell us
where he went, we will let you go.”

Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 12 (emphasis added).
They knelt me on the ground and started beating me. One policeman stood
at 1.9 meter. He used his big shoes to kick me several times on my side
and he punched me in the head and face. Very soon, my mouth and teeth
started bleeding. Then they made me “bear the sword”: they placed my
hands around my back, one pushing my shoulder downward, another
pushing my arm upward. It took quite a while, but they could not tie my
arms together. My shoulder made [cracking] sounds. A third person came
and pushed my back in forcefully with his knees and pulled on my arms
several times to finally tie my arms together. I was in such pain as to
become unconscious.

Fu Shijun Decl. (November 1, 2003) ¶ 9 (emphasis added).
Since the day I was arrested, interrogation began early every day and it
was not until very late at night that I returned to the detention center. It
was always tag-team style interrogation, two days and two nights, three
days and three nights, never letting me stop to rest, mercilessly beating
me.
Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4 (emphasis added).
– 11 –

It was very tiring to run and when I stopped one of them came and took a
clothes hanger and hit my toes until they were swollen. . . . I had to walk
so much that I started to bleed, leaving a trail of blood on the floor. . . .
Eventually the pain was so unbearable that I could not take it any more
and I passed out on the floor.

Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 32 (emphasis added).
[The interrogator] said€¦ “Do you see this club? This was broken while
we were beating your brothers. They beat your brothers’ ankles and legs
until they were so swollen that they could not even remove their pants.”
Saying this, he laughed loudly.

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5.
They put us in the Jingmen Public Security Bureau and asked for my name
and address. Two policemen started to kick me and punch me on my
mouth, head, and chest and I lost consciousness. This lasted for half an
hour.

Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 10-11 (emphasis added).
8. Invasive Medical Procedures
Hubei Police also threatened to perform invasive medical procedures on female
Church members to extract the information they desired from the Church members. In
one instance, they injected a woman with a syringe that was filled with an unknown
substance.

[Officer] Tang saw that I was not going to speak, upon which he all at
once ripped open the buttons on my shirt€¦and started talking filth, using
obscene and lewd language about my sexual relationship with Gong
Dali€¦ “If you don’t start to talk we are going to take you to the hospital
for a gynecological exam.”

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.
Two policemen started to kick me and punch me on my mouth, head, and
chest and I lost consciousness. This lasted for half an hour. When I
awoke there was a doctor and a policeman who said, “This is a police
doctor.” Then they gave me an injection.
Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 11-12.
– 12 –

9. Death Threats
Hubei Police also threatened members of the Church that they would kill them if
they refused to cooperate in falsely accusing Pastor Gong. Multiple police in different
locations cited the death of Church member Yu Zhongju, in police custody. See Attach.
10 (Death Certificate of Yu Zhongju). Police told Church members that Yu’s fate was an
example of what would happen to uncooperative detainees.21 In some instances the
police showed victims a ditch and told them it was dug in preparation for their burial.
Interrogators also tortured members within the sight or hearing of other members to
heighten fear and anticipation of torture. Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 5.

[Officer] Tang stood up and, filled with rage, shouted at me: “Cao
Hongmei, do you know that Zhongxiang Public Security Bureau killed a
girl from South China Church named Yu Zhongju? If you don’t talk I will
also beat you to death, dig a hole and bury you or throw you in the Han
River; let’s see what you can do then, see where you will go for justice.”

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5.
Li Zhixiang said he had orders from the high authorities that gave him
authority to do all he could, even beating me to death, and that even if I
complained I would not succeed. He told me “We have dug a ditch
outside especially prepared for you. After we beat you to death we will
bury you and no one will know.”

Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 37.
I heard painful screams coming out of the next door. They said, “Did you
hear that? Chi Tongyuan, sister of Chi Gaofeng, is screaming painfully,
for she refuses to confess. If you refuse to cooperate with us, we will beat
you also. . . . If you want to die, it is easy. See there is a ditch outside the
window. One of the members of your church was already buried there.

Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 5.
The police told me “We beat one of your church members to death
already, Yu Zhongju in Hubei, Zhongxiang. We can torture you members
of the South China Church however we want.”

Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 17.
This petition contains twenty declarations and one affidavit from Church
members describing their torture by Hubei police. Videotaped versions of some
21 Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 7; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 17; Yang Chijiao Decl. ¶ 2; Li Qiong Decl. ¶ 16; Liu
Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 41, 61; Yang Xiaoxia Decl. ¶ 28; Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 15; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5.
– 13 –
testimonies were shown at the 60th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in
2003.22

Each of the identified women whom the Intermediate Court eventually accused
Pastor Gong of raping (Cao Hongmei, Chi Faling, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi,
Meng Xicun, Xiang Fengping, Wang Xianju, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hong Jun)
specifically state that the police tortured them until they accused Pastor Gong of rape.
For example, Cao Hongmei, a leader in the church who was eventually sentenced
to two years of imprisonment,23 was beaten, electrocuted with an electrical rod, and
suspended by her arms until she bled and wished for death before she signed a false
accusation of rape:

One of my interrogators (Tang Mingpeng, Shayang Public Security
Bureau officer)…used a bamboo club to strike my hands (both of my
hands had already turned dark purple) until I began to bleed. Tang
Mingpeng and Yang Shiming (Shayang Police Brigade Chief) beat me
while insulting the God I believe in, saying: “Where is your God now,
call for him to come and save you…the God you believe in is one
foreigners use to delude people, Chinese people should believe in
Buddhism.”

While they were saying these things I did not utter a sound, so they
became even more angry and Yang Shiming took me and suspended me
from the doorway, my feet unable to touch the ground. Before long
both of my arms were numb and both hands were dark purple. Yang
and Tang would still not let me go and continued to yell and strike my
hands and arms with the club. Honestly, I was unable to bear the pain, the
kind of pain when you can not inhale but only exhale.

They put me down again and with both hands grabbed my hair and threw
me onto the couch, then pulled me off again by my hair down to the floor
and dragged me back and forth (a lot of my hair was pulled out, leaving
clumps on the floor). They proceeded to punch me in the face and nose,
my eyes were bleeding and my entire face turned black and blue.
(When I was taken back to the detention center those in the holding room
asked in amazement: “How was your face beaten that swollen and
purple?” Only I know.)

Yang again put handcuffs on my wrists (eating into my flesh) and then
forcefully beat my hands, and too another pair of handcuffs to pound
my fingers. I shouted out in pain, but under the force of his strength I was
22 See, e.g., Attach. 35 (Persecution in China CD-Rom (Testimony of Cao Hongmei, Liu Xianzhi, and
Meng Xicun) (China Aid Association 2003)) (“Persecution in China UN Testimony CD”).
23 Final Verdict at 7.
– 14 –

unable to break free. At that time, my middle finger was smashed open
and dark blood spilled rapidly onto the floor. The rest of my fingers were
split and bleeding and my nails had turned black. Afterwards my nails all
became infected and oozed blood and pus. Unable to care for myself, my
nails all fell off. Now, after a period of two years, the nail on my right
ring finger is a black spot that is unable to recover.

Later Yang produced several steel nails before me, and was going to prick
them into my finger tips. I had already been beaten half-dead and all
my strength was gone, my whole body in pain. I wanted to cry but I had
no tears, I wanted to shout but I had no strength to do so. The only thing I
could do was to pray silently to God. The interrogator saw me sitting
there frozen still and cursed me, “You devil, still praying to your God —
ask him to come save you.”

After beating me and cursing me, they tried to force me into saying
something about having a sexual relationship with Gong Dali (our
teacher), and they wanted me to give confirmation that our teacher and
Sister Li Ying had planned and instigated injuries (many times the
interrogation was focused on these two things as they wanted me to say “I
know” as confirmation). Only afterwards did I learn that they wanted to
use this to convict Gong and Li of capital crimes.

I was unable to say I knew about things that I did not. They saw that I
would not acknowledge what they wanted or answer according to what
they wanted so they took out a cigarette lighter and burned my face
and my ears…. The pain was hot and fiery. After they burned me with the
lighter they used a lit cigarette to burn my lips and ears. They said my
ears were deaf — I couldn’t hear their questions, my lips didn’t speak the
words they wanted. My face and ears were burned and scorched such that
afterwards they oozed liquid and pus.

Then Tang again clutched my neck with his hands, my eyes rolled
upwards and I could not breathe. When Tang saw that I really was on
the verge of death he loosened his grip and again threatened me, saying:
“If you don’t admit, I will take this cigarette, put it in your mouth and
let you have the taste of hot tobacco.” How could I talk about fabricated
things that I knew nothing about and that were not true?

Tang saw that I was not going to speak, upon which he all at once ripped
open the buttons on my shirt (my hands were cuffed) and started talking
filth, using obscene and lewd language about my sexual relationship with
Gong Dali.(our teacher). “If you don’t start to talk we are going to take
you to the hospital for a gynecological exam.” And then he fiercely said,
“Ok, you can’t talk, we’ll teach you, what you don’t know we will tell
you.” In short, you have to admit your sexual relationship with Gong
– 15 –

Dali. Tang asked: “When you sleep with Gong Dali who gets into bed
first?” Answer: “I don’t know.” Asked again: “Who takes their clothes off
first?” I again answered: “I don’t know.” Tang swore: “Damn you, have
you ever slept with Gong Dali?” I again said: “Never.” Tang again yelled
at me angrily: “Cao Hongmei, we won’t stop until you admit it. Who
is being cruel here, you or us? Who is stubborn, you or us? If you
don’t admit it for another month we will continue to torture you for a
month. If you don’t admit it for two or three months, we will punish
you for two or three months.”

Since the day I was arrested, interrogation began early every day and it
was not until very late at night that I returned to the detention center. It
was always tag-team style interrogation, two days and two nights, three
days and three nights, never letting me stop to rest, mercilessly beating
me. Adding in the long period pressure to my weary spirit, if this
continued for a period of a month, my body and spirit in every respect
would not be able to hold on. I felt that death would actually be better
than life. I had that taste of actually wanting to die, and only hoped that
the torture and pain would quickly end.

I had no alternative. Contrary to my intentions, I gave into the pressure
of the interrogations and torture and admitted what they wanted and
ordered me to say — that I had sexual relations with Teacher Gong.
What they told me to say, I said. I signed my name to the confession the
interrogators composed (every confession I made was not recorded in my
own words, but rather what the interrogators themselves composed and
forced me to sign, as was their intent. For example I never said that I had
sexual relations with our teacher or that he and Li Ying had incited any
injuries.) I confessed what they wanted.

Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4 (paragraph breaks and emphasis added).
Similarly, other alleged victims of Pastor Gong state that they signed false
accusations against him only after unbearable torture. Li Qiong states:
They said, “You were with Gong Sheng Liang. Did you give yourself to
the teacher (meaning did I have sexual relations with him).” I said I
hadn’t€¦ I fell unconscious after they beat me, but they would wake me up
by throwing water on me. At the end I signed a confession. I didn’t know
what it was or what it said. They rolled up part of the paper and only let
me see the place where I needed to sign. Liu Chongzhen (the supervisor)
made me put my fingerprint on the paper.

Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 17-20 (emphasis added). Li Yingping states:
– 16 –

He stuck the electric rod on me again. Li Zhixian saw that I was not
talking, so he came over to remove my clothes, I held on tight to my
clothes and did not let go, He took off my clothes by force and threw them
on the ground. . . . Finally they tried to tear off my underwear and I
resisted hard. Li Zhixian tried to undo my belt, and I knelt on the ground.

He took the electric rod and jammed it in my side, I rolled over, and he
burnt my back, I rolled over and he burned my chest, and belly. I kept
rolling, so they held me still, and Li started sticking the rod under my
clothes. . . . The burning continued and made me exhausted, with no
energy. No energy to resist, no voice to cry with. My throat was on fire. I
could not scream. My clothes were all wet. I was completely sweated out.
My whole being was covered in terror, could not wait to get out of this
place. I did not want to stay in this horrible place one more moment. I laid
on the ground, they put a pen in my hand and wanted me to sign, I ignored
them and didn’t move. They held my hand and made me sign, and at the
time I just let them sign. Even though I didn’t see, I knew what they wrote
was based on their idea. I didn’t resist at the time. My heart was filled
with fear and pain. I just wanted to hurry up and get out of this place.
When I saw them with the paper, with the signature and the stamp and
looking happy, I couldn’t help it, and I cried out loud.

Li Yingping Decl. ¶¶ 22-23 (emphasis added). Liu Xianzhi states:
Then he continued to grind his shoe on my hand and said, “Even if you
have to come up with a false story, you still have to come up with a story.”
I wanted to escape the cruelty and I prayed that my life would be taken.
When the pain was so excruciating, one of them took my arm and put a
pen in my hand and tried to move my hand to sign on a piece of paper. I
did not know what was on the paper. They also took my fingerprint.
They told me that they could now answer to their superiors and had done
their job. They said the person that they wanted was Gong Shengliang.
Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 51-53 (emphasis added). Meng Xicun states:

One of them stepped up, forced my hands off my breasts, and tore my bra
off. I couldn’t take this anymore. . . . The four of them held my arms and
legs and forbade me to move. Their hands were all over my body. . . . At
this moment I knew everything. I realized that they had told the special
team to do this. They had two purposes in mind: to force me with their evil
means, so that I would say whatever they wanted me to say. Second, they
wanted their men to rape me and say my teacher did it. . . . There was no
way I could put my pen to slander him. . . . Thinking about all this, I felt
my heart and hand grew heavy. I couldn’t lift my hand up. They urged me
to write it. Li Jianguo said, “Just write it, will you?” I said, “I can’t! I
can’t! There is no way I can tell lies!” He said, “OK, I’ll tell you what to
write, and you put down the words you said. Or you just copy this paper
– 17 –

here, and put your fingerprint on your copy. You’ll be fine if you
cooperate with me.”

Meng Xicun Decl. ¶ 24. Xiang Fengping states:
The police asked me about my relationship with Pastor Gong. They said
“is he your teacher?” I said yes. They said he is an awful person and then
they said things that are too horrible for me to repeat. I said my teacher is
not like that. They said you can’t call him teacher anymore from now on,
only call him Gong Sheng Liang from now on. Then they asked me if I
had a sexual relationship with him and I said no. Then the police used an
electric rod all over my whole body to force me to say that I had a sexual
relationship with him. They said “If you don’t admit it, we are going to
kill you. I said “Beat me to death, I’ll never confess. Then, they said
we’re going to take you to the hospital and check it out and I said [F]ine,
let’s go and then they stopped.

Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶¶ 25-28 (emphasis added). Wang Xianju states:
I was transferred to Zhongxiang by the Public Security Bureau of
Zhongxiang, where I was interrogated and beaten. Being forced and
deceived by the police, I made a perjury against Pastor Gong Sheng Liang,
claiming that he raped me twice€¦.Hereby I testify that Pastor Gong never
raped me, and that those oral confessions are out of intimidation and
deception by the police.

Wang Xianju Decl. ¶ 2. Yang Xiaoxia states:
Another day they called me again for interrogation, again asking me about
my relationship with Teacher. This time they lied and told me, Your
Teacher told us everything already. Why do you so stubbornly refuse to
admit it. If you do not admit it, we will beat you to death. Zhang
Xiaohong also told us everything already. Why won’t you just admit it?”
Then, they showed me Zhang Xiao Hong’s accusation letter and forced me
to write a similar one. Being a late believer [in Christ] faced with such a
situation, I was not able to stand firm . . . . I was willing to do anything
they asked in order to leave. So I copied Zhang Xiao Hong’s accusation
letter, with some variations. After I was done writing, I was fingerprinted.
. . . Now, we regret very much writing the accusation letter because none
of it was what we wanted to write, but all of it was forced upon us by the
officials there. Teacher did not rape us. He is not a rapist and has not
committed the rape crime. We have not had any sexual contact.

Yang Xiaoxia Decl. ¶ 2.
– 18 –

Zhang Hongjuan, who was 20 years old at the time of her arrest on August 14,
2002, states:

They put shackles on my hands and feet, and used electric clubs to touch
my whole body, especially my chest. I had no strength to resist such
assaults, so I called them “rogues.” It enraged them to more violent acts.

They forcefully unbuttoned my shirt, tearing off one button, and touched
every spot of my chest with the electric club. I yelled at the top of my
voice, but they moved the club into my mouth to stop me from crying . . . I
was one of many people tortured this way, and my torture was lighter than
theirs.

Zhang Hongjuan Decl. ¶ 2.
Pastor Gong himself was tortured and forced to sign a false confession of guilt.
Gong Letters from Prison at 11, 22. During his four months of incommunicado
detention24 before the First Trial, police repeatedly interrogated Pastor Gong under
situations of mental, psychological and physical duress. In one of his letters that was
smuggled out of prison, Pastor Gong described how Liu Chongzhen, director of the
Zhongxiang Detention Center, threatened to kill him if he would not sign a confession.
Gong Letters from Prison at 3, 9, 11, 22, 27. Liu told Pastor Gong, “I will seal off all
information about you and torture you to death. The public security organs, procuratorial
organs and people’s courts are but one united front. The legal medical experts are our
own people and will [say you committed] suicide [in order] to escape punishment.” Id. at
4, 21. Under the pressure of these threats,25 Pastor Gong signed an agreement admitting
to the rape and assault charges. Id. at 11, 22.

Indictment and First Trial of Pastor Gong
On December 5, 2001, after nearly four months of incommunicado detention, the
Procuratorate charged Pastor Gong with the Indictment, including, inter alia, charges of
organizing a cult, rape, and intentional assault.

The Indictment cited the following examples of “cult” activity: conducting illegal
missionary activities, publishing and distributing the “South China Church Special
Periodical,” and manufacturing Church badges. Under Article 300 of the Criminal Law
of the People’s Republic of China (the “Anti-Cult Law”), evidence that a leader has had
“illicit sexual relations with women” may be used to substantiate the charge that the
organization is a cult. See Attach. 6. Thus, evidence of sexual relations between a
religious leader and a member of the religious group may bolster the characterization of
24 After his arrest on August 8, 2001, Pastor Gong’s family was not notified of his whereabouts until
December 10, 2001. Gong Suzhen Decl. ¶ 6.

25 The exact details of the physical torture that Pastor Gong experienced in prison are not known since the
Government has restricted access to him. According to one Church member who saw him in October 2001,
Pastor Gong had been tortured beyond recognition. Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5. When Church members saw
him on the first day of the First Trial in December 2001, they were shocked by his weakened state.
– 19 –

an organization as a cult. Further, “[l]eveling rape charges is a favored way of morally
discrediting Christian pastors.” Freedom House Report at 2. The Indictment also
charged Pastor Gong with rape.26 Indictment at 10-12.

On December 19, 2001, the Intermediate Court began secret proceedings against
Pastor Gong and the Sixteen Defendants. Family members of the defendants were not
permitted to enter the court. Decl. of Five South China Church Members (Li Yingping,
Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Cao Hongmei, Fu Shijun) ¶¶ 3-4 (“Decl. of Five”). Pastor
Gong was in a visibly weakened state on the first day of the First Trial. Liu Xianzhi Aff.
¶ 74, Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 7. “On the second day of the court hearing, Pastor Gong was
. . . unable to stand. He told the judge, but then, before the judge could respond, he
fainted.” Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 74.

During the proceedings, the Intermediate Court permitted the alleged victims of
assault to give testimony without identifying themselves. The alleged victims were
unable to identify any of the Defendants as their attackers. Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶¶ 31-32.

The Intermediate Court did not permit Pastor Gong’s lawyers to cross-examine any of the
alleged victims. Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 33. The Procuratorate did not introduce testimony
from any of the women whom Pastor Gong allegedly raped. Decl. of Five ¶ 9.

At least six of the defendants stated in court that they had been tortured during
interrogation and under this duress made false accusations against Pastor Gong which
they wanted to retract. One of them, Yi Chuanfu, attempted to show the Intermediate
Court his injuries. Id. ¶ 23; Decl. of Qiu Chunyi ¶ 50. However, the Intermediate Court
refused to listen to their allegations of torture and denied all requests to recant the false
accusations.

Female Church members who the Government tortured into accusing Pastor Gong
of rape publicly recanted their statements.27 All of these women (Cao Hongmei, Chi
Faling, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Xiang Fengping, Wang
Xianju, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjuan) state that the police tortured them until they
accused Pastor Gong of rape. 28

At the conclusion of the First Trial, all Defendants submitted a written statement
to the Intermediate Court explaining that their confessions were false and had been
extracted through torture. Decl. of Five ¶ 5. Pastor Gong himself submitted a two-page
written statement to the Intermediate Court during the First Trial stating that he was
coerced into making a false confession of guilt. Id. ¶ 3. The Intermediate Court did not
26 According to The New York Times, Chinese authorities frequently “[use] rape charges to imprison
religious leaders deemed to be a menace.” Attach. 45 (Erik Eckholm, “3 Church Leaders in the
Government Are Sent to Prison for Life,” October 11, 2002).

27 See Attach. 35 (Persecution in China UN Testimony CD).
28See Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 7; Chi Faling Decl. ¶¶ 13-22; Li Qiong ;Decl. ¶¶ 15-20; Li Yingping Decl. ¶¶
12-17, ¶ 350-31-36, 39; Liu Xianzhi Aff. at ¶ 31, 36, 3811; Meng Xicun Decl. ¶ 7; Xiang Fengping Decl.
¶¶ 24-25; Wang Xianju Decl. ¶ 42; Yang Xiaoxia Decl. ¶ 5, 7-9, 12; Zhang Hongjuan Decl. ¶ 3-4.
– 20 –

offer any response to the document. Id. ¶ 3. Neither did the Intermediate Court
investigate a single allegation of torture.

The Indictment named more than twenty criminal charges against Pastor Gong
and the other sixteen Church defendants and listed thirteen separate villages in ten
townships and eight cities as locations of the alleged activities. See Indictment. The
charges covered activities spanning more than six years. See id. The charges involved
thirty alleged victims and thirty-one alleged witnesses. See Overturned First Verdict.

Yet after only three days of proceedings, the Intermediate Court found Pastor Gong guilty
of intentional assault, rape, “organizing and utilizing a cult organization to undermine law
enforcement,” and intentionally destroying property. Id. at 35. The Intermediate Court
relied upon statements obtained through torture to convict Pastor Gong, and sentenced
him to death. Id. at 36; Decl. of Five ¶¶ 9-13, 16. Prison guards then forced the
Defendants to sign the record of the First Trial without allowing them to read it.29
The Intermediate Court Relied Upon Statements Obtained Through Torture to
Convict Pastor Gong of Rape, Intentional Assault, and Organizing a Cult
The Intermediate Court relied upon statements obtained through torture to convict
Pastor Gong of rape. The Intermediate Court relied upon the statements of Cao
Hongmei, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Men Xi Cun, Xiang Fengping, and Wang Xianju, all
of whom were tortured prior to giving those statements. For example, the Intermediate
Court wrote, “In her confession, the defendant Cao Hongmei said she had sex with Gong
Dali because Gong is a servant of the Lord.” Overturned First Verdict at 31. The
Intermediate Court similarly relied upon Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Xiang
Fengping, Wang Xianju, and Yang Xiaoxia’s statements, all signed pursuant to torture, to
convict Pastor Gong of rape. Id. at 31-33.

The Intermediate Court also relied upon statements obtained through torture to
convict Pastor Gong of intentional assault. For example, at least four individuals (Cao
Hongmei, Du Qingfeng, Fu Shijun, and Qiu Chunyi) have publicly recanted their
accusations of intentional assault against Pastor Gong. But the Intermediate Court relied
upon the coerced confessions of Cao Hongmei, Qiu Chunyi, Du Qingfeng, and Fu
Shijun’s confessions, which, as previously discussed, infra at 6-19, were obtained
through torture,30 to convict Pastor Gong of intentional assault. The Intermediate Court
wrote:

29 In one instance, a court clerk punched Qiu Chunyi as he tried to review the record of the First Trial
before signing. Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 36; Decl. of Five ¶ 15.

30 Cao Hongmei later stated, “I gave into the pressure of the interrogations and torture and admitted what
they wanted and ordered me to say — that I had sexual relations with Teacher Gong. . . . I signed my name
to the confession the interrogators composed. For example, I never said that €¦he [Pastor Gong] and Li
Ying had incited any injuries. I confessed what they wanted.” Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 4.

Qiu Chunyi later stated, “On September 10, 2001, the police produced a ‘confession’ that they had
written for me. The confession said that Pastor Gong ordered me to assault people who harassed church
members. They said that if I helped them with Pastor Gong, they would reduce my sentence. They said
we will not do anything to Pastor Gong. Then they said, ‘Pastor Gong is going to be sentenced to death
– 21 –

The defendants Cao Hongmei, Qiu Chunyi, Xu Fu Ming and Gong Bang
Kun have confessed that their gang injured Zhou Qi Jun, Liu Xin Lan, Yu
Yan Ling and Zhang Qiao Shuang with weapons; the confessions made by
the defendants Qiu Chunyi and Xu Fu Ming at the public security agency
that this action involving injury was arranged and ordered by Gong Dali
match the earlier confession of the defendant Gong Dali at the public
security agency and the confession the defendant Gong Bang Kun made at
the court. They are sufficient to be confirmed.

Overturned First Verdict at 24.
Further, the Intermediate Court relied upon at least four statements of individuals
who were tortured—Xiang Fengping Li Yingping, Meng Xicun, and Liu Xianzhi—to
convict Pastor Gong of organizing a cult:

The defendants€¦.Xiang Fengping, Li Yingping, Meng Xicun and Liu Xianzhi
respectively confessed that they joined South China Church, involved in the
editing, typing and printing of SCC Special Periodical, attending the large-scale
gatherings held by South China Church, signed ‘agreement of pulling out the
nails’ and ‘agreement of affection between the teacher and the students,’ wrote
articles for the periodical and other facts.

Overturned First Verdict at 12 (emphasis added).31 These four individuals have stated
sooner or later, why do you stay loyal to him?’ I said ‘I’m staying faithful to God, not to Pastor Gong.
When I refused to sign their false confession, several policemen beat me for 12 straight hours until I could
not take the pain any longer and signed the ‘confession.'” Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶¶ 28-29.

Du Qingfeng later stated, “During the torture they told me they wanted me to accuse Pastor Gong
of ordering assaults and running a cult. After hours of torture, I could not endure the pain anymore.
Finally I signed a confession that the policemen wrote. I only saw the introduction to the confession. I
didn’t see the rest of it. I did not want to sign it. The police forced me to sign it€¦.The court refused to
give me an opportunity to explain that I had been tortured into signing a confession.” Du Qingfeng Decl.
¶¶ 19-20, 28.

Fu Shijun later stated, “On October 18, 2001, Dongbao District PSB called me to the Pailo Town
Precinct. . . . They knelt me on the ground and started beating me. One policeman stood at 1.9 meter. He
used his big shoes to kick me several times on my side and he punched me in the head and face. Very soon,
my mouth and teeth started bleeding. Then they made me “bear the sword”: they placed my hands around
my back, one pushing my shoulder downward, another pushing my arm upward. It took quite a while, but
they could not tie my arms together. My shoulder made [cracking] sounds. A third person came and pushed
my back in forcefully with his knees and pulled on my arms several times to finally tie my arms together. I
was in such pain as to become unconscious. . . . At 2 a.m. they asked me to sign the Detention Notice and
sent me to Detention Cell 23. Th.” Fu Shijun Decl. (November 1, 2003) ¶¶ 9, 12.

31 The Intermediate Court also based its cult conviction of Pastor Gong upon the “illegal publishing” of the
SCC Special Periodical: “The court said our publication was an evil cult publication, and even read a
passage from the section “Recent Movement in the Small World”, to prove that the publication’s content
was of an evil cult, and so on.” Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 37; see also Cult Notice at 84, Overturned First
Verdict at 12. However, the Periodical contains nothing more than discussions of theological topics and
discussions of events in the life of the Church.
– 22 –

that Hubei Police tortured them into making statements about cult activities of the South
China Church which were false.32

First Verdict Overturned in Hubei Court of Appeals
Foreign governments and international news organizations denounced the verdict.
After several media outlets published detailed accounts of the torture employed to extract
false evidence in the First Trial, the Government ordered the Court of Appeals to hold a
retrial. In its verdict, the Court of Appeals conceded that “the facts affirmed by the
intermediate court are not clear and the evidence supporting the judgment is not
sufficient€¦.” Appeals Decision at 4.

Second Trial and Final Verdict in the Intermediate Court
The decision to order a new trial, however, turned out to be a little more than a
charade, as the Second Trial was riddled with the same substantive and procedural
irregularities as the first—e.g. reliance on evidence obtained through torture, secret
proceedings, inability to confront accusers, inability to present exculpatory evidence, lack
of preparation time for defense counsel, and pre-ordained results.

On October 9, 2002, the Government tried Pastor Gong and the Sixteen
Defendants on the same charges as the First Trial, again in secret.33 The Second Trial
was also replete with irregularities and abuses of process. The Second Trial lasted only
one day and a half. Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶ 46; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 15; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶
95; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 53; Decl. of Five ¶ 24. Pastor Gong’s lawyers had only four
business days to prepare for the trial and were denied access to the record of the First
Trial. See Attach. 38 (Open Letter to the Secretary-General of United Nations and High
Commissioner of UN High Commission for Human Rights).34

The day before the trial began, on October 8, 2002, the Court of Appeals and the
Intermediate Court required the attendance of Pastor Gong’s attorneys at a private lunch
meeting with judges of the Court of Appeals and at Intermediate Court. At the meeting,
officers of the Intermediate Court told Pastor Gong’s attorneys that the case was
politically significant and that they must keep state secrets and cooperate with the
Intermediate Court in order to bring the trial to a swift conclusion. Open Letter at 2.

32 For example, Xiang Fengping stated, “They wanted to know all the details about the Special Periodical.
They wanted to know who wrote the articles, where it was printed and where it was distributed and where
the funds came from to publish it. . . . [I] didn’t say anything for several days . . . [b]ut later I told them
after they beat and tortured me for five days and five nights.” Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶¶ 18-21; see also Li
Yingping Decl. ¶ 18; Meng Xicun Decl. ¶¶ 5, 11-16; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 38-52.

33 In its verdict, the Intermediate Court stated, “Because this case touches on issues of personal privacy, the
Intermediate Court does not hold a public hearing in accordance with the law.” Final Verdict at 3.

34 “An Open Letter to the Secretary-General of United Nations and High Commissioner of UN High
Commission for Human Rights from the South China Church,” Voice of the Martyrs, 26 October 2002 at 13
(“Open Letter”).
– 23 –

The Procuratorate did not introduce a new indictment at the Second Trial, but
apparently relied on the same charges in the initial indictment. Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 50;
Decl. of Five ¶ 50; Open Letter at 3. Rather than hear live testimony about the charges of
rape and assault, the Intermediate Court directed the Procuratorate to present only
summaries of witness and victim statements. See Decl. of Five ¶¶ 20-21, Open Letter at
3. The Intermediate Court rejected defense attorneys’ request for a complete presentation
of evidence. Open Letter at 1-2.

The Intermediate Court presented no evidence of Pastor Gong’s guilt on assault
charges other than the same confessions, obtained through torture, as those used in the
First Trial. Final Verdict at 7. With regard to the rape charges, the Procuratorate
disclosed only the last names of the four alleged victims, none of whom testified at the
trial.35 Open Letter at 3; Final Verdict at 7. Pastor Gong’s lawyers thus could not
determine the identities of the alleged victims, much less defend him against the charges.
Moreover, none of the alleged victims testified at the Second Trial. Decl. of Five ¶ 21;
Open Letter at 3; Final Verdict at 7. Supposed statements from the victims were never
shown to Pastor Gong or his attorneys at trial, nor was any opportunity given to cross-
examine the alleged accusers. Decl. of Five ¶ 21; Open Letter at 3; Final Verdict at 7.

At least ten of the women whom the indictment charges Pastor Gong with raping
(Cao Hongmei, Chi Faling, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Xiang
Fengping, Wang Xianju, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjun) have described in detail
how the police tortured them. Three of the women claimed to have withstood the torture
and to have never accused Pastor Gong of rape.36 Those who did accuse Pastor Gong of
rape publicly recanted their accusations.37

Nonetheless, the Intermediate Court at Pastor Gong’s First Trial expressly relied
upon the torture-induced statements as a basis for convicting him of rape. After the
35 Although the Indictment asserted that Pastor Gong had raped twenty women, the Procuratorate only
pursued four charges at the Second Trial, but did not tell Pastor Gong the names of the four women or even
if they were among the women listed in the Indictment.

36 Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 24; Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶ 29; Zhang Hongjun Decl. ¶ 2. Additionally, the Amnesty
Report (Attach. 42) observes:

[T]hree women whom Pastor Gong was alleged to have raped have produced written
testimonies — smuggled out of prison and out of China — claiming they were tortured by
police in an attempt to force them to testify that they had been raped by Pastor Gong. In
their testimonies, they also claim that police officers perpetrating the torture repeatedly
told them that they had support from their superiors to use any means necessary to obtain
evidence in their case against Pastor Gong, and that they would not be held responsible
by their superiors for any consequences.

People’s Republic of China Executed “according to law”? — The death penalty in China, available athttp://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engasa170032004 (“Amnesty Report”) (citing testimonies by Zhang
Hongjuan, Li Tongjin and Yang Tongni, at
www.jubileecampaign.co.uk/world/china6.htm).
37 Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 5; Li Qiong Decl. ¶¶ 15-20; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 30; Liu Xianzhi Decl. ¶ 52; Meng
Xicun Decl. ¶ 16; Wang Xianju Decl. ¶ 2; Yang Xiaoxia Decl. ¶ 2.
– 24 –

verdict at the first trial was overturned, the Hubei Jingmen Court had an opportunity to
correct that error at the Second Trial. It did not.

Instead, the Final Verdict of the Intermediate Court at the Second Trial expressly
relied on evidence obtained through torture to convict Pastor Gong of rape. In particular,
the Intermediate Court cited the “four victims’ statements” as a basis for convicting him
of having illicit sexual relations with “Wang XX, Li X, Yang XX, [and] Zhang XX.”
Final Verdict at 7. As detailed above and in their statements and declarations, Wang
Xianju, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, and Zhang Hongjun were all tortured by the Chinese
government into making false accusations against Pastor Gong.38

The Intermediate Court also cited Pastor Gong’s confession to the police, which
was similarly made under the duress of torture. Final Verdict at 7. Pastor Gong, like the
rest of the Defendants, again attempted to tell the Intermediate Court that they had been
tortured. Yi Chuanfu, who attempted to show the Intermediate Court his wounds in the
First Trial, again urged the Intermediate Court to examine his injuries. However, the
Intermediate Court ignored the allegations a second time. Decl. of Five ¶¶ 11, 23.

After only a day and a half of proceedings, and without allowing Pastor Gong to
cross-examine any of his alleged accusers, the Intermediate Court convicted Pastor Gong
of rape and intentional injury. This time it sentenced him to life imprisonment.39 One of
the judges openly stated that the verdict “was already decided by higher authorities, we
also had no choice” and that the judges had no choice but to impose harsh sentences
despite the dearth of evidence. Decl. of Five ¶ 28.

Pastor Gong’s Imprisonment since the Final Verdict
On December 17, 2002, when Pastor Gong’s family members visited him in
Jingzhou Prison, he was unable to walk. He complained of internal wounds and stomach
sickness. Gong Suzhen Decl. ¶ 24. In 2003, Xu Fuming told Pastor Gong’s family
members that prison guards were beating Pastor Gong regularly, he was urinating blood,
and had lost hearing in one ear. Id. ¶ 25. When Pastor Gong’s family members pleaded
with prison guards to stop beating him, they were told that he “fell” while washing
windows in April 2003. Id. ¶ 26.

38 Of course, because the Government never revealed the full names of the alleged victims, one is forced to
conjecture that the four women the Court identified as Wang XX, Li X, Yang XX [and] Zhang XX actually
were Wang Xianju, Li Qiong, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjuan (since each of those women were listed
in the indictment). Alternatively, if Wang XX, Li X, Yang XX, and Zhang XX were four other women,
then these women are a complete mystery since they were never named in the indictment and never
appeared, much less testified, in court at the trial.

39 See Cao Hongmei ¶ 15. The Intermediate Court also found twelve other defendants guilty of various
crimes. The Intermediate Court found the remaining four defendants not guilty, but then immediately
sentenced them to between two and three years of reeducation through labour. Decl. of Five ¶¶ 25, 26, 29;
Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 97-100; Meng Xicun Decl. ¶¶ 58-63; Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶ 50; Li Yingping Decl. ¶¶
54-58.
– 25 –

From April 2003 to July 2003, Pastor Gong’s family members were not permitted
to visit him. Id. ¶ 27. On July 15, 2003, Pastor Gong was moved to Hongshan Prison.
Pastor Gong told his family that at the Hongshan Prison medical center, guards took
pictures of him receiving medical treatment, but he did not actually receive medical
treatment. See id. ¶ 29.

On June 12, 2003, The New York Times reported that in prison Pastor Gong was
subjected to daily brainwashing sessions and that he was beaten so severely that he was
unable to rise from his bed. Attach. 48 (Erik Eckholm, Beatings Reported in China Jail,
New York Times, June 12, 2003). Pastor Gong is currently in very poor health. The last
time that Pastor Gong’s daughters visited him in jail on January 18, 2006, Pastor Gong
complained about serious stomach pains, tracheitis, asthma, and a painful back condition.

See Attach. 39.40
LEGAL ARGUMENT
I. PASTOR GONG’S DETENTION IS ARBITRARY UNDER CATEGORY
III WORKING GROUP PRINCIPLES BECAUSE THE CHINESE
GOVERNMENT VIOLATED HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL

The Government violated Pastor Gong’s right to a fair trial when it relied upon
confessions obtained through torture of South China Church members. The Jingmen
Intermediate Court relied upon statements obtained through torture to convict Pastor
Gong of Rape, Intentional Assault, and Organizing a Cult. Both the Hubei Procuratorate
and the Jingmen Intermediate Court ignored allegations of torture by church members
and Pastor Gong. International law absolutely prohibits the use of torture. Under
Category III Principles of the Working Group, any detention resulting from evidence
obtained through torture is arbitrary.

The Government additionally violated Pastor Gong’s right to a fair trial by
denying him fundamental guarantees of due process, including right to adequate time and
facilities to defend charges, right to a public trial, right to be informed of charges, right to
cross-examine witnesses, right to defense’s examination of its own witnesses, right to a
fair hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, and right to a presumption of
innocence. These violations of due process render Pastor Gong’s detention arbitrary
under Category III Principles of the Working Group.

40 Message from Pastor Gong Shengliang’s daughters regarding his health (at http://chinaaid.org/
english_site/press_release_detail.php?id=195) (“Gong Health Message”); see also State Department Report
at 7 (naming Pastor Gong as a “prisoner with health concerns”).
– 26 –

A. The Government Violated Pastor Gong’s Right to a Fair Trial by Relying
Upon Confessions Obtained Through Torture of South China Church
Members

International law absolutely prohibits the use of torture.41 See UDHR, art. 5
(“[N]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.”); ICCPR art. 7 (“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without
his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”); ICCPR art. 14.3(g) (“In the
determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the
following minimum guarantees, in full equality: Not to be compelled to testify against
himself or to confess guilt”).

Accordingly, the Working Group has firmly established that the use of “evidence
€¦ based on statements by €¦ defendants who were allegedly tortured” is a “grave
violation[] of the right to a fair trial.” Soner Onder v. Turkey, Working Group on Arb.
Detention, (38/1994) U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., U.N. Doc.

E/CN.4/1996/40/Add.1 (1995) at http://www.cajpe.org.pe/RIJ/bases/mecanism/gt13.htm
(“Onder”).42 Because the use of evidence obtained through torture violates an
individual’s right to a fair trial, under Category III Principles of the Working Group, any
detention resulting from evidence obtained through torture is arbitrary.
The Jingmen Intermediate Court relied upon statements obtained through torture
to convict Pastor Gong, violating his right to a fair trial, and rendering his detention
arbitrary under Category III Principles of the Working Group.

1. Standard of Proof Regarding Allegations of Torture
41 China has signed and ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, G.A. res. 39/46, [annex, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 197, U.N. Doc.
A/39/51 (1984)], entered into force June 26, 1987, art. 1 (“CAT”). In addition, China’s own laws
theoretically “strictly forbid [the extortion of] a confession by torture.” Criminal Law, art. 136. See also
Attach. 12 (Public Procurators Law of the People’s Republic of China, art. 33, §4 (public procurators may
not extort confessions by torture)); Criminal Procedure Law art. 3243 (“It shall be strictly forbidden to
extort confessions by torture and to collect any evidence by threat, enticement, deceit or other unlawful
means.”); Procedural Provisions for the Handling of Administrative Cases by Public Security Organs art.
26 (public security police may not extort confessions by torture); Prison Law of the People’s Republic of
China, art. 14 (eople’s prison police may not use torture to coerce a confession).

42 See also Working-Group Decision No. 18/2001 (Mexico), U.N. ECSOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 58th Sess.,
Provisional Agenda Item 11 (a) ¶10, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2002/77/Add. 1 (2001); Working-Group Decision
No. 1/2001 (Uzbekistan), U.N. ECSOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 58th Sess., provisional Agenda Item 11 (a) ¶
6 (f), U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2002/77/Add. 1 (2001) (“WGAD Decision 1/2001) (where the government
relied upon a confession statement made by a defendant to put an end to the torture of his son, the
defendant’s right to a fair trial was violated and his detention was arbitrary). The WGAD has found that
an individual’s detention was arbitrary where the Government ignored his claim that his confession was
extracted through torture. Id. ¶ 9.
– 27 –

If an individual “rais[es] allegations of torture or ill-treatment . . . during trial,
[(either of himself or of third parties)]” the burden shifts to the state party to disprove his
allegations. See Attach. 40 (Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture to the UN
General Assembly, UN Document A/56/156 (July 3, 2001) (“Special Rapporteur’s 2001
Report”)). Once the burden of proof has shifted, the state party must prove “beyond
reasonable doubt that the confession was not obtained by unlawful means, including
torture and ill-treatment.” Id. This is necessarily the case because “[alleged victims] and
the State party do not always have equal access to evidence and [because] . . .
frequently the State party alone has access to relevant information.” Thus, the burden of
proof cannot rest with the alleged victim alone. See Mr. Abduali Ismatovich Kurbanov v.
Tajikistan (“Kurbanov”), Communication No. 1096/2002, U.N. Doc.
CCPR/C/79/D/1096/2002 (2003).43

Moreover, the Kurbanov decision emphasizes that an individual need not have
raised the allegations of torture prior to or during the trial in order for a conviction based
on evidence obtained through torture to be arbitrary. Id. Instead, Kurbanov holds that a
petitioner satisfies his burden of production by providing names of “some of the
individuals alleged to have been responsible” and a “fairly detailed description of
beatings.” Id.

a. Timing of Allegations
Both Pastor Gong and the Church members who were co-defendants in his trials
raised allegations of torture to the Procuratorate before trial.44 They also strenuously
urged the judges during Pastor Gong’s first and second trials to examine their claims of
torture.45 In addition, Pastor Gong has provided the Working Group with a detailed
description of the torture China inflicted on him and other Church members.
43 U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 79th Sess., U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/D/1096/2002, 12/11/2003
available at
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/undocs/1096-2002.html.
44 “The People’s Procuratorate is the state organ responsible for legal supervision in the People’s Republic
of China and consists of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Local People’s Procuratorate, and
military and other special procuratorates. Its powers and functions include:

a. major criminal cases involving state policies, laws, decrees and administrative orders;
b. conduct investigations of criminal cases handled directly by themselves;
c. to initiate public prosecutions of criminal cases and support such prosecutions;
d. monitor judicial activity to ensure their compliance with the law, and;
e. supervision over the judgments and order in criminal cases and over activities of prisons, detention
houses and organs in charge of reform through labour in order to review their compliance with the
law.

“The Local People’s Procuratorate monitors and supervises compliance of the local people’s courts and
government departments with the law€¦.” International Labor Organisation, at
http://www.ilo.org/public/
english/employment/gems/eeo/law/china/i_pp.htm.
45 Decl. of Five ¶¶ 10-11, 13, 23; Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶¶ 50-51; Fu Shijun Decl. (November 1, 2003) ¶¶ 16,
27; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 28; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 17; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 80; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 7.
– 28 –

b. Identification of Torturers
Over twenty members of the Church have detailed in sworn statements that Hubei
Police tortured them into making false statements about Pastor Gong either before or
during Pastor Gong’s trials. They identified the following government facilities as
locations where police tortured them: Zhongxiang Public Security Bureau (“Zhongxiang
PSB”), Jingmen Detention Center, Zhongxiang Police Training Center, Jingmen Police
Training School, and Shayang Detention Center. They identified the following
individuals as responsible for supervising and implementing their torture: Liu
Chongzhen (Zhongxiang Religious Affairs Bureau), Li ZhiXiang (Zhongxiang PSB),
Tang Mingpeng (Shayang Public Security Bureau), Zhang Feng (Chengzhong Police
Station), Zhang Liqing, and Yang Shiming (also Shayang Public Security Bureau).46
c. Detailed Descriptions of Torture by Hubei Police During Interrogation
Torture is defined as “€¦any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether
physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining
from him or a third person information or a confession, [by] or with the consent . . . of a
public official. . . .” Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment art. 1 (“CAT”).

In this case, South China Church members have described in vivid detail the
many patterns and techniques by which they were tortured while held in detention. The
Church members’ declarations describe how the Hubei Police inflicted “severe pain and
suffering” upon them and corroborate the use of specific methods of torture during
interrogation. Further, pursuant to a two-week visit to China in December, 2005, the
Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on torture and
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, found that
certain practices of torture are prevalent in China, including:
beatings, use of electric shock batons; cigarette burns; . . . use of handcuffs
or ankle fetters for extended periods (including in solitary confinement or
secure holding areas), . . . being forced to maintain uncomfortable
positions, such as sitting, squatting, lying down, or standing for long
periods of time, sometimes with objects held under arms; deprivation of
sleep, food or water; . . . denial of medical treatment and medication; hard
labour; and suspension from overhead fixtures from handcuffs.47
46 Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 21; Li Qiong Decl. ¶ 20; Tong Cuijuan Decl. ¶ 4-5, 19; Li Tongjin Decl. ¶ 3.
47The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on torture
and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment reported on his trip to China in November
and December, 2005:

The Special Rapporteur recalls that over the last several years his predecessors have
received a significant number of serious allegations related to torture and other forms of
ill-treatment in China, which have been submitted to the Government for its comments.
These have included a consistent and systematic pattern of torture related to ethnic
– 29 –

These practices are consistent with those described by Church members in their
sworn declarations.

Church members provided detailed descriptions of torture by Hubei Police during
interrogation.48 Pastor Gong and the Church members raised their allegations of torture
minorities, particularly Tibetans and Uighurs, political dissidents, human rights
defenders, practitioners of Falun Gong, and members of house-church groups. These
allegations have been and continue to be documented by international human rights
organizations.

The methods of torture alleged include, among others: beatings; use of electric shock
batons; cigarette burns; . . . use of handcuffs or ankle fetters for extended periods
(including in solitary confinement or secure holding areas),… being forced to maintain
uncomfortable positions, such as sitting, squatting, lying down, or standing for long
periods of time, sometimes with objects held under arms; deprivation of sleep, food or
water; . . denial of medical treatment and medication; hard labour; and suspension from
overhead fixtures from handcuffs. In several cases, the techniques employed have been
given particular terminologies, such as the “tiger bench”, where one is forced to sit
motionless on a tiny stool a few centimetres off the ground; “reversing an airplane”,
where one is forced to bend over while holding legs straight, feet close together and arms
lifted high; or “exhausting an eagle”, where one is forced to stand on a tall stool and
subjected to beatings until exhaustion. On the basis of the information he received during
his mission, the Special Rapporteur confirms that many of these methods of torture have
been used in China.

Although he cannot make a detailed determination as to the current scale of these abuses,
the Special Rapporteur believes that the practice of torture, though on the decline —
particularly in urban areas — remains widespread in China. Indeed, this is increasingly
recognized by Government officials and reports. According to the 2005 Supreme
People’s Procuratorate’s (SPP) report to the National People’s Congress presented on 9
March 2005, covering the year 2004), 1595 civil servants had been investigated for
suspected criminal activity in cases involving “illegal detention, coercion of confessions,
using violence to obtain evidence, abuse of detainees, sabotaging elections, and serious
dereliction of duty resulting in serious loss of life or property.” The report goes on to
note that this is a 13.3 percent increase over the previous year’s totals and that the SPP
personally investigated 82 of the most serious cases. When compared with other national
statistics, these official figures are clearly the tip of the iceberg in a country the size of
China and demonstrate that most victims and their families are reluctant to file
complaints for fear of reprisal or lack of confidence that their complaints will be
addressed effectively.

Press Release, Special Rapporteur on Torture Highlights Challenges at End of Visit to China, (December
2, 2005), available at
http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/0/677C1943FAA14D67C12570CB
0034966D?opendocument (emphasis added).
In addition to the sworn statements included with this petition, their descriptions of torture have been
widely publicized. In 2002, the Center for Religious Freedom published the testimonies of three female
members of the South China Church victims who were tortured during interrogation. The publication of
their testimonies was widely reported by the international media. Then in 2004, videotaped versions of
their testimonies were shown to an audience of diplomats and human rights activists at the 60th Session of
the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. See Persecution in China UN
Testimony CD (Attach. 35).
– 30 –

in a timely manner, both before and during trial. The burden of proof to disprove their
claims thus shifts to the State. Further, Pastor Gong and Church members met and
exceeded the minimum standard of production to prove torture set forth in Kurbanov by
providing the names of several individuals responsible for torture and by providing
extremely detailed descriptions of torture.

2. The Jingmen Intermediate Court Relied Upon Statements Obtained
Through Torture to Convict Pastor Gong of Rape, Intentional Assault,
and Organizing a Cult

Under Munavar and Ismail Hasanov v. Uzbekistan, where a government relies
upon a confession statement made under duress, it violates the defendant’s right to a fair
trial and his detention is arbitrary. See Munavar and Ismail Hasanov v. Uzbekistan,
Working Group on Arb. Detention, (U.N. Doc. E/CN/4/2002/77/Add.1 at 36) (2001) ¶¶
5, 8 (“[O]n 18 November 1999, Manuvar Hasanov, 70 years old, was arrested by
members of the Uzbek police on charges of possessing leaflets printed by the banned
Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. According to the source, during interrogation he
agreed to sign a confession statement, to put an end to the torture of his son Ismail
Hasanov that he reportedly was forced to witness.”). See also CAT art. 1; UDHR, art. 5
(prohibiting torture); ICCPR art. 7.

After being tortured by Hubei Police for hours and even days, several members of
the South China Church made false accusations against Pastor Gong. The Procuratorate
then introduced their statements at the First Trial. The Overturned First Verdict clearly
demonstrates that the Intermediate Court relied upon the statements obtained through
torture to convict Pastor Gong of rape, intentional assault, and organizing a cult. In the
Second Trial, the Intermediate Court asked the Procuratorate to introduce summarized
versions of the evidence from the First Trial and thus also relied upon the statements
obtained through torture to convict Pastor Gong of rape and intentional assault. Final
Verdict at 7-8.

At least ten of the women whom the indictment charges Pastor Gong with raping
(Cao Hongmei, Chi Faling, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, Liu Xianzhi, Meng Xicun, Xiang
Fengping, Wang Xianju, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjun) have publicly recanted their
accusations of rape. All of these women stated that the police tortured them until they
accused Pastor Gong of rape. See Amnesty Report. Although these ten women publicly
recanted their statements accusing Pastor Gong of rape, the Intermediate Court at Pastor
Gong’s First Trial expressly relied upon the torture-induced statements as a basis for
convicting him of rape.49 After the verdict at the first trial was overturned, the Hubei
Jingmen Court had an opportunity to correct that error at the second trial. It did not.
Instead, the Final Verdict of the Intermediate Court at the Second Trial expressly
relied on evidence obtained through torture to convict Pastor Gong of rape. In particular,
the Intermediate Court cited the “four victims’ statements” as a basis for convicting him
See supra at 21-22.
– 31 –

of having illicit sexual relations with “Wang XX, Li X, Yang XX, [and] Zhang XX.”
Final Verdict at 7. As detailed above and in their statements and declarations, Wang
Xianju, Li Qiong, Li Yingping, and Zhang Hongjun were all tortured by the Chinese
government into making false accusations against Pastor Gong. See note 38 at 25.
The Final Verdict of the Intermediate Court was even more cursory with regard to
assault charges. The Intermediate Court presented no evidence of Pastor Gong’s guilt on
assault charges other than the same confessions, obtained through torture, as those used
in the First Trial. In the Final Verdict, the Intermediate Court stated only “Defendant[]
Gong Dali…confessed to the police authorities [his] instigation or financial support of
retaliatory injury of others and is moreover confirmed by the confession of other
Defendants and related documentary evidence.” Final Verdict at 7. The Final Verdict
did not specify to what confessions or documentary evidence it was referring. See Final
Verdict. Further, any possible confession or documentary evidence against Pastor Gong
on assault or any other charges were elicited through torture.

Accordingly, Pastor Gong’s conviction and sentence to imprisonment for rape and
assault was arbitrary because it was based on evidence obtained through torture.

3. Both the Hubei Procuratorate and the Jingmen Intermediate Court
Ignored Allegations of Torture by Church Members and Pastor Gong
In Kurbanov and Sonder, the Human Rights Committee held that where a state
party fails to investigate allegations of torture that are brought to its attention it violates
ICCPR article 7. See Kurbanov ¶¶ 7.4, Onder ¶ 9.

Chinese law also requires the government (specifically the Procuratorate) to
investigate allegations of torture. “€¦[C]rimes involving violations of a citizen’s personal
rights such as €¦ extortion of confessions by torture, [shall] be placed on file for
investigation by the People’s Procuratorates.” See Attach. 7 (Criminal Procedure Law).50
Before the First Trial, Du Qingfeng and Fu Shijun told the Procuratorate that
police tortured them into making false accusations against Pastor Gong which they
wanted to retract. Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶¶ 23-28; Fu Shijun Decl. (June 28, 2005) ¶ 11.
The Procuratorate ignored their allegations. In another instance, the Procuratorate itself
pressured Xiang Fengping, a female member of the Church, to accuse Pastor Gong of
rape. Xiang Fengping Decl. ¶ 34.

The Intermediate Court in the First Trial also ignored Church members’
objections to the introduction of statements obtained through torture. Pastor Gong’s codefendants:
Qiu Chunyi, Fu Shijun, Du Qingfeng, Li Yingping, and Liu Xianzhi stated in
open court that they had been tortured and wanted to recant their statements.51 Co
50 Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, art. 18 (“Criminal Procedure Law”).
51 Decl. of Five ¶ 10; Qiu Chunyi Decl. ¶ 42; Fu Shijun Decl. (November 1, 2003) ¶¶ 22-23; Du Qingfeng
Decl. ¶ 28; Li Yingping Decl. ¶ 39; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶¶ 75, 78-83.
– 32 –

defendant Yi Chuanfu attempted to show judges the injuries that he sustained as a result
of police torture. Decl. of Five ¶ 11; Liu Xianzhi Aff. ¶ 80. Pastor Gong’s lawyers
attempted to tell the Intermediate Court that police tortured him into making his
confession. And both Pastor Gong and his co-defendants submitted written statements to
the Intermediate Court describing how police tortured them. Decl. of Five ¶ 13.

However, the Intermediate Court ignored their claims and sentenced Pastor Gong to
death based on the testimonies obtained through torture.52

The Intermediate Court in the Second Trial similarly ignored Church members’
objections to the use of evidence obtained through torture. Open Letter at 3; Cao
Hongmei Decl. ¶ 15. The Intermediate Court convicted Pastor Gong based upon the
summarized evidence from the first trial, including the coerced confessions of Li Ying,
Sun Minghua and Pastor Gong, which the Intermediate Court explicitly relied on in
convicting Pastor Gong of rape and intentional assault. Final Verdict at 7. Pastor Gong,
Li Ying and Sun Minghua told the Intermediate Court in the Second Trial that police had
tortured them into making the statements and that they were false. Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶
7. The other Church members also told the Intermediate Court that police tortured them
into making false statements and Yi Chuanfu again attempted to show the Intermediate
Court his injuries from torture. Open Letter at 3; Decl. of Five ¶ 23. In addition, the
Intermediate Court also apparently relied on the coerced confessions of Wang Xianju, Li
Qiong, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjun in convicting Pastor Gong of rape.53
However, the Intermediate Court once again dismissed the allegations of torture without
investigation. Decl. of Five ¶ 23; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 10. On 11 October 2002, the
Intermediate Court sentenced Pastor Gong to life imprisonment for rape and assault based
on summaries of the coerced confessions from the first trial.

4. Pastor Gong’s Detention is Arbitrary Because It Is Based on
Confessions Obtained Through Torture
The Jingmen Intermediate Court violated Pastor Gong’s right to a fair trial by
allowing evidence obtained through torture to be used against him. Church members
raised allegations of torture both before and during the proceedings of both trials. Their
declarations provide detailed descriptions of incidents of torture, including facts such as:
dates and locations of torture, names of individuals who ordered and carried out the
52 The Intermediate Court in the First Trial relied on statements obtained through torture from the following
church member to convict Pastor Gong of intentional assault: Cao Hongmei (Overturned First Verdict at
24, ¶ 9); Du Qingfeng (Overturned First Verdict at 28, ¶ 5); Fu Shijun (Overturned First Verdict at 15). To
convict Pastor Gong of organizing a cult, the Intermediate Court in the First Trial relied heavily on
confessions from the following members, also obtained through torture: Li Yingping (Overturned First
Verdict at 12, ¶ 2); Liu Xianzhi (Overturned First Verdict at 12, ¶ 12); Meng Xicun (Overturned First
Verdict at 12, ¶ 12); Xiang Fengping (Overturned First Verdict at 12, ¶ 12).

53As previously discussed, supra note 38, at 25, because the Government never revealed the full names of
the alleged victims, one is forced to conjecture that the four women the Court identified as Wang XX, Li X,
Yang XX [and] Zhang XX actually were Wang Xianju, Li Qiong, Yang Xiaoxia, and Zhang Hongjuan
(since each of those women were listed in the indictment). Alternatively, if Wang XX, Li X, Yang XX,
and Zhang XX were four other women, then these women are a complete mystery since they were never
named in the indictment and never appeared, much less testified, in court at the trial.
– 33 –

torture, and methods of torture that were used. Their testimonies far exceed the standard
created in Kurbanov.

The Court’s repeated refusals to investigate their allegations and incontrovertible
reliance upon the coerced confessions violated Pastor Gong’s right to a fair trial. Thus,
his detention is arbitrary under Category III Working Group Principles.

B. The Government Violated Pastor Gong’s Right to a Fair Trial by
Denying Him Fundamental Guarantees of Due Process

In addition to violating Pastor Gong’s right to be free from torture, the
Government also violated the following guarantees of the right to a fair trial:

(1) the accused’s right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare for trial;54
(2) the accused’s right to have a public trial;55
(3) the accused’s right to be informed in detail and promptly of the charges
against him;56
(4) the accused’s right to cross-examine witnesses against him;57
(5) the accused’s right “to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on
his behalf;”58
(6) the accused’s right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal;59
(7) and the accused’s right to be presumed innocent;60

Each of these violations is detailed below.
54 ICCPR art. 14(3)(b).
55 ICCPR art. 14(1); UDHR art. 11(1).
56 ICCPR art. 14(3)(a).
57 ICCPR art. 14 (3)(e).
58 ICCPR art. 14(3)(e).
59 ICCPR art. 14(1); UDHR art. 10.
60 ICCPR art. 14(2); UDHR art. 11(1).
– 34 –

1. The Government Refused to Provide Pastor Gong Adequate Time and
Facilities to Defend Charges

a. Right to Adequate Time
A government’s refusal to provide an accused individual an adequate amount of
time to prepare for a trial—especially when the charges involve life imprisonment or the
death penalty—renders any resulting detention arbitrary. See ICCPR art. 14(3)(b)
(protecting the accused’s right to have “adequate time€¦for the preparation of his
defence”). The Human Rights Committee has explained that “adequacy” depends upon
the circumstances of each case, including the complexity of a case, the accused’s access
to documents, and the opportunity to engage and communicate with counsel. See Human
Rights Committee General Comment 13 on ICCPR Article 14 ¶ 9 (“General Comment
13″).61

In Khomidova v.Tajikistan, the Committee held that where a defendant alleged
that police tortured him, the Government violated ICCPR Article 14(3)(b) by requiring
the defendant to undergo legal proceedings within one month of the issuing of the
indictment. See Khomidova v.Tajikistan, Hum. Rts. Comm., (1117/2002) (July 29,
2004).62 The Committee has also held that if a defendant believes the amount of time for
preparations is inadequate, he may ask the Intermediate Court to adjourn the proceedings
until the accused can complete his preparations. See Douglas, Gentles and Kerr v.
Jamaica, Hum. Rts. Comm., (352/1989) (October 19, 1993); Sawyers and McLean v.
Jamaica, Hum. Rts. Comm., (226/1987 and 256/1987) (A/46/40) (April 11, 1991).
The charges against Pastor Gong were extremely complex. The Indictment
named more than twenty criminal charges against Pastor Gong and the other sixteen
Church defendants and listed thirteen separate villages in ten townships and eight cities
as locations of the alleged activities. See Indictment. The charges covered activities
spanning more than six years. Id. The charges involved thirty alleged victims and thirty-
one alleged witnesses. Id. The Government held Pastor Gong and other church members
for over four months in incommunicado detention (without access to a lawyer or even
family members) during which time they were tortured into making false statements
about Pastor Gong and church activities. Adding to the legal and factual complexity,
Pastor Gong faced a possible death sentence.

However, in both trials the Intermediate Court denied Pastor Gong and the other church
members sufficient time to prepare to defend the charges against them. The Intermediate
Court initiated the proceedings of the First Trial only eleven working days after issuing
the Indictment.63 The Intermediate Court initiated the proceedings of the Second Trial
61 U.N. ESCOR, Hum. Rts. Comm., 21st Sess., General Comment 13, Equality Before the Court and the
Right to a Fair and Public Hearing by an Independent Court Established by Law (1984).
62 At
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/16f9ff097a0e5e87c1256f00004aa6c4?Opendocument.
63 The Indictment is dated December 5, 2001, while the First Trial began December 19, 2001.
– 35 –

only four working days after the Court of Appeals overturned the first trial verdict.64
Moreover, the Intermediate Court denied Pastor Gong’s attorneys access to the record of
the First Trial and their request for legal evidence from the First Trial even though the
Intermediate Court then relied on evidence from the First Trial to convict him at the
Second Trial. Open Letter at 3; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶ 42. Furthermore, prior to the
Second Trial, Pastor Gong’s attorneys explicitly requested an extension of time because
the four days provided were grossly inadequate. Open Letter at 1. However, the
Intermediate Court summarily denied their request. Id. In addition, the Intermediate
Court used up some of the little time his attorneys did have to prepare by summoning
them to a private meeting with judges at which they were strongly pressured to cooperate
for a “swift conclusion” to the trial. Open Letter at 2. Under Douglas, the Intermediate
Court’s refusal to grant the request for additional time violated ICCPR Article 14(3)(b).
Thus, under the standard in Khomidova, the Intermediate Court violated Pastor Gong’s
right to adequate time twice.

Because the Government violated his right to adequate time to prepare for trial,
Pastor Gong’s detention is arbitrary.

b. Right to Adequate Facilities
When a government denies an individual the right to adequate facilities to prepare
his defense, any resulting detention is arbitrary. ICCPR Article 14(3)(b) guarantees the
accused’s right to “adequate€¦facilities for the preparation of his defence.” This
protection extends to the right to have legal assistance during pre-trial interrogation. See
Gridin v. Russian Federation, Hum. Rts. Comm., (770/1997) (July 20, 2000).65 During
interrogations, Hubei police repeatedly denied Pastor Gong and Church members’
requests for legal assistance. Decl. of Five at 1; Chi Faling Decl. ¶ 30; Du Qingfeng
Decl. ¶ 39; Fu Shijun Decl. (November 1, 2003) ¶¶ 10, 22. Therefore, the statements
which the government forced Pastor Gong and Church members to sign during detention
were made entirely without access to any legal assistance.66 Moreover, Pastor Gong was
denied access to any legal assistance for the 4 months he was detained incommunicado
prior to the December 2001 Indictment.

ICCPR Article 14(3)(b) also protects the accused’s right to have access to
“documents and other evidence which the accused requires to prepare his case.” General
Comment 13, ¶ 9. Because the first verdict was overturned for lack of sufficient
evidence, it was particularly important that Pastor Gong’s attorneys have access to the
64 The trial began on October 9, 2002. There were only four working days between September 29 and
October 9 in 2002 because of a national holiday that began on October 1 and continued until October 7.
Government offices were shut down during this time. Open Letter at 1-2; Cao Hongmei Decl. ¶ 15.
65 Available at
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/6a0a8eb33da16258c125696c003210b6?Opendocument.
66 Police also denied Church members adequate physical facilities to prepare their defense. Prior to the
First Trial, Church members were repeatedly denied contact with their families and legal counsel. Instead,
after repeated requests, they were appointed lawyers who never came to see them. The Church members
were given two pieces of paper each and three pens total to prepare their defenses. Cao Hong Mei Decl. 6;
Decl. of Five ¶ 3.
– 36 –

First Trial’s evidence in order to compare it to the evidence presented by the
Procuratorate at the Second Trial. However, the Intermediate Court denied Pastor Gong
access to the record and verdict of the First Trial. Open Letter at 3; Du Qingfeng Decl. ¶
42. Thus, the Intermediate Court made it impossible for Pastor Gong’s attorneys to
determine whether the Procuratorate had remedied any of the evidentiary deficiencies in
the First Trial. In the Second Trial, Pastor Gong was not even able to face his accusers,
because the Intermediate Court refused to reveal the names of the four alleged rape
victims.

Because the Intermediate Court violated Pastor Gong’s right to adequate facilities,
his detention is arbitrary.

2. The Government Denied Pastor Gong Due Process By Denying Him a
Public Trial

ICCPR Article 14(1) protects the individual’s right to “a fair and public hearing.”
See also UDHR 11(1). The denial of this right to a public trial renders arbitrary any
resulting detention. The Human Rights Committee has emphasized that “the publicity of
hearings is an important safeguard in the interest of the individual and society at large.”
General Comment 13 ¶ 6. The Committee has interpreted this right broadly, noting that
“apart from . . . exceptional circumstances, the Committee considers that a hearing must
be open to the public in general, including members of the press€¦.” General Comment
13 ¶ 6 (emphasis added). A government violates Article 14(1) when it limits attendance
at a trial to an approved list of individuals or when it conducts a trial where “not even the
closest relatives of the accused [are] present.” See Domukovsky, Tsiklauri, Gelbakhiani
and Dokvadze v. Georgia, Hum. Rts. Comm., (623/1995; 624/1995; 626/1995;
627/1995) (April 6, 1998); Vasilskis v. Uruguay, Hum. Rts. Comm., (080/1980) (March
31, 1983). A government may only hold a trial in private in narrow, “exceptional
circumstances,” such as cases involving “national security.” Id.

The Intermediate Court closed both of Pastor Gong’s trials to the public. Close
family members of Pastor Gong and Church members were forced to wait outside the
courthouse. Decl. of Five ¶ 3. The Second Trial was conducted in a closed session with
similar secrecy. Li Yingping Decl. ¶¶ 50-51; Open Letter at 3. The only attempt to
satisfy this disregard for Pastor Gong’s right to a public trial was the utterly naked
assertion that “[b]ecause this case touches on issues of personal privacy, the Intermediate
Court will not hold a public hearing in accordance with the law.” Final Verdict at 3.
However, the Intermediate Court refused to elaborate on what those issues were. To the
extent the Intermediate Court was seeking to justify a secret trial because the charges
involved rape, democracies throughout the world hold public trials in cases involving
rape. The fact that such charges were involved here does not provide a categorical basis
for holding a secret trial. More strikingly, the Intermediate Court did not even examine
the rape charges during the proceedings, call any of the alleged victims to testify, or
disclose the full names of the alleged rape victims, even to Pastor Gong.67 Decl. of Five
67 Even if the rape charges did somehow provide a basis for a secret trial, which they do not, that would still
not provide any basis for a secret trial on the other charges brought against Pastor Gong.
– 37 –

¶ 21; Open Letter at 3. Thus the privacy of the alleged victims was never at risk and was,
at best, a prete



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