(Xi’an, Shaanxi Province) On November 16, 2021, Shaanxi Province Xi’an Municipal Intermediate Court issued its verdict regarding the appeal of Christian couple Chang Yuchun and Li Chenhui’s “illegal business operation” charges. The court rejected their appeal
and upheld the original sentencing. 53-year-old Chang Yuchun and 44-year-old Li
Chenhui each received 7 years a fine of 250,000 yuan (~39,000 USD).
The couple established Guang Yi Ai Sheng Printing Co., Ltd. in 2015. They printed and sold a large number of Christian books, drawing the attention of regional law enforcement. On July 21, 2020, Xi’an Municipal Culture Law Enforcement department and Xi’an Municipal
National Security Department jointly shut down Guang Yi Ai Sheng Printing Co.,
Ltd, confiscating over 210,000 books at Chang and Li’s warehouse and workshop.
Xi’an police held Chang Yuchun and Li Chenhui under
designated residential surveillance on the charges of “inciting subversion of State
power” and “illegal business operation.” Police accused the couple of running an
illegal printing business without a license, which disturbed the market order.
Chang Yuchun was held at Xi’an City Gaoling District detention center and Li
Chenhui at Xi’an City Weiyang District detention center. At the first trial on
August 19, 2021, Xi’an City Gaoling District Court gave Chang Yuchun and Li
Chenhui a heavy sentence of 7 years and a fine of 250,000 yuan respectively.
The couple and their representative attorney thought
the sentence and fine of the first trial were disproportionate, so they appealed.
On November 15, 2021, Shaanxi Province Xi’an Municipal Intermediate Court
issued the verdict of the second trial: rejecting the appeal and upholding the
original sentence. Their imprisonment will end on September 1, 2027.
Now, there is uncertainty as to which prison Chang
Yuchun and Li Chenhui will be held. The couple has four kids, their ages ranging
from four to 22. Now, the children live with their grandparents who are 70 and
73. The enormous fine of 500,000 yuan (~78,000 USD) will be a heavy burden for their family.
~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Association Contributing Reporter