China Aid Association
Photo: (Pastor Hua’s Apartment after PSB attack)
(Beijing- July 2, 2008) CAA has learned that Christian rights activist Hua Huiqi was evicted from his home at 8:30pm Beijing time, on July 2. Hua and his family were resting in their rental apartment at 633 Unit 6, 6th floor of the Dushixinyuan apartment complex Chongwen District, Beijing when PSB officials led by officer Yang Jian used a 10lb hammer to break down the doors and locks of Hua’s apartment. Hua’s brother was beaten by police officers and suffered severe eye damage Hua and his family, including his 90 year old father, were forced onto the street with their furniture at 11:10pm. Hua and his family are in search of a new home and are currently being hosted by a Christian family in Beijing.
The Chinese Government has expressed its intentions to either detain Hua until September 20, a date well after the Olympic Games, or to remove Hua and his family completely out of Beijing during the Games. The CPC has branded Hua and other human rights and religious activists as “troublemakers” and is adamant about keeping such people from attending the Games in August.
In the morning of June 28, Saturday, as Congressmen Wolf and Smith left the Washington Dulles Airport, they were greeted by Ambassador from China Mr. Zhou Wenzhang. Instead of a pleasant farewell from Zhou, the ambassador slyly remarked “We hope there are no surprises.” Without hesitation Congressman Smith replied, “Life is full of surprises”.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) flew to Beijing in order to gauge the situation concerning China’s pre-Olympics human rights and religious freedoms records. The congressmen were set to meet with human rights lawyers, activists, victims and family members of persecution, individual religious believers as well as US Embassy officials. Through the facilitation of China Aid Association the two congressmen along with two senior aids were set to have dinner with a group of Chinese human rights lawyers on Sunday evening at hotel but were unable to meet with them due to interference by Chinese Government officials. The 8 lawyers scheduled to meet with the congressmen were:
and Li Dunyong
Li Heping, Li Baiguang and Ten Biao were all recipients of the NED’s award for human rights defense in Washington DC of this year. Tiang Biao was scheduled to receive the award in DC in mid-June, but was forbidden by Chinese Government officials from traveling out of the country after the CPC confiscated his passport.
“Surprises” did happen quickly.
Hours before the meeting with Reps. Wolf and Smith, Li Heping, Jiang Tianyong, Li Fangping, Zhang Xingshui and Li Dunyong were warned not to attend the meeting or they would face severe consequences. They were either followed by PSB or forced to ride with PSB cars in order to be “protected”. Teng Biao and Li Baiguang were given the opportunity to take a “forced vacation” in the suburb of Beijing accompanied by 4 PSB officials.
In a separate incident two PSB officials waited in the lobby of the apartment building of independent writer Yu Jie, as he left for Sunday worship service they escorted him into their car and maintained that he stay with them until the Representatives had left. Ironically the policeman complained to Mr. Yu that he had to use his own car due to the lack of police vehicles available in Beijing.
With a last minute’s arrangement, the Congressmen were fortunate enough to have dinner with Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, and his wife. Early Sunday afternoon, the Reps. also visited Beijing Showang House church which was raided by PSB in May (and they were welcomed by church members), and later attended a Mass service at a Government sanctioned Catholic Church.
On Monday morning, the Congressmen delivered a list of 734 Chinese political and religious prisoners when they met with Mr. Li Zhaoxing, the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of People’s Congress and former Foreign Minister. They urged Mr. Li to help immediately release those Chinese rights defenders. On Monday afternoon the Congressmen met with the wife of Pastor Zhang Rongliang. Zhang, or Uncle Z, was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison before a criminal court for his involvement with the House Church Movement in China.
One final surprise was from the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao who criticized the congressmen’s attempt to meet with those Chinese “troublemaking” citizens. Liu told reporters in a regularly scheduled news conference Tuesday. When asked what law or regulations prevented foreign officials from such meetings, Liu refused to discuss. Well, one officer of Beijing Municipal PSB revealed the answer when asked the same question by a foreign reporter, ‘it’s an internal top secret.”
The actions taken by the CPC during the Congressmen’s visit shows a brazen and apathetic attitude toward the improvement of its human rights record. In light of the Beijing Olympics less than a month away, China remains deaf to the international community’s outcry to stop its persecution of religious groups.
Issued by CAA July 2, 2008
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]