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Unprecedented Motion Filed by Chinese House Church Leader to Dismiss Chief Justice for Non-Action

ICC Note:

Remarkably, an administrative lawsuit has been filed calling for the dismissal of the chief justice of Chuanhui District People’s Court of Zhoukou Municipality by the wife of a Christian sentenced to one year or re-education through labor for organizing an “illegal gathering” of house church Christians.

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1/26/09 China (ChinaAid) The wife of Tong Houyong recently filed a motion to dismiss the Chief Justice of Chuanhui District People’s Court of Zhoukou Municipality on behalf of her husband, Tong Houyong, along with two other Christian men, Xie Zhenqi and Shu Wenxiang, who were each sentenced to one year of reeducation through labor in Zhoukou, Henan for organizing an “illegal gathering” of house church Christians.

This action comes after their lawyer, Wu Chienglian, filed an administrative lawsuit, but the local court refused to accept the case. The motion to dismiss the chief justice is based on three points: 1) The court had no legal basis to refuse the case, 2) The court violated the law by refusing to provide receipts documenting that the court received the lawsuit, and 3) The court violated legal procedure by causing a long delay without making a decision on the case.

The three Christian men were first arrested on December 3, 2007. More than 50 house church Christians were gathered in the home of Xie Ruming, when officials from the Taikang County Domestic Defense Protection Squad suddenly broke into the home. All of the Christians were arrested and officials confiscated Christian literature and other items. About 20 Christians were sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention and a 1,000 yuan fine, while Tang Houyong, Shu Wenxiang and Xie Zhenqi were sentenced to re-education through labor.

“We applaud the courageous move by the house church leader to pursue justice in light of religious persecution with the spirit of rule of law, ” said Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid.

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