Christian Attorneys Tortured, Arrested In China
ICC: Christian human rights defender receives electric shocks; officials whisk away another.
by Jeff M. Sellers
10/8/07, China,(Compass Direct News) Chinas crackdown on religious freedom advocates ahead of the Beijing Olympics extended to two
Chinas crackdown on religious freedom advocates ahead of the Beijing Olympics extended to two
Attorney Li Heping released a statement saying a group of men ordered him to stop practicing law, beat him and struck him with electric batons for nearly five hours on Saturday night (September 29). The previous Saturday (September 22),
Gao has been under house arrest since his December 2006 conviction for inciting subversion, serving a sentence of three years with five years probation for his human rights defense work.
Li, who defended victims of religious persecution and other human rights abuses out of his office in
They took him to a basement in a
There, several people took turns to beat me brutally, slap my face, hit me on the head with water bottles, and kick me, he said. The most unbearable form of their torture was hitting me with high-voltage electric batons.
At 1 a.m. on Sunday (September 30), the men dropped him off in a small wooded area near Xiatangshan. When he returned home, he found materials for a human rights case, cell phone cards and portable hard disks missing. His notebook computer drives had been wiped clean.
While the men were unidentified in Lis statement, Bob Fu of the China Aid Association (CAA) released a statement saying Li told him one of the attackers said they belonged to the Beijing State Security Bureau.
Asked about their identities by Li, one of the interrogators said they are members of Beijing State Security Bureau, according to Fus release. They yelled to him with a standard
Fu had invited Li, along with six other human rights lawyers and activists from
At the end of Lis statement, the attorney reiterated his longing for the rule of law and peaceful progress in
I told them at the site of [the] beating that I wouldnt hate them, he said. I wish the light of rule of law would shine on
In recent months Chinese authorities have cracked down on churches and rights advocates they fear will speak out during next years Olympics. In attorney Gaos open letter to the U.S. Congress last month, he included first-hand information, documentation and evidence of human rights violations and expressed deep concern about the upcoming
House Arrest for
The CAA also reported yesterday that two
Pastor Hua Huiqi and Liu Fenggang, who were released in July and February after serving six-month and three-year prison terms respectively, are not allowed to go out of their homes. Their houses have been surrounded by two dozen police.
Some PSB [Public Security Bureau] officers were even staged on top of Pastor Huas roof in order to prevent anyone from coming in or going out, Fu said in a statement. Early this morning, October 3, eight PSB officers broke Hua and his wifes bedroom windows, and then cut off the electricity to their house.
The officers told Pastor Hua that his 77-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, has been serving a two-year sentence as a hostage for Huas human rights defense.
She was beaten severely recently without medical care and is now dying in her prison cell, according to Fus statement.
The brutal act of state terrorism against attorney Li and the two pastors sent a chilling signal to all the peaceful rights defenders in
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