Beijing Christian Rights Activists Freedom Restricted after Release from Prison; CAA Calls for Urgent Global Fasting and Prayers for the Endangered Chinese Rights Defenders
China Aid Association (02/13/06)
CAA learned that the freedom of a prominent Christian rights activist was restricted by Chinese security agents after his release from a two-year prison term. Dr. Xu Yonghai, a former psychiatric doctor at Beiijing Pingan Hospital has been closely surveyed after his release from a Hangzhou Prison, Zhejiang Province on January 29, 2006.
According to Xus own account to CAA, before his release the Chinese security agents installed three video cameras in front of his apartment order to monitor his activities and his identification cards were not returned to him. Xus wife, Ms. Li Shanna, refused to sign a form demanding she report her husbands activities to the Chinese authorities.
Dr. Xu Yonghai, a prominent Christian psychiatrist was arrested in Beijing on November 9, 2003 because of his active role in defending religious freedom for persecuted Christian believers in China .
As a result, Xu along with two other individuals, Mr. Liu Fenggang – 48 and Zhang Shengqi 30, were charged under Article 111 of the Criminal Law with providing state secrets to foreign organizations, and tried in secret on March 16, 2004 by Hangzhou Intermediate Peoples Court in Zhejiang Province . On August 6, 2004, the court sentenced Liu Fenggang to three years, Xu Yonghai to two years, and Zhang Shengqi to one year.
According to the indictment by the procuratorate the three were charged in connection with Liu Fenggangs decision to write, disseminate, and publicize several reports written over a two-year period, documenting the destruction of churches and the harsh treatment suffered by members of underground congregations.
Xu told CAA that Mr. Liu Fenggangs health is deteriorating because of his heart condition. Mr. Zhang Shengqi was released on Febuary 7, 2005.
Dr. Xu and his wife both lost their jobs at the hospital after Xus arrest.
CAA condemns the Chinese Security restrictions on Dr. Xus freedom. In light of the worsening situation facing the Chinese rights defenders in recent weeks, CAA urges international Christian communities including the Chinese House churches to start vigile relay fasting and prayers for both the Chinese authority and rights defenders. May God soften the hearts of the Chinese leaders and grant justice and mercy to these brave rights defenders like Mr. Guo Feixiong, Ms. Ai Xiaoming and Mr. Gao Zhisheng who are the true conscience of China. said Rev. Bob Fu, president of CAA.