April 17, 2010
HENAN—On April 17, 2010, Pastor Dou was released early from his one-year Re-Education Through Labor sentence, initiated on June 14, 2009. He contacted his lawyer Wu Chenglian immediately to express his gratitude and thanks the Christians around the world who prayed for his release.
Pastor Dou was first arrested on June 14, 2009 when government officials raided and forcibly abolished and sealed Rock Church’s building, a house church in Zhengzhou city, Henan. Police arrested him, his wife Feng Lu, and five other believers. Pastor Dou and Feng Lu received one-year re-education through labor sentences, while the five other believers were each sentenced to 15 days detention and a 500 yuan fine.
Feng Lu was allowed to complete her sentence at home so she could care for their daughter, but her husband was shown no such mercy. Pastor Dou was held in Jinshui Branch Detention Center of Zhengzhou City until June 25, when he was transferred to Baimiao Re-education Through Labor Center located on Wenhua Road, Zhengzhou city.
ChinaAid contacts reported, “He was given inhuman treatment in the re-education through labor center. When he wanted to talk to the police officers, he was forced to squat. He worked 18 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight. Over 70 people sleep in a room. Due to the hot weather and the poor sanitary condition … some prisoners have eczema, herpes and other skin diseases. They have to work 18 hours a day without enough to eat.” On June 29, Pastor Dou was transferred to Shifo Re-education through Labor Center where conditions are reported to be worse.
Pastor Dou lost 38 lbs in the extreme conditions of the labor camp. Now that he is free, hopefully he can begin to recover. It is likely that his early release is thanks to the skillful efforts of his attourney Wu Chenglian, combined with pressure from the international community.
ChinaAid thanks Christians worldwide for their prayers and for contacting Zhengzhou city authorities asking for the release of Pastor Dou Shaowen. We continue to urge the Chinese government to allow Rock Church and other house churches to meet freely, and to cease their inhumane treatment of prisoners in Re-education Through Labor centers.
More articles on Pastor Dou Shaowen of Rock Church in Henan:
- Rock Church Pastor Secretly Transferred to Re-Education Through Labor Camp, July 13, 2009.
- Rock Church Pastor and Wife Sentenced to One Year of Labor Camp in Henan, July 1, 2009.
- Rock Church of Zhengzhou, Henan, Banned; 7 Christians Still Detained, June 23, 2009.
- Henan House Church Raided; Six Christians Receive Administrative Detentions and Fines, June 17, 2009.