BosNewsLife - A Chinese Christian businessman in Xinjiang province is suing members of China 's state security service who allegedly first tortured and then threatened him in the hospital where he is treated for his injuries, BosNewsLife learned Tuesday, October 4.
45-year old Tong Qimiao made a decision to file the law suit after Chinese agents on Saturday, October 1, tried to force him to sign a false affidavit denying the torture took place, said US-based religious rights organization Christian Aid Association (CAA). Despite the pressure, Tong refused to comply, CAA added.
The agents allegedly "threatened" him in the emergency room of the hospital where he is treated for a broken chest bone "caused by brutal torture," explained CAA, which has close contacts with Christians in the region.
Officials of the Bureau of Industry and Commerce "also showed up at the emergency room...threatening him that his license [for a furniture business] would be revoked unless he cooperated with the state security agents," the organization said.
The threats were allegedly made following reports from BosNewsLife and other media outlets on CAA allegations that Tong was rushed to hospital after being "beaten so seriously that he could not walk," in the eastern town of Kashgar, September 28, because of his ties to a local church and an evangelist.
His law suit was expected to be closely watched by Christians in China where an estimated 60 million believers are attending unofficial churches like the one supported by businessman Tong.
"We are shocked by what happened to Mr. Tong, and it is even more inhumane and barbarian that this happened in the hospital," added CAA President Bob Fu in a statement to BosNewsLife. "This kind of case happens as the Chinese government is ambitiously developing the west region. How can businessmen of conscience continue to contribute to this drive?" he wondered.
"We urge the Chinese government to take exact steps to protect people [and] freedom of religion which is enshrined in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China ," Fu stressed. Chinese officials have not commented on the allegations, but in the past the Communist government has denied human rights abuses. Chinese leaders say they merely follow the law and only crack down on "sects" deemed dangerous to society.