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Christian Democracy activist Peng Ming suffering from severe health issues while serving life sentence in China

ICC Note:

A precious brother in Christ is in need of the church’s fervent prayers. Peng Ming, an imprisoned human right’s and democracy advocate who has already miraculously survived a heart attack behind bars, is suffering due to chronic kidney stones and other health issues that are compounded by sleep deprivation and malnourishment enforced by the prison officials. Although some steps have been taken to pressure the government for his release, Peng Ming has not been freed and his kidney condition could become fatal any day. ICC encourages the church to pray for Peng’s immediate and complete healing as well as for the glory of God to be displayed to the people of China.

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By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

12/15/2007 China (ANS) Democracy and Human rights activist, Peng Ming, continues to suffer from severe medical conditions while serving a life sentence in Han Yang Prison No. 19 in Hu Bei Province, China.

Peng Ming’s health is getting worse in confinement

According to China Aid Association (www.chinaaid.org) , Peng Ming, an official United Nations Refugee and resident alien of the United States, serves as the Chief Strategist and Administrator of Modern China Development Strategic Studies Research Institute. He has resided in the United States since 2001.

On July 18 of 2002, after becoming a Christian, he was baptized at Forerunner Church and later became a member of Harvest Holy Ground Church in San Francisco, California. Mr. Peng has been a peaceful advocate of freedom, democracy and human rights for the People’s Republic of China for several years until his recent arrest.

In May of 2004 Peng Ming traveled to Thailand to visit his elderly parents. At some point during his travels Mr. Peng was lured into Myanmar where he was kidnapped at gunpoint by 8 Chinese special agents. Mr. Peng was then transported to China. In an arbitrary and seemingly vindictive judgment, Peng Ming was sentenced to life in prison by Chinese officials in October of 2005, on accusations of engaging in terrorism activities. He has served 40 months to date in a heavily guarded prison cell in Han Yang, and continues to suffer from medical conditions that have been ignored by prison officials.

Peng Ming’s Health Rapidly Deteriorating

Mr. Peng has suffered from chronic kidney stones since first being diagnosed in 1984. CAA has learned that since his imprisonment, Peng Ming has developed a severe case of kidney stones that have contributed largely to the rapid degeneration of his heath. In addition, in April of 2005, while incarcerated, Peng Ming suffered a massive heart attack. He received no medical treatment from prison staff. Miraculously, Mr. Peng survived this episode and continues to recover from behind bars. These and other health issues are compounded by prison officials who continue to afflict Mr. Peng with sleep deprivation, and malnourishment. Peng Ming has been without proper medical attention for more than 3 years to date.

Diplomatic Efforts for Peng Ming’s Unconditional Release

In June of 2007 an urgent appeal was sent to Chinese officials from the United Nations Human Rights Council; Working Group for Arbitrary Detention. The Working Group established that Mr. Peng Ming is an official UN Refugee and would be granted permanent alien resident status from the USA. Furthermore, the UN Council declared that the deprivation of his liberty is arbitrary and in direct contravention of articles 19 &20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that the Government take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Peng Ming.

In addition of the UN effort for this case, the US Congressional leaders and senior Bush administration officials have been urging the Chinese government to release Peng Ming. Congressional leaders including Congressman Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts, Chris Smith and Senator Richard Lugar have concerned this case. Congressman Frank Wolf, the co-chairman of the House Human Rights Caucus has written letters on Oct 31 this year to key Administration officials urging them to press the Chinese government to release Peng Ming.

On November 6 and 29, the US Ambassador in Beijing Clark T. Randt and Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey T. Bergner have written back to Mr. Wolf respectively that they regard “China’s handling of Peng Ming’s case is deplorable.” Both said they have been monitoring Peng Ming’s case closely and have been expressing their “serious concerns over his treatment to the Chinese government on multiple occasions” including the recent inquiry to China’s Foreign Ministry on November 2 to press for answers for Peng Ming’s case.” Both of them finally reaffirmed their commitment to “continue to protest China’s treatment of Mr. Peng and seek his release at every opportunity.”

It is hoped that this unique case of arbitrary detention of an official UN Refugee, will result in the unconditional release of Mr. Peng by China, based on emergency medical parole and just fundamental humanitarian ground.

Current Status of Efforts and Latest Reports

Despite the efforts of the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as efforts from members of the United States Government, Mr. Peng remains in detention without medical assistance. The onset of chronic kidney stones while in prison has caused critical physiological damage to Mr. Peng. Without proper medical attention this condition will be fatal. Furthermore, Peng Ming’s recurrent heart condition continues to plague him with the possibility of another heart attack. China Aid along with its supporters urges the international community to pressure the Chinese Government for the unconditional release of Peng Ming based on emergency medical need and fundamental humanitarian ground.

China Aid Association urges the brothers and sisters in Christ around the world to pray for Peng Ming’s health conditions to improve. CAA also encourages the international community to admonish the Chinese government into granting Peng Ming his unconditional freedom.

If you would like to write a letter of encouragement to Peng Ming, please write to:

Han Yang Prison No. 19 Prison District,
Cai Dian District,
Wu Han City, Hu Bei Province 43010
People’s Republic of China

More information:
China Aid Association, Inc.
Midland, TX
Tel: (432) 689-6985
Fax: (432)-686-8355
E-mail: info@ChinaAid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org/ or www.monitorchina.org/
Contacts: D. Burton (432) 689-6985
Xiang Peng (Sister of Peng Ming) 510-962-0907 (Mandarin Chinese only)